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No other element can create the desired mood in your home like lighting.

A major player in the accessories category, lighting addresses the functionality of each room. Firstly, decide what the function (or functions) is and determine your lighting needs.

There are three accepted types of lighting. General, task and ambient.

General lighting is usually a ceiling light fixture.

Task lighting is self-explanatory. It is lighting a specific area such as above the stove, sink, island or workbench.

And lastly, ambient lighting. This sets the mood with lamps, wall sconces and some pendant lights.

When lighting your kitchen, you may actually use all three!

General lighting is pretty straight forward but there are a few guidelines you may want to consider. If you have a standard fixture in the center of the room, does it need to be freshened up? This quick change might just be the ticket to give your room a new look at a relatively inexpensive cost. If you opt to change it to a chandelier, again we go back to the idea of balance. The size of the chandelier should be in line with the scale of the room. Also, it should be hung 30-36 inches above a table. Hanging it too high makes it seem unrelated to the furniture, hanging it too low and you may gong your head whilst setting the table!

Speaking of gonging your head, if this hanging light is not above a table make sure that it is positioned high enough so there is no danger of anyone hitting their heads!

Now let’s tackle task lighting.

If you have just a ceiling fixture, you are making it hard on yourself! Pot or can lights of various sizes and wattage right above where you will be preparing your meals can be easily installed by an electrician. Proper spacing is really up to you. Usually they are spaced 4-6 feet apart but that is not written in stone. If you have one over your sink and your stove is closer than the guideline, clearly it needs to be installed there anyway!
Instead of a pot light over your sink, you may opt for a pendant. Just make sure the wattage is high enough, for you have now made an ambient light a task light! Get it?

Under the counter lighting is also a plus to flood the area with light.

If you have an island in your kitchen you may need task AND ambient lighting. If you use the island for food prep you will need a brighter light than if your were just using it for dining. If you are using it for both, pot lights can be installed between the pendants. Pendant lights are usually 30-36 inches above the surface. The object is to not have them hanging right in your line of sight. The pot lights are the task lighting and the pendants are the ambient, in this case.

Both should be on dimmers. As a matter of fact, putting all lighting on dimmers is the way to go.

The only exception to that rule is a ceiling fan.

Ambient lighting is really the mood setter for any room. Lamps and sconces add personality and “eye candy” for an otherwise unadorned room. Individual lamps tell their own story and draw attention to themselves just the very fact that they are different. Match your mismatched lamps by choosing a similar color for the shades. However, there is no more balanced look than matching lamps on either side of a couch or sideboard! If your style happens to be eclectic, there really are no set rules (other than balance and scale!).

How about outdoor lighting? Simply match the mood of your interior to the exterior. That way, your guests will catch a glimpse of what is in store for them inside, whether it be modern, traditional or vintage.

There are many variables when it comes to lighting. For example, the size of the room, the paint color, the natural light by way of windows and doors. It can be quite a daunting task to find the right style and fixture (there are thousands of them, after all!) but it also can be quite an adventure! Unless you are in the middle of a building project you do not have to make all the choices at once. As your budget allows, and as you feel the need, make adjustments to your lighting as you see fit. Good luck and here’s to a brighter future, pun intended!


I now approach Hotel Street in Chinatown with anticipatory taste bud activity! Where should I venture? Will it be Pig and the Lady, Senia, Livestock Tavern or Fete? These are all some of my favorite places to dine and you will hear more about them in the future! This time I head straight toward Yakitori Hachibei. It has a sleek and elegant setting with only 15 seats at the counter. Their specialty is yakatori (grilled skewers of meat, fish and vegetables). I really enjoy the tsukene (minced chicken), shishido peppers and even chicken gizzards. The chicken and most other items are locally sourced. The views from the counter are great but it can get a little hot! It is fun to observe the grill crew at work headed by founding partner Katsunori Yashima. Yashima started a franchise in Japan that is now world wide with 11 branches. Managing partner Robert Yamazaki is an architect with an excellent eye for design. He demands stellar service from the front of the house.

Happy hour is from 5-6 pm and dinner is served from 5-10 pm, Tuesday thru Saturday. Reservations a must!
Parking is on the street or in one of the municipal lots nearby.
20 N. Hotel Street (808) 369.0088


Oct. 3……….Toronto Raptors vs. LA Clippers……….Stan Sheriff Center UH
Oct. 7……….15th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza……….Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Kailua
Oct. 7……….Windward Hoolaulea……….Windward Community College
Oct. 8……….Molokai Hoe……….Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon
Oct. 13-15……….Food & New Product Show……….Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
Oct. 14-15……….Harlem Globetrotters……….Neal Blasidell Center
Oct. 14 & 28……….Aloun Pumpkin Festival……….Aloun Farms, Kapolei
Oct. 21……….American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Walk……….Ke’ehi Lagoon Beach Park
Oct. 20-22……….Season’s Best Craft Fair……….Neal Blaisdell Center

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff