How to make a kitchen lighter – clever ways to brighten your room

1. Pay Attention To The Countertop

Kitchen countertop ideas can play a major part in making a kitchen lighter. ‘Bring in a light colored countertop such as a white countertop with faint marble-like veins that add intrigue, or larger veins that make the countertop a piece of art,’ says William Durrant, owner of Herringbone Kitchens.

2. Work With White

They may be the obvious solution, but white kitchen ideas are no less valuable for that. The potential downside of making a kitchen lighter with white is that it can produce a stark result, but there are ways to ensure this doesn’t happen.

3. Consider Cabinet Height

In designing a kitchen that doesn’t enjoy good light for one reason or another, the height of cabinets is important. ‘Don't opt for too many tall or full height cabinets in a dark room as it can crowd the space and make it feel smaller and darker,’ says Tom Edmonds, design director at Lewis Alderson.

4. Plan Layers Of Lighting

A new kitchen offers the opportunity to plan the lighting layers a room that’s used for a variety of functions needs. Small kitchen lighting ideas are also crucial to make the compact space feel as large as possible.

5. Rethink Window Treatments

Boost the natural light a room receives by opting for window treatments that allow daylight in. Kitchen curtain ideas create an elegant finish, but it’s vital that they should expose all of the glass when they’re open to make the space lighter.

6. Think Alternatives For Bringing In Natural Light

Extra daylight will make a kitchen lighter, and there may be ways to boost it with roof lighting. Richard Davonport, managing director, Davonport creates kitchens for unusual properties such as barn conversions and says, ‘It’s common to see homeowners incorporate skylights into the roof as well as sun tubes or tunnels that collect sunlight and diffuse it evenly around the room.‘

7. Make It Shine

Selecting light kitchen cabinet colors is one way to make a kitchen lighter but there are alternatives to pale neutral shades when it comes to multiplying the light. ‘Add lustrous, reflective surfaces such as glass windows within certain cabinets, luxe polished stones, gleaming metallics or glossy composites,’ suggests Mowlem & Co’s Julia Brown. ‘Add lighting to any alcoves and details such as glass pendant lamps can also enhance the effect.’

8. Paint Wood Cabinets

If you aren’t remodeling the room from top to bottom, check out painted kitchen ideas and transform the room with a new color for cabinets. ‘An easy way to introduce brightness to the room is by painting wooden features, as wood absorbs light,’ says Charlotte Radford, senior product manager at Valspar ‘Using shades with a white base, such as orange and yellow tones like our Buttered Crumpet helps emulate natural light.’

9. Design With Two Cabinet Colors

Perhaps counterintuitively, using dark cabinets is possible, and means you can make a kitchen lighter while still embracing the trend for two tone kitchens – using more than one color in a kitchen. ‘Base cabinets do not need to be light colored,’ says Tom Edmonds at Lewis Alderson. ‘A darker colored base cabinet will give contrast, especially to an island and a pale countertop above dark cabinets will provide enough of an illusion of light.’

10. Lighten Selected Areas

If the cost to paint kitchen cabinets exceeds the budget, lightening other areas can still deliver a brighter room. ‘Consider using glossy tiles for backsplashes, painting a streak of color underneath islands and accent lighting underneath wall-hung cabinets – they will all make a difference,’ says Chris Dance, head designer and director at InHouse Inspired Room Design.

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