How to incorporate lighting into your kitchen design

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” – Days before populating the seas with fish, the sky with birds and the earth with beasts, God made it his priority to get the lighting right – and so should you. Visualising the lighting of your kitchen may be difficult at the design stage but get it right and it will be the difference between creating a shadowy, awkward room and a beautiful, functional space.

Kitchens have come a long way from the fire pits of early man to the truly multifunctional living spaces of today. More than any other room in the modern home, kitchens provide a space for most domestic occasions. From cooking and eating to working and relaxing, the modern kitchen facilitates it all. This multifunctionality demands a design that allows its occupants to complete their various tasks with maximum ease, which is where kitchen lighting takes the limelight. From making small kitchens look bigger to concealing cumbersome architecture, lighting can cover up a multitude of sins. In this post, we take a look at the many ways in which lighting can be used to optimise your kitchen.

Task lighting

A kitchen is, first and foremost, a place to prepare and cook food. This should be reflected in its lighting scheme. Task lighting typically describes the brightest lights in the kitchen that are used to illuminate the hob, sink and worktops. Under-cabinet spotlights are perfect for task lighting as they are unobtrusive, avoid pesky shadows and still provide maximum illumination of workspaces. Other options include under-cupboard LED strip lighting or directional ceiling lights that can focus light in practical areas of your kitchen.

Mood lighting

For the wider kitchen, mood (or ambient) lighting sets the tone. It’s the dominant lighting in your kitchen and should allow you to see everything. As the name suggests, mood lighting should also be changeable so that you can control the ambience of your kitchen with the flick of a switch. Dimmable wall lights or a cluster of pendants above the kitchen island will provide that central, consistent illumination but also allow you to control the intensity.

Statement lighting

Perhaps the most creative of your lighting options, statement (or feature) lighting allows you to have some fun. Statement lighting can highlight interesting features of your kitchen, such as artwork or a high ceiling, as well as add depth. Using LED lights to illuminate the perimeter of a kitchen island creates a floating look and is a great example of statement lighting. However, statement lighting can refer to the fixtures themselves too. For example, opting for a large, spiral filament pendant light will be a great conversation piece, as well as provide an atmospheric glow perfect for creating that industrial look kitchen.

Natural lighting

Whilst it’s easy to get carried away with the numerous great lighting options available to you, remember that natural light is often hard to beat. Every kitchen is different so not every kitchen is fortunate enough to benefit from ample natural light. However, exploiting the limited sunlight your kitchen receives is arguably the best way to illuminate your kitchen. Skylights, French doors and effective windows are all great ways to maximise natural light. The lighting options listed above should all complement the natural light already in your kitchen; whilst at the same time improve its functionality.

Stylish and functional

Effective kitchen lighting should be a combination of functionality and style. Whatever your kitchen size or whatever your personal style, you can use lighting to create a multifunctional, stylish kitchen that is perfect for both cooking and conversations, preparing and parties. As with all interior design, aim to keep it simple but be creative and always remember to have fun with it. There are so many great, innovative lighting options available that there is no real excuse to live with a poorly lit kitchen. Here at Squarepeg Designs, we design bespoke kitchens with great attention to all those details that make a kitchen truly yours, including lighting. Our specialist team of London-based designers and cabinet makers work hard to bring traditional craft values to each of our projects. Get in touch!
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