How To Show Your Kitchen In Its Best Light, Whatever The Time Of Day Or Occasion

Bad kitchen lighting can lead to all manner of mishaps. Perhaps you’ve struggled to notice the fly swimming in your soup as you serve it unknowingly at a dinner party? Maybe you’ve sliced off a portion of your thumb tangling with a mandoline, just as dusk fell? Or, have you been temporarily blinded by a glaring overhead light, dropping your groceries on the floor and smashing a dozen eggs in the process?

We’ve all been there. Whilst some of us are comfortable styling it out, claiming the fly was simply garnish or that we never liked our thumb anyway, the majority will, quite rightly, blame the ill-thought out or insufficient lighting in their kitchen.

Blame no more. Today, we’re exploring how to show your kitchen in its best light, whatever the time of day or occasion.

Make Use Of Natural Light

There is, quite simply, no substitute for the clean, elegant flow of natural light. Able to give the impression of more space and cleanliness, save you on electricity bills, and even lift your mood, there’s no room which benefits more from natural light than the kitchen, whose typically pale, neutral colours respond just perfectly to sunlight. 

To encourage more natural light in your kitchen, there are a few simple things you can do. Consider hanging a mirror opposite the main source of natural light, re-paint your kitchen in a bright, reflective shade, and make sure that you’ve no appliances or kitchen ornaments obscuring the window.

We’re also fans of mirror splashbacks. Made from toughened glass, mirror splashbacks designed for the kitchen are heat resistant and completely safe to use behind your hob. Not only do they reflect natural light and make your kitchen look bigger, but their useful for protecting those brightly coloured walls from sauce stains.

Read: The best ways to allow more natural light into your home

Consider The Way You Use Your Kitchen

For some, the kitchen is a purely functional space; compact, tight and solely used for food prep and storage. For others, however, it’s a space of socialising, soul-nourishment and feeding, where the family gather to right the wrongs of their day and write the plans of their future, all over a delicious home cooked meal.

The way you light your kitchen should inform how you light it. If you use your kitchen for cooking only, then the lighting should be fairly stark and largely overhead, to help you cook with precision. 

Should your kitchen be more adaptive, morphing from a study space to a sophisticated dining room, then you’re going to need more room for flexibility. In such cases, consider utilising pendant or accent lights for your kitchen lighting needs, helping you illuminate the tasks or spaces according to the time of day and occasion.

Give Yourself Ambient Options

Okay, so we realise that we just recommended fairly stark lighting for when you’re focused on your cooking. For all other times, however, it’s a good idea to have some ambient lighting options available in your kitchen, to adapt your illumination needs to your mood.

Ambient lights help add personality, warmth, and tenderness to a room which can sometimes feel a little clinical and impersonal. They’re also more effective in reaching out to the room’s darker corners and inviting them to join in.

Floor lamps, table lamps, candles, and recessed lighting are good options, and are visually pleasing to boot. You can use them to give attention to decorative items such as plants, wall art, sculptures, and paintings, as well as to the kitchen gadgets you’re especially proud of!

IDEAL Tip: Lighting objects from behind can help them stand out. Casting indirect light on beautiful objects adds a little extra punch, with the effect of light emitted from below on transparent or translucent things, such as glass, being particularly eye-catching in the kitchen.

Use A Standout Shade Or Even A Chandelier To Make A Statement

Who says that your kitchen lighting has to be tasteful or muted? A chandelier can instantly transform a space with a bold and often brash statement, but if that’s your thing, then embrace it!

A chandelier isn’t just for fancy stately homes; they actually fit nicely in a kitchen and don’t have to cost a fortune. Able to hang nicely over a dining table or island countertop, they serve as a great centrepiece to complement the room and useful talking point for when dinner party conversation dries up.

Don’t Sacrifice On Quality When It Comes To Kitchen Lighting

Cheap lighting doesn’t last long and can be harmful to your eyes in its harshness, particularly in a room with more reflective surfaces than most. On top of that, cheap lighting can often lack a little nuance, showing those sauce stains on your walls in their worst light. Which no one wants, quite frankly…

When picking the right lighting, you should focus on something called CRI – the Colour Rendering Index. It tells you how different colours can appear under the light source. It’s generally considered best by industry insiders to go for lighting with a CRI rating starting from 80. 

The Bottom Line

Natural light is beneficial to your health and well-being, but that does not deny the importance of artificial lighting, either. Adequate light and brightness are necessary for a positive mood and increased vitality throughout the day. As a result, don’t feel obligated to compromise your taste for functionality or vice versa. You can easily have the best of both worlds with so many lighting choices in the industry.

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