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How to Brighten Up a Gloomy Kitchen

February 14, 2019

Dim and dull kitchens are a no-no from both a practical (safety) and design perspective. Even from a Feng Shui standpoint – with the kitchen being a symbol of wealth and prosperity – dank kitchens just won’t cut it.

After all, how can you expect to cook up a storm for your family and friends in a sad, dark, and glum kitchen?

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: Designers' Home

In newer high-rise properties today where area sizes are smaller, kitchens often do away with windows, or buildings are built close together, blocking natural light paths.

Thankfully, the way to brighter and livelier kitchens isn’t all that difficult to achieve. Here are five ways to kick up the energy and brightness in your kitchen!

1. Go all white

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: IQI Concept

Choosing to go brazen white with kitchen walls, floors, and tiles can be an incredibly impactful way to brighten up a dark kitchen. You can even take it a step further and add high-gloss white kitchen furniture (to reflect more light) to the mix. Bright white kitchen cupboards and cabinetry as well as stoves and countertops bring luminance and high style too. However, do consider stain-resistant and washable materials; acrylic, ceramic, high-quality laminates, and quartz are examples of durable sources for kitchen tiles, counters, and floors.

2. Install layered lighting

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: Torch Empire

Layered lighting i.e. installing different types of lighting for even luminance, can remedy ‘melancholy’ kitchens almost immediately (if not wholly). To achieve optimum, layered lighting, consider installing task lighting under cabinets or for your backsplash, recessed ceiling lights for ambience, multi-light pendant work lighting above islands or counters, as well as accent lighting in the form of in-cabinet lights.

3. Consider coloured and patterned soft furnishings

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: Transcend Urban

Kitchen fabrics that are heavily patterned and brightly hued can instantly add energy and movement to elevate dull kitchens into a cheerier atmosphere. Opt for fresh pops of colour and intricate patterns for kitchen curtains, rugs, mats, runners, and other fabrics. This might even be a necessary stylistic addition to make the décor more interesting if you are going for an all-white or light-neutral theme.

4. Update hardware and appliances

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: Metrics Global

Updating your kitchen hardware can seem like a small change, but its positive effect on enhancing the overall interior ‘optimism’ in your kitchen should not be underestimated.

Choose reflective knobs and pulls in material and finishes like shiny crystal glass, stainless steel, and brushed nickel for your cabinet doors and drawers. On a side note, brushed nickel pairs incredibly well with white or warm neutral-toned cabinets.

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: Amorphous Design

Also, if it is time to update big and small appliances in your kitchen, make it a point to consider the aesthetic value (if you don’t already) when choosing refrigerators, ovens, toasters, etc. in addition to functionality. Opt for stainless-steel materials or other reflective finishes to add visual cheeriness to glummer décor.

5. Add glass

Brighten Up A Dark, Gloomy Kitchen

Interior Firm: EDI: Essential Design Integrated

If you have a bigger budget and are interested in making more significant changes, do consider replacing the top half of light-obstructing walls with glass. This can impact the brightness factor remarkably.

On a slightly smaller scale, do consider light coloured kitchen furniture e.g. cabinetry paired with reflective glass doors. This can help reflect more light and reduce opaque appearances, which tend to worsen the overall state of dull kitchens.

Looking to give your kitchen an overhaul?

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