I am just entering the 13th year of living in this house. It's a rental and it's cheap, reasonably maintained and in a good neighborhood which is primarily why I stay here. Ok, cheap wins out on that. Really, I can't afford anywhere else.
Anyway, the lighting in my kitchen sucks. Every bulb in the house has been changed to those daylight bulbs and it's made a huge difference in every room. Except the kitchen. The lighting is so yellow that when I was cooking ground beef the other day, I had to use a flashlight on the meat to see if it was no longer pink. Oh yeah, we're talking horrible lighting here. Part of the problem is the ceiling fan, I think, because the bulb is just not powerful enough. I don't want to buy a new ceiling fan because I suspect the same problem would be there. A new glass shade might work, but finding one to fit the ancient fan might be a problem.
So T and I were at Ikea today buying a computer desk for his birthday gift (he's 16 - OMG!) and of course I was noticing lighting. As much as I hate potlights or spotlights, they do seem to really make a difference in lighting the areas. They even have these strip lights that fit under your cabinets to light up the countertops. A neat idea - but my cabinets are really close to the counter and go all the way up to the ceiling. Also, those lights get awfully hot and my house is old enough to be a tinderbox.
T did also get some of these spotlights for his bedroom and I was playing with them in the kitchen, just to see how much they illuminated. You know what I noticed? My kitchen is really dirty. Sad, but true. I plan on cleaning it, really I do, I've just been too tired lately. Anyway, S and I are going back to Ikea to buy some spotlights and see how hard the installation is. I've never done any electrical work, but it shouldn't be too hard. I don't know how to get the ceiling fan down, but I did notice screws on the side of the base unit so that's where I'll start. Then I'll buy some cleaning supplies.
The other improvement I've made to the house recently is furnace filters. Our furnace looks like it's original to the house and still has the ancient basket style filters which are a pain to change. I know you can buy little filters for your vents to stop dust from flying up into the air, but those never worked really well for me. What I was thinking was that we need filters for the air intake instead of the air output and you know what? Someone makes those! Yep, a company called Kevek makes neat air intake vents with filters inside that are easy to change. So yes, I bought two. One for the cold air return upstairs and one for the air intake at the base of the furnace. So far they work well.
Funny thing: the air intake at the base of the furnace is a long, rectangular pipe sticking out the side with a vent cover on the front. Someone remodeled the house at some point and put a wall (and by 'wall' I mean pressboard nailed to braces) about six inches in front of the air intake on the furnace. So the furnace was always sucking dead air. At some point Ex had his brother in law make an extended pipe so the vent was actually through the wall and the cover in front of the wall. When we bought these new vents and filters we had to bend the opening of the pipe a bit. Ok, hammered it into position so that the air wouldn't circulate around the vent. It looks like something my dad would have done: functional but not pretty. But whatever, it's the basement. Nobody goes down there :)