Light has more power than anything in any place to change the mood and ambience of a space — for better or worse. In a kitchen, the lighting should not only make the room socially inviting but also practical and functional for cooking and cleaning. Here are a few tips to help you find the right balance and implement solutions to optimize your space — all while avoiding the most common mistakes.
My kitchen is dark: what can I do?
First of all, take maximum advantage of the natural light in the room. Clear out anything blocking the windows as much as possible, make sure the position of the cabinets and pantry don’t block the light, and avoid high counters that are near openings. The goal is to clear anything that may interfere with light dispersal. Avoid clutter on the walls and furnishings, decorate with streamlined shapes, and when it comes to colour, go for neutral or white tones. A lick of paint can make a major change, as can adding a lighter coloured countertop or a new glossy white backsplash — simple solutions to capture and reflect light without reworking the entire kitchen.
As for adding lighting to complement the natural light, spots are great for lighting up the kitchen as a whole, while an extra light will brighten a specific area. Ideally, go for a suspended pendant light that illuminates yet stays out of the way.
Find the proper light balance
Be careful not to fall into the opposite problem and end up rigging up a kitchen that’s too bright. If you install recessed spots, for example, you need to ensure the installation guidelines are respected to avoid blasting the relaxing vibe from the kitchen. At Groupe 3R, to ensure proper ambience and versatility, we systematically install dimmer switches so that the intensity can be controlled according to the desired mood or time of day.
Whether or not you have a lot of sunlight to work with, you’ll want to create the most natural lighting possible. Natural light is the current trend, and it always gives the room an optimistic vibe. If you’re lucky to have windows letting in the sun, then you’ve got the green light to choose any lighting system that makes you happy. Otherwise, we suggest recreating a completely natural, balanced ambience by combining several light sources at different places in the room.
We recommend simplicity, with LED linear lights under the cabinets. If the cabinets are high, however, recessed spots are a more suitable but bigger system (that also risks losing the light in the back of the cabinets). Suspended lights are best for above the kitchen island and table. The era of the incandescent light bulb is over: these days, a stylish, suspended pendant globe is where it’s at.
So let there be light!