When we bought our house, the lighting in the kitchen and dining area left much to be desired. There was an ugly, dim overhead light in the kitchen and a weirdly placed ceiling fan in dining area–but not over the dining table, at all. It just sort of randomly floated out in the middle of the room. Weird. These pictures are really bad, but you can kind of see what I mean:
Soon after move-in, we took down both of these fixtures and put up some cheap Ikea lights which made the space look nicer. I don't think I have any pictures of these...
I've always wanted to have two pendants over the counter and to move the dining area light over the dining table. So, once we decided to move forward with the kitchen, I started looking for an electrician. I wanted to get the electrical work done first so it would be paid for and finished before we got into the other big expenditures, namely countertops and tile. I joined Angie's List for a great price, and I was able to find an affordable and friendly company called Wall's Electrical. They added fixture boxes for the pendant lights, moved the light over the dining table, added two recessed lights in the kitchen, and even put a light over my sink. Here you can see the placeholder pendants and the two recessed lights. And here I am painting cabinets again... SO.GLAD.THAT'S.DONE.
The electricians also replaced all of my old almond colored kitchen outlets with bright white and added a dimmer for the pendants. I think it was under $1000 for all of that, so we were pretty happy. It does seem like a bummer to spend that much on stupid lights, but in the end, lighting really does make a room, so I think it was worth it.
Here is the old Ikea light fixture moved over to a new light box which is now centered over the dining area. The hole was cut so the light could be moved, and the white plate is covering the old light box. Once we get the new light, the old Ikea light will go bye-bye and I will patch the hole.