If your kitchen seems dark and drab, the simple act of brightening it up can do a lot. But how can you lighten up your kitchen? Try a few of these methods.

1. Add or Enlarge Windows

Natural lighting is one of the best ways to physically brighten up any room. It may not be easy to add more sunlight to some kitchens, but it’s worth the effort. You may be able to enlarge an existing window or two, or you might want to find a spot for a new one. If none of these options are possible, a skylight or sky tube overhead might even provide more consistent lighting for work.

Another way to open up windows is to use the nearest doors. Many kitchens have a rear door or sliding glass doors that open onto the backyard. By opting for larger glass and less opaque curtains, you can let a lot of side lighting in.

2. Increase Lighting Options

In addition to natural sunlight, add artificial lighting options to make the most of your workspace. Recessed lighting creates a nice, even light throughout the room. But don’t forget to use task lighting for specific areas. Work zones like the sink, prep areas, and the stove often benefit from overhanging, bright task lights. 

Other lighting options that can help include hanging pendant lamps and installing LED lights underneath upper cabinets or in the bar area. 

3. Lighten Up the Paint Scheme

What colors you choose can have a big impact on the way the kitchen looks and feels. Simple color palettes with few changes allow the eye to flow better. And the lighter those color schemes are, the more light will reflect off them to lighten the room.

Bright white is a popular choice for opening up a kitchen and reducing visual clutter, but you aren’t necessarily stuck with a white kitchen as your only option. Sunny colors like pastels, soft neutrals, and muted creams can provide the same lightening if used consistently. 

4. Change Cabinetry

One of the most likely parts of the kitchen to have a dark and non-reflective color are the cabinets. Whether it’s wood or a dark paint, a simple lighter stain or paint job will do wonders.

Some homeowners have gone as far as switching to open shelving and skipped the doors entirely. If you paint the inside of the cabinet the same light shade as the surrounding walls, the visual effect of removing doors is doubled. 

5. Get Reflective

Reflective surfaces shine the light back into the room without being a source of it themselves. How can you add reflective surfaces to the kitchen? There are several creative ways. Some backsplashes that are highly glossy can act as a kind of mirror. High gloss is especially useful if you have under-cabinet lighting and light-colored counters. Glass cabinet doors are another semi-reflective pane. 

6. Remove a Wall

If the kitchen is closed off from adjacent rooms, you can severely hamper the light from getting inside. Removing a wall could be the best way to lighten and brighten both the kitchen and surrounding areas. This is especially true if the wall blocks light from a sliding glass door or large living room windows.

If you’re not sure about losing the workspace or storage, consider replacing the wall with an island or peninsula so that sunlight still enters over the countertops.

Although it may take some planning, brightening up your kitchen will turn it into a more useful and comfortable space. For more help identifying ways to do so in your own home, contact us at Nielsen’s Remodeling & Construction today.