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Easy and cost-effective ways to refresh …. a dark kitchen

The kitchen is the central hub of most homes and the one room where we spend a lot of time. Mornings and evenings, when there is a lack of natural light, are times when the kitchen can feel particularly dark. But all is not lost. There are many ways to lighten up a dark room … and the kitchen is no exception.

If money is no object, then the addition of a conservatory or a sunroom will really open your kitchen giving you more space and plenty of extra light. A glass atrium or partial glass atrium, replacing a portion of the ceiling with glass, will also achieve the same effect. Skylights are also a good way of allowing natural light into the room – they are easy to install and won’t waste valuable wall space – and glass folding or sliding doors will create a feeling of spaciousness with a seamless flow between inside and out – even the darkest of kitchens can be made lighter and brighter if an exterior wall is replaced with glass doors.

However, rest assured there are many other non-structural cost-effective ways to give the kitchen the illusion of more light and many of these are also easy to achieve.

Using colour is a great way of adding light and space to your kitchen, whether on the walls, units or through use of accessories. Choose light wood units such as beech or birch or even consider painting wooden units a light, sunny colour. A lick of paint can work wonders for refreshing and brightening up a darker kitchen.

Choose paler, warmer shades for walls to create a bright and airy atmosphere or paint a feature wall that is bold and bright. Why not paint the walls white, off-white or cream and invest in colourful appliances such as kettle, toaster, and fridge, or even buy textiles such as oven gloves, tea towels and cushions, to add a pop of colour throughout the room. A stunning bright glass splashback can make a statement whilst adding colour and giving the illusion of light, and, with its self-adhesive backing, is also easy to install.

To maximise the feeling of space, choose glossy finishes where possible and consider reflective surfaces. A wonderful way of reflecting light around a space is to incorporate metallic finishes, especially if you want to add a more modern and contemporary touch to your kitchen design. This could be in the form of accessories, furniture, or a kitchen splashback. Floor lighting along kickboards can also add drama, throwing light upwards making ceilings appear higher.

Another simple way of brightening up a room is to change the lightbulbs that you have been using. There are many different varieties on the market, many of which are energy saving, that can instantly transform your kitchen from being dark to one that is lighter and airier. Install a clamp lamp in dark corners, check that light bulbs are a minimum of 80 watts, install puck lights, LED light bars or fluorescent light bars to the underside of cabinets.

Finally, mirrors are excellent for giving the illusion of more light and space, with their reflective qualities capable of opening a room. Keep it simple with a non-decorative frame or go for something a little more extravagant. Consider using a collection of smaller mirrors to create a focal point for one of your walls or one huge mirror to make the room feel much larger.

10th Apr 2023