Whether your kitchen is undergoing a gut renovation or you simply want to spruce it up without going through a complete overhaul, you can add lighting that will at once beautify the space and make it more functional from preparing food to eating in the kitchen to cleaning up afterwards. Some lighting improvements may require electrical work be completed, but others can easily be added to your existing space with minimal hassle. The fact is, we spend a lot of time in our kitchens. When guests come over, they often congregate there. The lighting should be adaptable to all of the kitchen’s uses and should fit your style and the style of your home. Consider these tips when designing the lighting for your kitchen.
Chandeliers Aren’t Just for the Dining Room Anymore
The recent design trend to use chandeliers in the kitchen has resulted in a touch of elegance being added to kitchens all over the world. Designers have used them over large kitchen islands. After all, why shouldn’t we enjoy some of the same glamour as we do in our dining rooms while we’re eating in the kitchen? Mini chandeliers can be used in place of pendants to create task lighting. Many kitchens today trend towards the modern, minimalistic and utilitarian, but the use of chandeliers can provide a welcome contrast and soften the look, which is a great way for you to introduce your own personal style into the space. Adding a chandelier to your kitchen may be as simple as replacing an existing fixture, but you’ll want to make sure they are hung at a location and a height that won’t interfere with the kitchen’s functionality, and confirm that they cast the right amount of light onto the right surfaces.
LED strips are easy to install, come in a variety of colours and can be used in an amazing variety of ways. They’re an easy way to add low-profile, under-cabinet lighting, but that’s just the start. Place them under base cabinets at the toe-kick for a great accent that doubles as nighttime lighting and lets you walk to the fridge for a midnight snack without bumping into anything. Place them behind features like crown moulding or a tray ceiling to draw attention to architectural details. Put them inside your cabinets and drawers to create either task lighting at a detailed level or to highlight the contents of a clear-fronted cabinet. LED lighting can even be installed underneath glass countertops and behind glass backsplashes to create an incredible effect.
Pendant Lights Can Have an Impact
You may think of pendant lights as sleek, minimalist fixtures that hang down over an island or peninsula. They’re much more than that though and, when done correctly, can have a major impact on the design of your kitchen. They can, indeed, be sleek and minimalist, but they can also be oversized or bold. They can hang in a straight row to create a strong demarcation or they can be hung at varying heights, or in a cluster to create more drama. A single, large pendant may be just the trick to light a specific area of your kitchen, or you might want to use many smaller ones. The opportunities to make an impact with pendants are nearly endless.
Can lights, or recessed lights, have been a kitchen staple for decades. And for good reason. Sleek and functional, they literally tuck right out of the way and, when placed properly, provide just the right task lighting right where you need it. Let’s face it, though, they don’t add much character to the space. That’s not their job. You don’t need to completely eliminate can lights from your kitchen design, but do consider adding some interest by mixing them up with attention-grabbing pendant lights, sconces or other fixtures that fit your style and draw the eye away from more functional, if less interesting light sources. For another option build recessed lights into a soffit to create a unique kitchen feature.
Lighting Can Be Built into Functional Items
Looking for clever and functional? You might want consider a lighting fixture that doubles as a pot rack to not only light your work space but keep many of your tools within an arm’s reach. Depending on where how your cooktop is situated, you may want a range hood that provides ventilation as well as task lighting for the cook surface and surrounding areas. Today’s fixtures are designed to look good, serve a purpose and often to cast light in the right direction.
When designing your kitchen and the lighting for it, you need to consider the sheen and finish of cabinets, countertops and flooring. Are they highly reflective? Do they have a matte finish, semi-gloss or glossy? The answer should affect your lighting decisions. Keep in mind how light bounces off these items.
Lighting is an important element of any kitchen design, whether you are starting from scratch or looking to improve the lighting in an existing kitchen. Without it, you couldn’t cook, clean, eat or do any of the other things we do in our kitchens. It’s also an opportunity to add style, drama and a piece of your own personal style to your kitchen. Make sure you carefully consider lighting in your kitchen and dedicate the appropriate amount of time to selecting fixtures and directing light to the right places. You’ll be rewarded with a kitchen that is as beautiful as it is functional.
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