Home decor Home Improvement Kitchen

The Kitchen Nook’s Big Lighting Secret

Outdoor lights are brought indoors for the kitchen nook refresh | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

This time last year, I was knee-deep in a kitchen nook refresh.

It took the entire month of April….and then some.   When all was said and done, a total of seven different DIY projects, that included building, painting, sewing, furniture refinishing, and lighting, were posted.  Oh yes, there truly was something for everyone.

Just in case you are new to these parts and haven’t seen the ugly “before”……brace yourself….because this outdated space surely did put the “home” in homely.

It all started here, in this cramped little nook just off to the side of the kitchen. I don’t think there was one square inch of space that wasn’t long overdue for a redo.

But now, it’s all brand spanking new….right down to the weather-stripping on the windows.  🙂

Yea…I’m completely stoked about the weather stripping!  *Energy Savings*

And, all of the work was totally completed by Yours Truly.  *Taking a Bow…..and Smiling*  🙂

Kitchen nook refresh and reveal | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com


First, the bay window walls received a no-miter, no-nail board and batten.  That’s right.  I simply cut the pieces with a $10 box saw and glued them to the wall.

Link to the full tutorial here.

Board and batten that did not require special tools, mitering, or nails was added to the kitchen nook walls | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com


Then I made floor-length draperies from panels that were purchased at Target.  To make it super-easy….. sew, semi-sew, and no-sew versions are explained in the tutorial.

Link to the full tutorial here.

Custom draperies are made from ready made panels | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com


After the draperies were hung, an old TV cabinet was divided half, refinished, and installed as a kitchen cabinet.

How to refinish the TV cabinet link to the full tutorial here.

TV cabinet makeover and reinvented as a kitchen cabinet | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com


This post is not specifically about the kitchen nook, but is helpful should you like to install furniture as a cabinet anywhere in the kitchen.

10 Tips for Installing Furniture as a Kitchen Cabinet link to the full tutorial here.

10 Must Know Tips for Installing Furniture as Kitchen Cabinets | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com


After a few months of looking for the perfect kind of open shelving to install over the blue chest, I finally gave up and built a unit to fit the space.

Link to the full tutorial here.

A vintage-style plate rack adds light, life, and color | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com


Whew!  Here we are!  Finally…..to the lights.  First, fixtures that had been used as outdoor porch lights were brought indoors.

Outdoor lights are brought indoors for the kitchen nook refresh | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Now that the nook is complete, I can admit that I’m glad I was working on a budget; otherwise, I might have missed this fun little lighting updo.

What happened?

First, let me explain why almost all traditional lighting options were abandoned.  Yep, all of them.  Dimmer switches, sconces, and overhead chandeliers.  Only a canned light was left in the overhead ceiling.  


I did this for two reasons:  (1)  Budget – Buying light fixtures and having them installed is a total budget buster.  And, (2)  this area needed to be opened up to make it look bigger and brighter.   Having light fixtures would have stolen the overhead visual space.  Boo!

Soooooo, to give the impression of traditional lighting, but without the cost or loss of visual space, I installed these reclaimed fixtures on both sides of the bay.


They were leftovers from an outdoors redo and had been collecting dust in the garage for many, many years.  The fact that they were the perfect size and color was totally amazing!

So, I scrubbed off the dirt, taped the wires into the fixture, and screwed the fixture into the wall……just like it was a picture or any other accessory. If I ever want these little beauties hardwired, all I have to do is call an electrician to come on over and hook’em up. Easy peasy.


In the meantime, to illuminate the space and create visual interest in the evening, I bought two packages of battery-operated LED lights.


Each package contains three lights. They are small, lightweight, and give off a boatload of light. Simply install the batteries and push the center to activate the light. It looks just like a lighted hockey puck.  I kid you not.

For the eat-in area, two lights were placed on the right and left window sills at midlevel.  These were pointing up. Then, one light was attached under the table…..pointing down.

Easy and inexpensive LED lights add interest and ambience | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Honestly, I’ve had these lights all over the area……under the chairs, inside the glass vase, on the floor, on the ceiling pointing down…..and with every change, the room looks totally different.

Think outside the light box for easy, portable, and inexpensive lighting | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

I have to say that am really looking forward to the next dinner party.  I may put the food on risers and pop some of these lights underneath.  And….don’t get me started on the holidays. Yea, these lights are just that much fun.

LED lights add a special effect in this small kitchen nook | The Chelsea project | www.thechelseaproject.com

So now that I’ve spilled my big little lighting secret, it’s your turn.  Where would you use these little lights?

You know I’d just loooove a note about your ideas in the comment section (below).. 🙂

And, of course, pins for your friends…..  

Accent Lighting | Easy Portable Inexpensive | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

As always, thanks so much for stopping by.  It is such a joy to share projects with you.




  • Reply 1915house April 4, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Oh my goodness- this is a completely brilliant Idea Susie!!! Super love this!!!! I’m envisioning this on my porches and in a couple hard to light spaces!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 4, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Yes… And I haven’t tried this yet…but it might brighten dark corners. For photos. Wish I had thought about it earlier…when I was struggling with a couple of really dark areas in the house. I’m going to try it though.

  • Reply Jodie Blackwell April 5, 2016 at 1:04 am

    An idea that desperately needs developing is putting a breakfast nook under a queen-sized staircase loft-bed for studio apartments!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Yes, indeed. That sound like the perfect place for a nook.

  • Reply Kris Craig April 6, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I love this idea! That kitchen nook is adorable.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 6, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Kris. We certainly have enjoyed it….and the lights, too. 🙂

  • Reply Nitu April 7, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Really nice idea… yesterday reading article

    really helpful for visitor

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 7, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Thanks so much for visiting.

  • Reply michelle james April 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    This is so nice. I love that you just hung the fixtures and then placed the LED’s. Very clever girl….you are! Thanks for sharing your secret! I am going to share it with others.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. Yes…sometimes we just need to think outside the box. XO

  • Reply How I Saved $800 on Bay Window Drapery Hardware – The Chelsea Project April 13, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    […] Fun lights for nightime showcase the woodwork.  The lamplights on either side also have a little secret (details here). […]

  • Reply taylorlisa43 April 15, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Such a great idea Susie! Well done!!!!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 15, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Lisa!! Appreciate seeing your sweet face on my comment feed. And, yes….this lighting method is working out very well…for now.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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