Lighten up your dark kitchen with these 12 tricks

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Viking Appliance Award Winning Kitchen, Main Line Kitchen Design Main Line Kitchen Design Kitchen Quartz
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In the perfect world, we’d all have spacious homes with the perfect amount of light, colors, furnishings, etc. In the real world, however, things look different, yet that doesn’t mean we don’t have the power to change things for the better.

Like discovering these easy and unique ways of lighting up a gloomy kitchen

1. Lose those busy patterns

The eye automatically travels throughout a space as soon as we enter it. And if there’s a busy countertop or intricate mosaic backsplash somewhere, the eye will stop there. 

So, although there’s nothing wrong with having a focal point in your kitchen, rather opt for something streamlined that’s not overly ornate. 

2. Use what natural light you have

Natural light increases visual spaciousness. Thus, don’t block your dark kitchen with window treatment. Allow as much natural light to pour in as possible (but don’t overlook the need for privacy). 

3. Give your cabinets a white makeover

White walls, -cabinetry, -countertops, and -floors all have the power to transform a dark kitchen with a brightening effect. Especially cabinets and counters, as they make up the bulk of the space. 

4. Opt for under-cabinet lighting

Creative lighting solutions can help you show of your divine backsplash or amazing countertops. And even better if you have reflective tile in your kitchen, as that will help spread the light around even more. 

And remember: once you go LED, you never go back. 

5. Install better bulbs

Speaking of lights, did you know professional chefs recommend that kitchen lighting fixtures be fitted with 80 or 100-watt bulbs? Who knew that adding more light to a dark room could be as easy as changing the bulbs? 

6. Choose metallic accent pieces

Thanks to steel or metallic finishes (like appliances and/or countertops) that reflect light, your dark kitchen will look and feel much lighter. 

7. Expand your cooking space

If there was a way to tear down a wall or two and have the light of the adjoining room spread into your dark kitchen, would you? How about just adding a ‘window’ to an interior wall, which is also a great option for load-bearing walls?

Obviously this design tip is of the more strenuous kind that may be above many DIYers’ skill set, which is why we’ll leave our construction/design professionals’ contact details right here

8. Remember overhead lighting

It’s all about layered lighting, which is why you need a proper overhead fixture to evenly spread some light around and help take some of the workload off your wall sconces, table lamp, pendants, or whatever other lighting fixtures you have in your cooking space. 

9. Add color that pops

Whether it’s in the form of a backsplash, a vase, or just new upholstered stools for your breakfast bar, bright colors can lift the overall vibe of a (dark) space. If you’re unsure about color palettes, maybe see what décor colors are happening in the next room for some visual consistency. 

10. Open shelving

Open shelving allows walls to breathe, but that also puts the onus on you to clear your space of anything that can contribute to clutter. So, feel free to display a few cookbooks, ceramics and what not on your open shelving, but ensure the majority of goodies are still stored behind closed cabinet doors. 

11. Rethink your floor

Dingy, dark, non-light reflective floor surfaces are what you should be staying away from. Consider changing both the color and material of your floors to ditch that gloomy vibe. Although costly, marble is a great option for both floors and countertops as it’s the perfect light reflector. Light oak flooring can also put the light (and style) back in your kitchen, as well as stone, porcelain, and ceramic tiles. 

12. Treat yourself in 2021

Maybe what you truly need is a decent kitchen remodel to go from dark and dingy to bright and brilliant. This way, you have the advantage of working with a professional, maybe a Kitchen Planner, to ensure all touches to your new kitchen (from recessed lights to light-reflecting flooring) come from years and years of experience.

Next up: 8 ideas for arranging furniture on small patios

How will you be treating your kitchen to more light (and style) in 2021?

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