The kitchen is the heart of a household as this is where the whole family comes together for meals. A dimly lit kitchen or one that is too gloomy can ruin the entire vibe of the kitchen and take away from the joy of family meals.
Darkness combined with the clanging of pots and pans, the whistling of the electric kettle, and the chatter of hungry family members is not the best combination.
Brightening up the kitchen can instantly uplift the mood and vibe of the room and should therefore be the goal of every homeowner. If you have made the mistake of not focusing on designing your kitchen better when building your house, here are some ways that you can brighten up your existing gloomy kitchen:
Big Changes on a Big Budget
The best way to add brightness to your kitchen or any room in the house is by bringing in natural light from the sun. If you have the budget to make big changes, then you must hire a contractor and see how you can incorporate natural light into your small and dark kitchen. You may also invest in a new flooring in the kitchen to add a brighter and more open look to your kitchen.
If you have dark-colored floors in your kitchen, they make it look smaller and gloomier. If you can replace them, go for white ceramic or porcelain tiles. They are ideal for kitchen floors as they are excellent for wear and tear and are highly durable. They are easy to clean and are inexpensive as well. White ceramic tiles will instantly brighten up your kitchen, making it look bigger, cleaner, and brighter. Light reflects off shiny white surfaces, making them appear bigger and brighter.
Kitchens need water proof, durable floors that are easy to clean as they are the most roughly used rooms in the house. They are subject to spills, pets, chairs dragged across the floors, and so much traffic throughout the day; therefore, they must be wear resistant and light-colored for the ideal finish in the kitchen.
Other great options for kitchen floors are:
- Natural stone
Create A Window Or A Skylight
Choose an exterior wall that gets the most sunlight, and speak to your contractor about creating a window or two in this wall. Nothing brightens up a room better than the addition of windows allowing natural light to pour into your room. Skip any curtains or blinds and add clear glass to the windows to flush your room with gorgeous sunshine.
If there is no window space, ask your contractor if it is possible to cut open a skylight in the kitchen to allow light from above. There is no replacement for natural light, so you must try bringing natural light into the room as best as possible.
Budgeted Changes To Brighten Up Your Kitchen
If you don’t have the budget to bring in big changes, then there are simpler and more cost-effective ways to incorporate more light into your kitchen, making it appear brighter and larger. You can choose one or more of the following methods to make your kitchen look brighter.
Add Bright Lights
Bright lights are the obvious and easiest solution to instantly brighten your kitchen. Replace existing bulbs with higher voltage ones and look for more places where you can add lighting around the kitchen. If you have a kitchen island, then hand a pendant light on top. This is the only light you would need to turn on while working rather than turning on too many lights that are useless in the room. A pendant light shines right above the countertop and is ideal for working in the kitchen.
Hang A Mirror
Handing a mirror is a cheap and quick solution to give the illusion of a bigger, brighter and more open space. Mirrors reflect light; therefore, they make rooms appear brighter as well as larger.
Choose Reflective Materials
Just as mirrors create the illusion of brighter and larger spaces, reflective surfaces such as the following can help make the kitchen look brighter and more open as well. These include:
Metallic backsplashes are making a comeback. They are reflective; hence they reflect light within the kitchen, adding more brightness. They are also easy to clean and do not look dirty as lighter-colored ones would. Metallic backsplashes are heat resistant and durable and will last you a long time. Copper and brass finished backsplashes may also be used for a warmer finish if you prefer. These are great as copper is known to have antimicrobial properties as well.
Some people choose mirrored backsplashes to enhance small and dark kitchens to make the space look brighter, but these need regular polishing and maintenance.
Glossy floors reflect light and have an appealing mirror-like sheen. They reflect light all around the room, making it appear brighter and lighter. They are easy to clean and are the ideal choice for smaller kitchens that you are trying to improve the appearance of. They help make the kitchen appear bigger and brighter.
High Gloss Paint
A high gloss finish can be painted over cabinets to make your cabinets look sleek and shiny. You may even paint over your cabinets yourself rather than hiring a professional to do it. Glossy paint gives a shiny quality to the cabinets and surfaces it is used over and reflects light all around the room resulting in the kitchen looking immediately bigger and brighter. This is ideal for use in small and dark kitchens.
Stainless Steel Appliances
Use stainless steel appliances as they are reflective and allow more light to bounce off them, making the kitchen look brighter. Electric kettles, refrigerators, stand mixers, and coffee machines in a stainless steel exterior make kitchens look modern and brighter. When buying kitchen appliances, choose the ones with stainless steel bodies to achieve this effect.
Add Pendant Lights
As mentioned above, pendant lights that hang right above kitchen islands or floating countertops can provide direct and ideal lighting required for preparing meals. If your kitchen has little or no natural light entering the room during the day, then you need to invest in the right kind of lighting at the right points. Lights overhead the work counter is essential to work in the kitchen as you need to be able to see the colors and hues of the meals you are preparing.
Install Under Cabinet Lights
Under cabinet lights make a huge difference to the appearance of the kitchen. Overhead cabinets create shadows and cause the counters below to look dark and gloomy. Adding under cabinet lighting help in better meal preparations as well as improved aesthetics of the kitchen.
Within the cabinet, lighting is very important as well as making glass doors of the cabinet. This makes the cabinet space look more open and bright and allows you to see everything inside rather than having to open the cabinets.
Add Lights To Corners
Brighten up those neglected corners to add more light to the room. This will make your space look bigger and brighter. Avoid getting fancy lights that grab attention. These would draw too much focus on the light fixtures and may have the opposite effect of making the room look smaller. Simple and minimal, yet functional, is always the best way to go.
White Wash The Walls
Nothing brightens up a room more than a fresh coat of white paint. Whitewashing the walls of your kitchen will instantly brighter up the room, making it look larger and more open. If your kitchen has dark-colored walls or darker one wall, go for light and bright shades and get a paint job done. This will instantly brighten up your kitchen and get rid of the gloominess and darkness.
You can even choose between light colors such as pastel blues, greens, beiges, and shades of peach to make the kitchen look bright and elegant.
Paint Over Your Cabinets And Make Them White
Do not forget the cabinets if you choose to whitewash the walls. If your cabinets are wooden and old, say goodbye to them and invest in a change in cabinetry. Choose lighter colors such as white, light green, light blues, or beige. Not only will this add elegance to your kitchen, but it will also give the illusion of a larger, cleaner, and brighter kitchen. Glossy finish paint will reflect your cabinets, making your kitchen appear shinier and cleaner. Who doesn’t want to eat meals that are prepared in a spotless and hygienic-looking kitchen?
Choose One Sink Instead Of Two
Kitchen sinks aren’t usually the most aesthetically pleasing units in a kitchen. If your kitchen is already small, then installing only one sink instead of two is best. The more kitchen sinks there are, the more chances it will be piled with dirty dishes at all times. Invest in a good and sleek dishwasher instead.
Declutter Your Kitchen
A de-cluttered kitchen looks instantly bigger and brighter. If there are dirty dishes piling up in your sink, it will not only look unpleasant but will also make your kitchen smaller than it already is. If you have kitchen appliances such as stand mixers, coffee machines, blenders, and food processors sitting on your countertops, they will also make your kitchen space look smaller and reduce working space on the counters. They will block out light and make an already dark kitchen look even more gloomy.
You should put away the appliances you don’t use every day to make more space on your counters and make your kitchen look less messy and cluttered.
Add A Colorful Painting
Adding a fun painting can add character and charm to your kitchen. It can help bring a pop of color to the room and give it a personal touch. You may add something your child has made or a picture that you love. You may even place a painted vase or a potted plant to add some color to the room.
Install See-Through Elements
See-through elements help make the kitchen look less busy and more open. Invest in furniture that is not too bulky and is clear plastic or made of glass. These include backless bar stools or chairs that have transparent backrests. These make a big difference in the kitchen and allow light to pass through, giving the illusion of a bigger and more open space.
Use clear pendant lights made out of glass to allow light to pass through. Darker colored or matt finished lights would make the room smaller and busier. If you have a closed kitchen, it helps to change the door to a sliding glass door to allow more light in, give it a more expansive look and reduce crowding due to a door opening into the kitchen.
Open Shelves Make Spaces Look Larger
Opt for open shelves rather than cabinets all around. This allows the space to look less busy and closed. When you have a small and dull kitchen, then it needs to look as open and minimalistic as possible. Overcrowding it with cabinets and appliances on countertops will make an already small kitchen look even smaller.
The Bottom Line
If you have a small kitchen with no windows, it is bound to look gloomy and depressing. Incorporating natural light into your kitchen is the best way to brighten it, but if that is not an option, then there are other ways to enhance the room and make it look bigger and brighter. Brighter kitchens look cleaner and livelier and encourage family members to spend more time eating meals together and preparing snacks. If you hate being in the kitchen, then you would hate preparing meals in here too. Brighten up your kitchen and experience the change for yourself! Contact Modern Kitchen Center today to help with your kitchen remodel.