DIY Network

Hot Zones in the Kitchen

Spice up your cooking area with these tricks

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Photo 3 of 4This undercabinet microwave is ideal for a small kitchen and features an exhaust system below it.

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Put a Wall to Work
Open shelves keep the look airy and showcase colorful dishware; the decorative brackets used for support add to the room’s cozy cottage feel.

Illuminate the Area
Good lighting is both utilitarian and decorative. "It's like frosting on the cake," says Denker, who suggests installing fixtures on both sides of the cooktop. "Sources directly overhead will put more heat on the cook," she says. Some vent hoods feature built-in lighting. Recessed ceiling lights typically offer a cleaner look than dangling pendants; dimmers can offer mood control. And consider placing mini puck lights on the undersides of cabinets. Denker employs low-voltage colored versions to cast a warm, romantic glow on the cooktop. And like the last burning embers in a fireplace, they make the cooking zone seem all the more special.

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