How to Brighten Up Even the Darkest Kitchen

If your home was designed without windows in the kitchen and you find that the overhead lighting does little to brighten up the space, you may not have the money to cut out a wall and install a new window or get a new overhead fixture. A different paint colour might not help either if the majority of your kitchen walls are hidden behind cupboards and appliances. You can, however, often brighten up even the darkest kitchen with just a few simple tricks and for much less money than needed for a major renovation project. Note a few tips on how to do this.

Paint and remove cabinet doors

If your cabinets are very dark, they may not need to be replaced. You can remove the doors, sand down all the surfaces, and then simply repaint them a lighter colour. You can also replace one or more of them with a glass insert. This is a simple project to do on your own; cut out a section of the cabinet door and use construction adhesive to attach a piece of glass to the back of the frame that's left over.

Remove cabinets

You might also simply remove a cabinet or two from the kitchen to brighten the space. After taking them down, patch and paint the wall behind them and then hang up open shelves. This can keep the kitchen looking brighter and roomier overall.

Use an area rug

If the kitchen flooring is very dark and dim, find an area rug with a rubber backing so it won't slip out from underneath you and use it in the kitchen. One in a bright, light shade can hide that unsightly floor and lighten the entire space.

Standalone spotlights

Installing new track lighting might be expensive, so buy some standalone spotlights such as used for highlighting plants or artwork. Place them on the tops of your cabinets and drill a hole through the cabinet top and bottom for running the cord to a nearby outlet.

Glass splashbacks

Glass splashbacks are good for brightening any kitchen as they reflect light. Use glass behind the benchtops and stove and on any exposed wall area in the kitchen.

Your glass installer may also have some scraps of the same glass available that you can use for cutting boards; use construction adhesive to glue wood or metal pieces to one side for feet. Not only is this functional, but leaving the cutting board on your benchtop means even more light will be reflected in your otherwise dark kitchen space.