One of the most important and yet overlooked aspects in home design is your lighting. Get it right and the atmosphere is perfect for whatever life throws at us – the perfect dinner party, an evening preparing mid-week meals with the family, a celebration with friends, late evening homework with the kids or a quiet evening with the other half. It’s the backdrop for our lives, shining a literal light on whatever it is we do and whether we need that lighting to work hard for us in the moment (chopping onions whilst our eyes are streaming) or to add the wow factor to our design (floor lights, anyone?), it’s important to pay attention to this aspect of design when planning our kitchen project.
There are so many ways to incorporate great lighting into our kitchens and my post today will share just a few ideas to make your kitchen really shine and create a space that looks as good as it functions.
Under Cabinet Lighting
When preparing meals, you don’t want your upper cupboards blocking the light above you which is why under cabinet lighting makes perfect sense. Allowing you to see what you are doing especially when using sharp implements means there is a practicality and safety aspect to installing these. They also look great in the evenings if you don’t need to have the main lights on but still want to be able to find your way to the fridge for a late-night snack.
While overhead lighting will certainly work well for the main area of the kitchen, wall lights can also direct light to certain areas you may need that additional illumination. They add a stylish element as well, allowing you to choose from a range of finishes that tie in your hardware, creating a cohesive design.
Breakfast Bar Lighting
As the kitchen is normally the hub of the house, we all know more takes place in this room than just meal prep. If you’re planning for a breakfast bar in your kitchen for quick meals or somewhere the kids can do their homework or just to browse the web, lighting this area makes sense. It also visually highlights the feature, making it a statement in the space, no matter what the size. Using a series of two or three lights in this area that are scaled to the size looks great too.
Similar to a breakfast bar, an island in the kitchen can make practical sense, visually separating the kitchen area in an open plan space and providing additional work surfaces and storage. Why not highlight the feature with a series of lights here? Choose wow-factor fixtures that compliment the other lighting in the space for statement style.
Every room needs general lighting and the kitchen is no different. Whether you decide on a single hanging pendant for a smaller space or choose to incorporate some recessed lighting for an overall glow, your main lighting will illuminate everything, making it easy to see the whole room in one quick flick of a switch.
Over Sink Lighting
Similar to task lighting under the kitchen cabinets, doing the washing up will always be more pleasant when you can see what it is you are washing! This is another opportunity to go beyond just practicalities by using a pendant that highlights your kitchen design by using a smaller fixture that ties in well with the overall look and style of your design.
Even the smallest kitchen can use a little lighting love. Here, practical directional lights can be moved to highlight different areas of the kitchen design, creating a lighting solution that blends well with the all-white scheme.
Of course, every kitchen will have some form of natural lighting by way of windows or if you are lucky, skylights. Take advantage of that natural light by using only minimal window coverings. Any heavy fabrics will attract dust or grease in the kitchen so it’s best to go with simple options that are easy to clean like blinds or shutters. If you are concerned with privacy, a simple window film will also do the trick.
For the ultimate in contemporary design, using floor lights under the bottom cupboards will highlight those gorgeous floor tiles you just installed. While it can look beautiful in the evenings and add a real wow factor, this is really best left for those who need to have a spotless kitchen at all times!
So those are just a few ways you can light up your kitchen! Using a combination of the lighting ideas above will mean your kitchen not only looks great but creates the perfect atmosphere no matter what you use your kitchen for. How many different lighting sources do you have in your kitchen?
- Under cabinet lighting: Rambling Renovators
- Kitchen Wall Lights: Studio McGee
- breakfast bar lighting: Alexandra Fedorova via Freshome
- kitchen island lighting: Katie Kim via Domino
- kitchen overhead lighting: Apartment Therapy
- over sink lighting: H2 Design + Build via My Domaine
- directional lighting in the kitchen: Innerstads Specialisten
- natural lighting in the kitchen: Sarah Sherman Samuel
- Floor lighting in the kitchen: Photo by Martin Philbey - The Block in Melbourne - via Style Curator