The heart of the home deserves better-than-builder-grade lighting.
Good lighting works wonders—for your complexion, your mood, and yes, for your kitchen. And there's no room in the house that begs for an excellent lighting plan more than the kitchen. For starters, you need to see what you're doing (knives! fire! hot pans!). But the kitchen is also the heart of the home. It's the spot where you likely start your day (gotta have that cup of joe before listening to, looking at, or speaking to anyone, am I right?). It's the room where some of the best memories are made—baking cookies, preparing a special birthday dinner (with cake!), picking up where you left off with your best friend over a glass of wine. It's a tall order, but the kitchen needs to be practical and look amazing.
Not to get too dark here (ha!), but the lighting stakes in the kitchen are higher than a lot of other home decorating endeavors. To properly illuminate all of the precious moments above, remember that installing light fixtures often requires an electrician (read: more expensive and permanent than, say, throw pillows), so you want to get it right. Lucky for homeowners, lighting options are seemingly endless—pendants, sconces, chandeliers, under counter, recessed, track, lamps—with a gazillion style options and price ranges to boot.
Playing it safe with a pair of practical, store-bought pendants over the kitchen island is fine, but we're here to show you that taking a risk with creative, unexpected lighting
can seriously up your kitchen design game (and it's a legit way to update your kitchen). Consider woven baskets cleverly turned upside down and strung with a light kit from the hardware store. Those outdoor lanterns you espied at the flea market and can't stop daydreaming about? Bring them into your all-white kitchen for a single rustic touch that will make your space feel original. (Then brace yourself for the endless compliments for your creative chops and impeccable taste.) If you're drawn to more traditional fixtures, maybe try a creative application—hung in a grid, or multiples in a row for bigger impact.
In a nutshell, what a statement necklace does for a great outfit, unique lighting does for a kitchen. Think of it as icing on that delicious birthday cake.
Silenzio: What to watch for....but won't see or hear about. The Department of Justice released documents Monday outlining a slew of "security violations" and flagrantly "unprofessional conduct" by anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok — including his alleged practice of keeping sensitive FBI documents on his unsecured personal electronic devices, even as his wife gained access to his cellphone and discovered evidence that he was having an affair with former FBI attorney Lisa Page. In its filing, the DOJ included an August 2018 letter to Strzok from the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which said in part that Strzok had engaged in a "dereliction of supervisory responsibility" by failing to investigate the potentially classified Hillary Clinton emails that had turned up on an unsecured laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner as the 2016 election approached. The situation became so dire, OPR said, that a case agent in New York told federal prosecutors there that he was "scared" and "paranoid" that "somebody was not acting appropriately" and that "somebody was trying to bury this." The New York prosecutors then immediately relayed their concerns to the DOJ, effectively going over Strzok's head — and leading, eventually, to then-FBI Director James Comey's fateful announcement just prior to Election Day that emails possibly related to the Clinton probe had been located on Weiner's laptop. OPR and the DOJ also included a slew of Strzok and Page's anti-Trump text messages, which Strzok sent as he was overseeing the 2016 Clinton email investigation. Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent who led FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump texts with Page came to light. He was fired from the FBI last August. Strzok, who joined the FBI in 1998 and rose to deputy assistant director of the agency’s counterintelligence division, exchanged over 40,000 text messages on government-issued phones from August 2015 through May 2018, the motion said. One of the messages called then-candidate Trump a “disaster” and suggested that”[w]e’ll stop” him. Republicans interpreted the text as Strzok saying that he would work to prevent Trump from being elected, but his lawsuit says the message was actually meant to reassure Page, with whom he was having an affair, that the American people would not support a Trump candidacy. Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, or their Whistleblower say they have no knowledge of this and declare the 5th Amendment.