My parents used to have a fluorescent light box in their kitchen that looked a lot like this one
(image from google)But my clever and handy mom and dad pulled down the box, moved the fluorescent bulbs to the perimeter of the inset box, added some crown moulding to mask the long bulbs, and hung a chandelier in the old wiring in the center.
It's nice and bright (which is great since there are no windows in my parents' kitchen), and it makes the room feel taller without the drop.
PS Today on Babble I'm talking about our vacuum cleaner situation, present and future. Input is kindly requested!