Have a question on how to make your home more user-friendly with universal design? E-mail your query to Rosemary Bakker, Certified Interior Designer,at Ask-Rosemary@aarp.org.
Be sure to include your name, state and ZIP code. Your name will not be published.
Quick Fix: Undercabinet Lighting
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to boost the appeal of any kitchen is to install undercabinet lighting. You can purchase energy efficient fluorescent fixtures that flood the countertop with warm, even lighting; consider plug-in models that don’t require wiring — just attach the unit to the bottom of the cabinet and plug in the cord. These fixtures put light right where you need it, are reasonably priced and are readily available at local home stores. Other types of lighting, including LED strip lighting or puck lights, have narrow, spotty beams of light you get from fluorescents.
Here are three tips for getting the most out of fluorescent lighting:
1. To obtain good, even lighting on the countertops, choose the largest fluorescent fixture that will fit under the upper cabinet.
2. Install the fixture in the recessed space under the upper cabinet, close to the front of the cabinet.
3. If your cabinets don’t have a valance and/or the fixture hangs down too far, so that the light shines into the eyes of someone seated, add a trim to the bottom of the cabinets.