About Me

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I have 20+ years experience in Home Furnishings and Interior Design, specializing in Kitchen and Bath Design since '01. I work for Bilotta Kitchens in the A&D Building on East 58th Street in the Mid-town Manhattan. I have a passion for learning and love the opportunity to collaberate on projects of all sizes. My strengths in the field begin with my design background, use of color and texture to bring interest to a room, spatial relationships, organizational skills, innovation, decisiveness, and planning. I have had the thrilling experience of helping hundreds...?maybe thousands of people with their projects, and what I love is it never gets boring, and no two are ever the same. Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bright Ideas in Under Cabinet Lighting

 Traditional Inset Kitchen with LED strip lights.
There are so many decisions to make when planning a kitchen. Some of the most important ones need to be made in the beginning, like appliances, cabinetry, under cabinet lighting. You may wonder why under cabinet lighting couldn't wait until closer to the end, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed by the choices. When properly planned for ahead of time a professional designer will customize the bottoms of the cabinets to conceal the light fixtures. If you wait until the cabinets are already  made to decide you could end up scrambling last minute for cover moldings, panels, or worse yet staring at your fixtures for the lifetime of your kitchen.

If you are already in the process and haven't addressed this yet don't wait, contact your designer and add a small molding to the order, something like a soffit crown for a traditional kitchen or a solid stock with return, a plain molding like this can be left "as is" in a contemporary kitchen or receive an applied molding to dress it up. Calculate the linear feet of exposed bottom edge and then round up to the nearest multiple of eight. If you are within two feet, add an extra length. Ultimately you want your molding produced with or as close to your cabinetry as possible to achieve the best match and allow all the materials to age together.

Next you will want to sit with a knowledgable lighting specialist, someone who can match up the necessary drivers and connectors to whichever fixtures you decide in. They should also be in the best position to show you the latest offerings in lighting. There are so many to choose from, flourescent, halogen, LED, avaialable in tones ranging from cool white, to warm, to natural daylight. Not all fixtures can be placed on dimmers, so if this is a feature you like, make sure it's compatible.  

Contemporary Kitchen in Blue
Lacquer with Figured Anigre
In a kitchen you can create visual excitement by layering your lighting as in this contemporary blue kitchen. There is LED cool white puck lighting installed in the stainless flyover panels, under the cabinets, and behind the butterfly cabinet doors.

Custom Light Shelves
If you are looking for a more subtle lighting effect, I recommend custom fabricated bottom light shelves. The ones here are a constructed as a double hulled glass with interior flourescent lights to create pleasing downward and and upward lighting, perfect for cabinets with glass doors. Here shown with backpainted white glass lift up doors. All the materials shown here were designed and are on display at Manhattan Center for Kitchen + Bath.


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