kitchen addition

7 Ways to Brighten up a Dark Kitchen

dark kitchen

Designing a kitchen with the dark side in mind sounds riveting in theory. But like many homeowners, you’ve probably come to learn there are many downsides to having a dark kitchen. Everything from cooking to socializing comes with an added layer of darkness hovering over you and your guests.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to sit in darkness forever. There are many ways to bring light into your dark kitchen. You just need to think outside the box.

Ready to begin brightening your dark kitchen? You’ve come to the right place! A list of the best room brightening tricks is waiting below. 

1. Use Bright Decor 

Adding bright decorations to your darker kitchen will brighten up the room’s environment. Why? Bright chairs, rugs, appliances, etc. will offset the dimmer parts of the room. 

Wall decorations are particularly helpful in covering up the dark. Adding a few large murals, photos, or paintings to your kitchen decor will replace large patches of your walls with something lighter and brighter. Breaking up the wall color will lessen the impact of the wall shade in the room.

Filling your counter with bright and colorful placemats, coffee machines, toasters, or utensils is another great way to lead the eye away from the darker parts of the room. The light colors will create the illusion that the room is lighter than it is, leaving you feeling less cramped. 

2. Add Mirrors 

Yes, you could install a big and bright window in your kitchen, but if you want to save yourself time, add mirrors instead. Mirrors naturally reflect light, meaning their presence will help lighten up the dark room. They also create the illusion that a room is larger than it is.

Many dark rooms feel small or cramped. If your kitchen often feels tiny, mirrors will help relieve the claustrophobic atmosphere.

The best part is mirrors come in different styles, shapes, and sizes. You can play around with your options until you find the perfect one for you. 

For best results, try placing mirrors next to/across from light sources. These may include lamps, windows, overhead lights, candles, or strong lights. When light sources are close to mirrors, their reflection will be brighter. 

3. Install Metal Appliances/Hardware

Metal appliances and hardware (faucets, ovens, sinks, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.) also reflect light. Replacing any non-metallic hardware with stainless steel or gold versions will increase the amount of light emitted into your kitchen. Metal appliances will also make dark counters appear brighter. 

If you have an island or dining table in your kitchen, consider adding an overhead light with a metallic shade. The metallic pieces hanging from the ceiling will convince the eye that there is more light being emitted from above. The addition of metallic pots, pans, teapots, and cups to your island/table will also bring light into the room. 

4. Add an Accent Wall 

An accent wall is a single wall in your home that is a different shade. They can be solid, patterned, wallpapered, or two-toned. Creating a bright accent wall in your kitchen is a unique way to brighten up the dark room. The wall will put some distance between the dark walls, helping reduce the cramped feel. 

If you have a large window, opening, or solid wall in your kitchen, this would be a good place to insert the color. The bigger, brighter, and more striking the wall, the less attention is given to the darkness around it. 

Once the new accent wall is dry, add a lamp or install a light fixture in the area. The more light coming off the wall, the brighter the room will be. 

5. Paint Your Cabinets 

If your cabinets are just as dark as your walls, painting them might be the best solution for you. Breaking up the dark atmosphere with a different cabinet shade will give the room a bigger/airier feel. When deciding on the new cabinet color, try finding a lighter shade such as white, yellow, or light blue. 

If the current color of your cabinets is too good to replace, find a lighter version of the paint to use. You could also paint the doors of your cabinets and leave the rest the original shade. Whatever you choose, just make sure you leave the kitchen lighter than you found it.

6. Switch to Open Shelving 

When your kitchen is already dark, closed-off cabinets are the last thing you need. Instead, replace your old cabinets with open shelving. The shelves do not appear as bulky as regular cabinets and give you the perfect opportunity to display any fun and colorful objects. 

To get the most out of your new shelves, select a bright shelving option rather than a dark one. The bright shelves will give your kitchen an airy feel, taking away the dark ones. If you want to go the extra mile, try making your accent wall the same one with open shelving. 

The unique combination will make a statement. 

7. Lay New Flooring 

When trying to brighten up a dark kitchen, the room’s flooring is just as important as its walls. If your flooring is especially dark, replacing it with a lighter option will definitely bring some light into your kitchen. When the floor is lighter, your overhead lights will reflect off the flooring, giving you a brighter room. 

Just remember, tile is the best flooring option for a kitchen. It is easy to clean and strong enough to withstand whatever you accidentally drop on it. Installing a bright tile into your kitchen will ensure your new flooring lasts as long as possible. 

Need Help Fixing Your Dark Kitchen?

Are you ready to get rid of your dark kitchen? If you live in or around San Diego and need help fixing your kitchen, consider our services at Designs 4 You. Our company has over 35 years of experience and is more than happy to help you with your kitchen renovation.

All you need to do is give us a call! Visit our website to meet our team, read customer reviews, get a free quote, or contact us as soon as today!

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