Inspiration from David Lisle

Kitchen too dark? 6 ways to brighten up your kitchen space

A light, bright kitchen is calming, welcoming and spacious. Having enough light makes it easier to read recipes and prepare food. Lots of natural light can even improve your mood and wellbeing. So if you feel that your kitchen is too dark, it may be time to do something about it.

Here we take a look at the reasons your kitchen may feel too dark. And (calling upon our decades of kitchen design experience) provide some tips on how to create a brighter and more inviting space.

What makes a kitchen too dark?

There are several things that could be making your kitchen too dark. Here are a couple of the usual culprits:

  • A lack of natural light – perhaps your room is north-facing or windows are small or poorly positioned.
  • Low artificial light – kitchen cabinets and appliances create dark corners if the artificial light in your kitchen isn’t bright enough.
  • Too many dark surfaces – dark colours absorb light so if you have flooring, walls, worktops or cabinets in dark, matt colours your room may feel dim and dull.

Luckily, there are things you can do to counteract all of these dark kitchen issues. Let’s take a look.

6 ways to brighten up your kitchen space

Whether you’re creating a new kitchen from scratch or only want to make a few small changes to your space, there are plenty of ways to brighten up your kitchen.

1. Use light colours for cabinets

Light colours help to create a bright space. And kitchen cabinets in neutral, pale grey and off-white shades reflect available light around a room beautifully.

You don’t have to wait until you’re getting a new kitchen to make your kitchen cabinets lighter. That’s because you can repaint any type of kitchen cupboard, from gloss to wooden shaker styles. If you currently have dark-coloured cabinets, repainting them in a lighter hue will give your dark kitchen a much-needed lift.

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This Arts & Crafts-inspired kitchen in Prestbury is bright, inviting and timeless, enhanced by the pure white hand painted cabinetry.

2. Introduce reflective surfaces

Shiny, reflective surfaces help bounce light around a room, just like light colours do. So, if your kitchen is too dark, cabinet handles, taps, light fittings and appliances with a shiny metal finish are a great choice.

You can also brighten a dark kitchen with shiny surfaces. Gloss cabinets make a kitchen feel lighter. So do worktops made from quartz, granite or marble.

Another interior design trick? Using mirrors in a dark room. Mirrors, whether plain or antiqued, can be used as a splashback behind a sink or hob. Placing a mirror strategically opposite a window will reflect even more light around your kitchen.

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The light reflects off every angle of the bespoke mirrored extractor housing in this kitchen, keeping the space light and airy whilst still using darker tones in the fumed oak cabinetry and porcelain worktops.

3. Add contrast with pops of colour

A dazzling stone worktop. A colourful artwork. A kitchen island in a light, contrasting colour. Bold pops of colour help to break up the aesthetic of a dark kitchen, making your space feel brighter in the process.

Even dark kitchen cabinets can work in a dark space, as long as you contrast them with super-light shades on walls and floors. Light-coloured backsplash tiles can also help to lift dark shades and prevent them from overwhelming your room.

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The eye-catching curved glass splashback and the vivid sky blue accents brighten up this kitchen perfectly, giving it presence in the room despite being tucked away to make space for the family dining and lounge area.

4. Rethink lighting

Good lighting is essential in the kitchen. It helps you to create a practical yet inviting space. If your kitchen lighting doesn’t make your room bright enough, try replacing your bulbs with brighter alternatives. And if that doesn’t work, introduce additional lighting to banish dark shadows.

There are so many options when it comes to kitchen lighting. Under and over cabinet lighting. Recessed lighting. Plinth lighting that helps to brighten up a dark kitchen floor. Ceiling spotlights that spread light evenly around a room. Statement pendants that help to create cosy ambience.

Add a few extra lighting sources to your kitchen and you’ll create a much brighter and more welcoming space.

5. Clear clutter

A minimalist, clutter-free space tends to have a brighter, lighter feel. So if your kitchen is too dark, avoid complex patterns in your kitchen splashback and soft furnishings. Also try to keep worktops as clear as possible, perhaps with the addition of a butler’s pantry.

If you have bar stools, a dining table or any other furniture as part of an open plan kitchen space, pick light-coloured pieces with clean lines. Chunky or overly ornate furniture prevents light from travelling around the room and makes your kitchen feel darker.

That all being said, there is one way to make clutter work in your favour when trying to create a brighter kitchen. Incorporate open shelves or glazed cabinets and you can brighten up your kitchen by showcasing gleaming glassware and other light-reflecting tableware.

6. Maximise natural light

If a lack of natural light is making your kitchen too dark, you can try moving bulky furniture away from windows. Light, sheer window dressings are also a better choice than heavy drapes.

But there’s one surefire way to make your kitchen brighter and that’s by opting for a full remodel. Your construction team, alongside a bespoke kitchen designer, can create a space that maximises natural light.

They may be able to add full length windows or bi-fold doors to your kitchen. Skylights or roof lanterns can let in light from above. Alternatively, creating an open plan kitchen space, removing walls between your kitchen and a brighter room of the house, is another way to flood your kitchen with light.

As well as creating a brighter, more welcoming space, a remodel offers homeowners something else. It provides you with much more flexibility when making kitchen design choices. You can pick inky blue cabinets or a beautiful black marble worktop because plenty of natural light ensures your kitchen never feels too dark.

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You can’t get much more natural light than in this kitchen in Nantwich. Both the bi-fold doors and skylight fill the whole width of the room, flooding the kitchen, dining area and snug with maximum daylight.

Brighten a dark kitchen with David Lisle

Here at David Lisle, we can brighten up your kitchen with a cabinet repaint, the addition of a freestanding kitchen island or a complete kitchen redesign. All of our designs are bespoke, designed around your interior design preferences and tailored perfectly to your existing space.

Want to make your dark kitchen a lighter, brighter, more attractive space? Then get in touch to arrange a visit to our Cheshire kitchen showroom.