We also got the fireplace mantle installed. It is made from part of the big black walnut tree that used to be in our backyard. A neighbor cut it to size, and we used some of W's dad's tools to sand it and cut the braces. I love that we have a piece of the tree. An added bonus is that the mantle was completely free (aside from the loaf of bread I baked for our neighbor).
Finally the lighting question. We decided to put a couple of pendant lights above the kitchen sink. We just need to choose a height. The pictures below show the two options.
Which do you prefer? The short on the left? The long on the right? Post a comment and let me know!