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
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