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Before and After

VELUX Daylight Renovation Sweepstakes winner profile: Rochester, NY, couple brightens kitchen with skylights

See how skylights brightened a deep kitchen, where this family spends a lot of time.

Man and woman standing under skylights in a kitchen

Ever since Jen and Ken Dickerson moved into a farmhouse dating back to the 1880s outside Rochester, NY, the couple has had a kitchen renovation on their to do list. The home was last renovated in the late 1990s, and the kitchen was spacious enough, but it was dark.

So, when Jen saw one of her favorite interior designers, Shavonda Gardner, promote the VELUX Daylight Renovation Sweepstakes on Instagram, she entered.

“I’ve followed Shavonda for a long time; I love what she does and I feel like her projects are attainable for normal people,” Jen said. “When I saw the sweeps in her stories, I said, ‘I want that.’”

“And she texted me to enter, too,” said Ken, Jen’s husband, whose entry was selected at random for the grand prize: two VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights with solar blinds and installation.

“I’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen,” said Jen.

“And this is probably the first domino to fall,” Ken replied.

Below: the kitchen before adding skylights.

Kitchen before renovation wood floor beams

The kitchen’s rustic English farmhouse decor includes blonde wood floors, wood ceiling beams and cast iron door hardware. Previous owners had expanded the kitchen outward to encompass a porch, so the room includes varying ceiling heights with its interior at the home’s center and far from any windows.

Adding two skylights completely transformed the space where the family of four — Jen, Ken and their two daughters ages 9 and 12 — spend most of their time.

“We spend 90 percent of our time right where the skylights are, so before they were installed, it was dark or we had harsh LEDs on,” Jen said. “To be able to have extra natural light is so great.”

“And our girls love to watch the rain through the skylights,” Ken added.

Skylights brighten kitchen wood floor

VELUX 5-Star Skylight Specialist Fitch Construction installed the skylights over the course of a week in September. The couple opted for room darkening skylight blinds because a loft that overlooks the kitchen space is where the family watches TV, and closing the blinds will let them eliminate glare on the screen.

Skylghts over kitchen seen from loft above

“When we close them it’s a reminder of what it used to look like,” Ken said. “It’s a good before-after.”

Jen, a freelance jewelry designer who Instagrams as @circleandstone, interrupted her feed of rings, necklaces and earrings to post photos showing the skylight blinds open and closed.

“I don’t know how many times i’ve taken photos of the way the light changes throughout the day,” Jen said.

The couple had skylights in their previous house and Ken’s parents’ home has four.

“I grew up in a house with skylights and always loved the light they created and how it changed depending on the time of day,” he said. “Adding them to our current home has been on the wish list for a while.”

Do you have a dark space in your home that's perennially been on your to-do list? Take from to-do to ta-da by adding skylights. Schedule a virtual consultation with a VELUX Daylight Designer today to find out how.

Next: 10 Reasons to add skylights to your home in 2023

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