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A kitchen full of natural light is often high on the wish list for many when purchasing and designing a new kitchen. Careful consideration of lighting within your kitchen is absolutely vital both in the practicality of being able to see for cooking and preparing food, but also in creating the ‘mood’ of the space which is an aspect of the kitchen that has grown in importance as we have spent more time at home in the last few years!
Ambient Lighting -
Ambient lighting is all about creating the right atmosphere and light level within the kitchen as a whole. One easy way to do this is under unit lighting, whether this be positioned under cabinets shining down onto the worktops or under the worktop edge.
Under-counter lights are perfect for creating ambient lighting, with a soft effect, as the light is low to the eye (being under the worktops) and usually not bright. For this, LED strips can be integrated into a recessed groove under the worktop to maximise the streamlined appearance of the lighting or Puck lighting can be used to dot lighting across the run. Often these can also be colour changing meaning the lighting and atmosphere can be changed via phone app or remote control.
Lighting under high cabinets is also ideal for cutting and preparing food as it illuminates the part of the kitchen often hidden in shadow due to the units above blocking any overhead lighting. A similar effect can be achieved here using either strip lighting for an overall effect or pucks for focussed dots of light.
Clever positioning and use of windows is an ideal way to introduce loads of light to your kitchen design. However, we are not always in a position to be moving things around to this extent, in which case there are several other options available.
If you are building an extension or changing structural features, adding skylight windows above the kitchen can let in up to twice as much light as a standard window of the same size so is definitely worth considering if you are looking to maximise natural light. If the windows cannot be moved, choosing light surfaces next to any windows you do have will reflect that light across the space effectively doubling the amount of light from the window.
Use the Shine-
Gloss and shiny finishes naturally reflect all kinds of light. Choosing light coloured Quartz or Granite worktops will automatically add more light to the kitchen as the glossy surface of the stone reflects any natural or artificial light across the room. Gloss cabinets are also perfect for reflecting light at lower levels of the kitchen, making them a great choice for smaller kitchens.
Adding a mirror at the eye line will reflect light from all surfaces as well as making the room seem more open. This can be done with a mirror on a blank wall within the kitchen or, a popular option at the moment, by using a mirrored splashback. Creating the illusion of a bigger, more open room.
Make the focus -
Pendant lighting is a popular option for kitchens with islands, or where the kitchen focuses on a central point. Pendants can also work to show your style and draw the eye to the centre of the space.
Choosing pendant lighting means being able to customise the height and strength of light much more than by using traditional overhead lighting which can benefit many kitchens where overhead light can appear clinical and harsh.
Focussing the eyes on light surfaces around the kitchen can also draw the focus within the kitchen. Light backsplashes will draw the eye upwards and create visual contrast to the units above and below making the space as a whole look larger and more open.
If you've ordered a new kitchen, or are looking to update your kitchen with new worktops, talk to Purple! Book an appointment to visit one of our showrooms, email your kitchen plans to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our team on 01562549100.