The $18 Rental Solution to Bad Kitchen Lighting

published Jul 27, 2018
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(Image credit: Anne Rowley)

This project is a great example of how a few dollars and a few minutes can make a dramatic change in your home — and your mood. As Anne described her situation, “Cooking and baking make me happy, but seeing my workspace sulking in the shadows was putting a damper on my spirit.” Let’s see her cheap, quick, renter-friendly, and reversible solution to the baking blues!

(Image credit: Anne Rowley)

So much better! It makes me regret not installing the under-cabinet IKEA lights that my mom gave me years ago. Let’s all resolve to finally tackle those $18 and 15-minute projects that we’ve been putting off — especially the ones that will brighten our spirits during the dark days of winter. Anne describes her conundrum as follows:

The kitchen in our rental has its pluses, including the extra-tall cabinetry that houses my cooking/baking addiction paraphernalia. Unfortunately they create quite a shadow on top of the visual drag they already create by being so big and so dark. I wanted a cheap, easy, and reversible solution to brighten up our much-used kitchen, since painting was out of the question. It’s admittedly not the sexiest of DIYs, but considering the time and money spent, I’m pleased!

Not the sexiest of solutions, but sparkling, flattering lighting is always sexy!

(Image credit: Anne Rowley)

I have some similar twinkle lights, and they’re the best! I leave them tangled on my bedside table for subtle, magical lighting. Here’s how Anne put them to use.

Here’s the best part: Start to finish, I spent about one hour including the time it took to clean, stick on the Command Hooks, wait for them to cure, and wind around the twinkle lights. I stuck on about four small Command Hooks onto the bottom of each cabinet and then I wound the twinkle lights around. It surprised me just how well it worked! Between the twinkle lights ($12) and decorator’s Command Hooks ($6), it came to a grand total of $18. I did it by myself, while my husband was at work. By the time he texted me back to say he wanted to help, I had to tell him it was too late! No setbacks.

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This was a clever solution to a nagging, depressing problem, and I’m inspired to get to work on similar issues in my own home.

I love that in a click of a button, I can brighten up such a well-loved corner of my home and banish the shadows that have mocked me for over a year.

Thank you, Anne! Here’s to banishing our own shadows!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A Quick $15 Rental Kitchen Cabinet Lighting Hack