Planning out your next kitchen remodel? If so, you may benefit from a plan to get more natural light into the room. Too many kitchens are dark, unappealing, or frustrating to cook in. Adding additional light fixtures can help, but natural light is an even bigger improvement to the room.
Natural light improves our mood, wards off Seasonal Affective Disorder, and makes a room more appealing. A kitchen with a lot of natural light seems open, airy, and modern. Plus, it feels much larger.
A few natural light techniques, such as adding skylights and mirrors, create an optical illusion that your kitchen is much bigger than it actually is. Not only can this make the room a more enjoyable place to be, but it can also help you sell your home when the time comes.
Of course, kitchens aren’t all the same. What will work to brighten one kitchen may not work for yours. So, we collected five different ways you can add natural light to your kitchen or make the most of the natural light you have. We’ll go into detail about the best way to achieve each, depending on the specifics of your kitchen.
1. Kitchen Skylights
Skylights let in natural light, but they usually don’t interfere with your privacy or take up valuable space on your walls. All kitchens can use a skylight, but they are especially useful in kitchens with little or no exterior wall space, which therefore can’t have exterior windows to bring in natural light.
Note that whatever is below your skylight will become a focal point in the room and will benefit most from the natural light. Therefore, we suggest you place your skylight above parts of the kitchen that are good focal points—like kitchen islands, breakfast bars, and countertops that are in the center of the room.
Also, consider how the sun’s rays will move throughout the day. The sun won’t always be shining directly down on your skylight. Depending on the angle of your roof and the skylight itself, you may be able only to get natural light at different times of the day. If you have a choice, we suggest you aim for natural light in the kitchen at dinner time, when you need the brightness.
2. Kitchen Window Ideas
The larger the window, the more light it will bring in, but even a small window can do wonders to flood your kitchen with natural light. Not all kitchens have exterior walls; in which case, they can’t have windows. But if you have even one exterior wall, you can make it work.
Which style of window should you choose? It depends on how much space you have and where the window will be positioned in your kitchen. Here are a few kitchen window ideas:
These are a smart choice for tiny spots. We often place these beneath or beside the kitchen cabinets. That way, when you’re cooking, you can have a view outside or even open the window to help dissipate odors.
Bow or bay windows:
If you have a large breakfast bar or table for your eat-in kitchen, consider placing a bow or bay window on the wall behind it. This will brighten up the eating area, making your meals more pleasant.
This window type is so popular because it can be placed anywhere. Placing two casement windows on one long wall, in symmetry with one another, is a great way to brighten up the entire kitchen.
3. Kitchen Mirrors
Mirrors seem to amplify any light in a space by reflecting it. The wise use of mirrors can make a room feel bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. The number one consideration you should have when putting a mirror in your kitchen is to place it where it can best reflect light.
For example, let’s say you have one major window on the east side of the kitchen. You’d then try to place your window in the west, where it can capture the light coming in from the east and reflect it back across the room.
You can also use kitchen mirrors to capitalize on skylights. Consider what angle your light will be radiating down on during the part of the day you want to amplify light the most. Place your mirror on the wall closest to the light, or even a stand near the skylight if no walls are available.
Are you using multiple mirrors? Then, it is best to place the mirrors across from one another, to reflect each other’s light.
4. Use of Glass
In certain homes, glass can be an amazing tool to let light into the kitchen. Most commonly, we install glass doors in kitchens that lead to rooms that have more natural light. For example, your kitchen may be next to a sunroom or a dining room with huge windows. The natural light will stream in through the glass door and into the kitchen. If the kitchen needs more privacy, you can use frosted glass.
If your home design is minimalist or contemporary, you may be able to use an entire glass wall in your kitchen. This can give you an open concept feel that still has some defined spaces for structure and flow.
5. Color Choices
Whether or not your kitchen can accommodate windows or skylights, you can always make color and material choices that help to lighten the space and make the most of light you do have. Ideally, you would choose light colors, such as white, cream, and light grey, for as many of your kitchen features as possible. You can also maximize light by choosing reflective surfaces such as stone countertops, metal accents, and satin paints.
You should also avoid high contrast in all of the surfaces at or below eye level. Choosing black appliances with a white countertop, for example, creates a lot of shadows and can darken your whole room. Try to unify the whole kitchen with close color values instead.
There is a place for dark colors—on the ceiling. Darker ceilings make the rest of a room appear brighter. We suggest you stay away from black, but adding dark brown wooden beams or a layer of dark gray paint can really brighten up the walls. This must be done carefully so as not to detract from the rest of the room. We can help you create a color scheme that will work best for your kitchen.
Kitchen Remodel With Lakeside Exteriors
Are you inspired and ready to start drawing up your kitchen remodel designs? Or, are you stuck and need some help sorting out how best to get natural light into your kitchen? Whatever you need, reach out to us at Lakeside Exteriors. We can help you create a brighter, more modern kitchen.