How can lighting designs contribute not just to the illumination of a kitchen but also to their feel? Consider the following tips and tricks to totally transform your room!
Many homeowners have spotlights installed in their kitchen and never see the need to change or replace them; after all, if they work, they work. Indeed kitchen lights are often overlooked but when it comes to redecorating or renovating, these lighting schemes are hugely important. Considering your kitchen lights at the onset of the design process provides the opportunity for innovation and smart design; making the most of your space and highlighting its key features.
The wiring for lights needs to be installed at the beginning of any redesign or renovation project and so planning should be done in advance of any works starting. Many designers suggest that the lighting should be planned at the same time as the plumbing as often tradespeople for both can work concurrently. But how can lighting designs contribute not just to the illumination of a kitchen but also to their feel? When considering the following tips and tricks, the whole room can be transformed.
Feature pendants have grown in popularity over the last few years and provide a stunning design feature for any contemporary kitchen. These lights work best with a high ceiling, drawing the eye and adding depth to the room to give the impression of spaciousness. Spacing these lights out at equal distances and over features such as kitchen islands promotes symmetry – but make sure there’s adequate clearance for the room and its preparation spaces to actually be used!
Hanging lights are often co-ordinated with matching shades – but there’s lots of creativity to be had in mixing and matching lampshades for a bold design impact. Switching up shapes and colours can look great but be sure to keep at least one element the same so the effect looks properly curated and not just as though you’ve used whatever you could find to light the room.
Some kitchens, particularly those with a high level of exposure to natural light, will have fluctuating lighting requirements as the outside illumination increases and decreases. Adjustable lighting systems can be installed that permit the raising or lowering of lights for different levels of brilliance as and when required. Being able to move the lights also allows for the adjustment of sightlines, so you can make way for a view out of the window when appropriate or to allow for more social interaction below.
If your kitchen has numerous light sources scattered throughout, it may be worth investing in a flexible lighting control system. This permits the separate on/off function to create different ‘zones’ of a kitchen and allows you to easily suit your lighting to your mood – often from an app on a smartphone rather than the juggling of several wall switches.
Integrated cabinet lighting allows for the illumination of worktops, which are areas particularly difficult to reach with standard ceiling set-ups. Some lights can be stuck to the bottom of the cabinets and some replace the base of them entirely to provide light in and below. Options for under-cabinet lights are now very varied and a popular choice is those operated by motion control; negating the need for messy wires or unhygienic switches to claw at with an elbow when you’re holding raw ingredients.
LEDs are becoming more frequent in their usage in kitchen lighting designs because of their extraordinary energy efficiency. Many existing lighting systems in homes such as recessed ceiling lamps or floor uplighters can be easily replaced with LEDs and allow for subtler concealment than fluorescents. What’s more, there’s no flickering and no time to warm up to full brightness – they’re good to go right away.
You know the lights along the floor of a darkened cinema to guide you safely through… ever considered putting those in your kitchen? OK, so the garish blue lights of Cinemax may not quite fit your elegant kitchen aesthetic but adding profile lighting to the bottom of kitchen cabinets can add ambiance and improve safety when you nip down for a midnight snack. Most lights of this type aren’t too bright (after all, they’re really more form than function) but colours and ambience levels can be varied to suit the homeowner’s tastes.
If your kitchen has a display area or location of note, it can be highlighted with a simple LED spotlight to draw attention to it. Recess spaces are ideal areas of kitchens often otherwise ignored that can lend themselves to display decorative objects and when lit, create a real cohesive design feature. Floating glass shelves in the space provides more storage and when lit from above, further amplifies the light throughout.
Warm colours and industrial style light fittings have long been the domain of residential kitchens the country over but there’s no need to stick to the status quo – if your favourite colour is pink, or yellow, or purple, why not use it? Adding a splash of colour to a kitchen, even if just a ‘colour pop’ to add vibrancy, can be done easily through the installation of lamp shades. Whether co-ordinated or mixed and matched (see above), a coloured lighting scheme can make a kitchen feel more homely and more social; sometimes a difficult task to achieve in rooms that are often unheated and used solely for one (often single-person) purpose. In a country style kitchen try prismatic glass or bone china, and in a country-style kitchen, a metallic pendant in the relevant colour.
Interior designers are quick to laud the power of lighting but when designing things yourself it can be easily underestimated. With some careful planning and clever design tweaks, lights can transform your kitchen – so what are you waiting for?
Need some inspiration for your kitchen transformation? Need lighting incorporated into the design? Let our renovation experts help guide you, get in touch today to find out how Refresh Renovations can help you.
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