5 dumbest renovation fads

A remodeling trend may look good on paper, but it may not make your home more livable - or more valuable. These five alternatives from Money Magazine will.

Built-in lighting
What are you doing, selling jewelry?
Built-in lighting
Many homes built before World War II had almost no fixed lighting. The result was that as night fell, rooms became as dim as Paula Abdul at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting. The reaction to this was built-in lighting solutions that were anything but.

Here's what went wrong:

Recess Time Is Over It's true that recessing light fixtures into the ceiling can flood a room with light, but is that what you want in, say, a bedroom? Furthermore, the end result of such an installation is a pockmarked ceiling that looks like a meeting room at a convention center.

Tracks of My Tears Another response to darkened rooms has been track lighting, but it comes with its own set of problems: It creates a vaguely department-store vibe with its pseudo-high-tech fixtures, and those fixtures are often dangerously close to your head when dropped from many mid-century homes' seven-foot, six-inch ceilings.

Variety Is the Spice of Light Over-reliance on either of these options compounds their problems. A well-lit room has multiple sources of illumination (ambient, accent and task). Using one for all three means nothing is done well.

Great Room Craze Great rooms - the right way Kitchens on steroids Kitchens - the right way Gaudy garages Garages: The right way Porches in the wrong place Porches: The right way Built-in lighting Lighting: The right way
It's gut-check time in Miami and Las Vegas. Plus: See the few bright spots. (more)
Shoppers finally have the upper hand. Here's how to maximize that advantage. (more)
Both have had their day, but which contender is the superior long-term bet today? (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.