• How to Brighten Up Your Kitchen

  • In a recent study conducted by Marvin which surveyed 1,000 homeowners and industry professionals across the country, 70% of homeowners and 80% of trade professionals say natural light is a key contributor to overall well-being in the home. Natural light puts people in a positive mood and improves the overall look of a home, making it highly desired by those in the market for a new house. 

    But the reality is, not all rooms, in this case kitchens, are built with natural light in mind. Designers and homeowners alike will have to get creative and work around this shortcoming by using tricks that will either help bring more light in or to compensate for the lack of light. Read on for some ideas on how you can brighten up your kitchen and use these tips in your kitchen renovation project! 

    It Starts With Cabinets 

    Kitchen cabinets have a huge influence on the overall look of your kitchen. So, add a ray of sunshine to your kitchen by choosing white or light wood cabinets! White is still the most popular cabinet color, while light wood is trending and growing in popularity.  

    Lighten the look up even more with glass cabinet doors. Glass doors glisten under lights and magically make a space brighter and more open, provided its contents are pleasing to the eye. Furthermore, adding accent or LED lights in the cabinets is a relatively affordable way to illuminate kitchens with little natural light.

    Up, Down, and All Around  

    We’re talking about your walls and flooring. Light paint colors reflect light and make the entire room appear bigger and brighter even without the presence of a window. If your kitchen has a window then it will allow even more light to bounce off the surface.  

    With this in mind, it may be tempting to paint your kitchen the lightest, starkest white you can find. However, before you do that, you should consider the direction your kitchen faces in your home. South-facing kitchens naturally get tons of warm daylight, so you are more flexible in terms of paint color. But if your kitchen is north-facing, then you should refrain from using a stark white because it could appear cold and sterile when the blue-greyish natural light casts upon it. We recommend using an ivory or light-colored paint with warm undertones. That way, when mixed with the cool natural light, it will create a neutral-toned shade that will make your kitchen more inviting.  

    East- and west-facing kitchens are more dynamic in terms of light exposure. As you’ll remember, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. East-facing kitchens receive the warmest and most pleasing light in the morning, while west-facing kitchens get the most light in the afternoon and are at their warmest just before the sun goes down. Kylie M. Interiors gives us amazing tips on how to choose paint color and use interior lighting for east-facing and west-facing rooms depending on the time of day you are in the room most.  

    The same rule holds true for your flooring. In terms of wood or imitation wood, north-facing kitchens will look better with a light, warm wood as opposed to wood with a grey wash or a dark wood.  

    Cue the Lights  

    Most homes are not built with decorative lighting above the kitchen island or peninsula. This is usually a custom or upgraded feature added by the designer or homeowner—and it’s a decision that makes a lot of impact. While kitchens with lots of warm natural light benefit from making colors appear livelier and more saturated, kitchens that lack natural light will need to rely on artificial lighting to create more visual interest. 

    Harness the Power of Mirrors 

    You may be familiar with the fact that mirrors create the illusion of a larger space because of the way they reflect everything in the room, thereby doubling its size. But did you know they also make the room appear brighter? What you may not have seen very much are mirrors used in kitchens. But with the trend of no upper cabinets in effect, interior designers are thinking about interesting ways to use the space, such as hanging a large mirror. For those who don’t want to sacrifice their uppers, you can opt for a mirrored backsplash or even mirrored pendant lights.  

    Take a look at how Christina from the DIY Mommy ingeniously uses mirrors to simulate a window and the eclectic mirrored mosaic tile backsplash below! 

    Bring the Outside In 

    This may be obvious, but adding a window or enlarging your existing window will welcome more natural light. We’ve seen windows and sliding doors enlarged in dining areas adjacent to kitchens. Large multi-slide or pocket doors that blend in the indoor and outdoor space is currently a sought-after feature of homes.  

    We’ve also seen windows added directly into the kitchen, which does often means removing some upper cabinets to make room. Whether this is right for you is something to think about. We’ve come across custom open shelving added in front of the windows in some kitchen designs. This way, there will still be natural light, but you’ll have some storage space as well.  

    Pearless Faucet

    Add Skylights 

    This idea might appeal to those who still want to welcome in more natural light, but do not want to lose cabinet space by adding a window. It’s much easier and less costly to add a skylight in single-story homes or in kitchens with no additional floors above it. However, all hope is not lost in two-story homes. Two-story homes can still install solar tubes or sun tunnels to funnel light from the roof through the upper floor and into the kitchen. However, the drawback of solar tubes is that you’ll have to sacrifice some space in the upper floors at the location where the apparatus will sit. Additionally, a wall will likely be built around the tube for support and aesthetics.  

    We love how the Knickerbocker Group created the look of a glass ceiling with the use of skylights and how solar tubes bring light into an otherwise dark kitchen.  

    Let’s Resolve Your Kitchen Woes 

    Does your kitchen look drab and gloomy? Dreaming of greeting the day in a light-filled kitchen? We can help with that. Contact us or get a free estimate to get started!  

    Featured Image Credit: Houzz via Eclectic Creative