Unfortunately, when it comes to kitchen design, lighting can sometimes be seen as an afterthought. However, to get the most out of your space we recommend you consider your kitchen lighting as soon as you begin planning your design. Well considered lighting can truly transform your interior, setting the perfect ambience day and night, whether you need clear visibility for preparing food, a soft level of lighting for casual drinks or sophisticated mood lighting for an evening of entertaining. We’ve put together a guide to the various techniques for creating the perfect lighting scheme to suit your home.
Illuminate Activity Zones
Each area of your kitchen, whether you opt for an open-plan or a traditional layout, will have different uses at different times of the day and so positioning and styling your lighting to complement these activities will greatly enhance your design. Most kitchens will include discreet ceiling downlighting. Rather than simply arranging these lights in a grid you might want to consider placing them above specific zones.
Worksurfaces are an obvious choice, they are where the most food prep and cooking takes place so ensuring you have clear visibility in these areas is key. As well as positioning downlights above your worksurfaces, consider creating additional task lighting with under cabinet strip lights. These create an attractive and stylish radiance as well as serving a highly practical purpose.
If your kitchen features an island you will want to focus light on this area for a number of reasons. During the day you may well wish to use your island for work, reading or food prep and so choosing downlights for clear visibility is a must. However, kitchen islands are also exceptional design features and should be showcased to reflect this. They often provide a focal point for socialising, and so setting a laidback mood for casual gatherings is ideal. Similarly, in an open-plan kitchen, you will want to add atmospheric lighting to accentuate your dining area and set a sophisticated and cosy ambience for entertaining. Stylish pendant lights make a wonderful addition to downlighting. Choose a cool and dramatic design to contribute to the overall aesthetic of your interior and to draw attention to the space.
Highlight the Aesthetic Qualities of Your Kitchen
As well as lighting the functional areas of your kitchen, you should also consider emphasising the stunning visual aspects of your interior. Downlights are a wonderful way to cast a ray of light across the surface of your cabinetry, to capture its exquisite finish and show off your colour scheme. Illuminate alcoves or shelving with integrated lighting to make a stylish feature and to add a gorgeous finishing touch to your displays.
Add Interest by Layering Lighting
Not only will cleverly considered lighting draw attention to the existing characteristics of your space but it can also itself create a feature to add depth and interest to your design. Introducing plinth lighting will establish a sense of balance and structure by giving your cabinets the striking illusion of floating. An additional layer of light can be established by positioning uplights above your cabinetry. This creates a gorgeous effect and has the added benefit of reducing the need for downlighting, so your design looks even more sleek and elegant.
Another approach to creating a layered effect is by varying and contrasting the brightness of each lighting element. As well as looking stylish, being able to individually control your lighting with a dimmer switch or a selection of pre-set schemes allows you to prioritise different lighting throughout the day so you can always achieve the perfect ambience.
Don’t Overlook Your External Space
Most kitchens run parallel to a garden or outdoor space, and while this gives an attractive view during the day, it can potentially offer a rather vacuous feature at night-time. Traditionally you might solve this problem with curtains or blinds, however, these days it’s considered much more stylish to bypass window coverings altogether. A wonderful solution is to introduce lighting to your outdoor area. This will create a beautiful view in the evening as well as making your kitchen feel more spacious. Likewise, if you have skylights in your kitchen, add strip lighting around the window profile to create a charming effect that keeps out the dark.
Lighting is a wonderful way to elevate your kitchen interior design and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. There are a variety of lighting styles to choose from and even including just a few in your design will have a massive impact on your space. Hopefully, these tips have given you inspiration on how to introduce lighting to your kitchen to create a stunning ambience for every occasion.