Four-time James Beard award-winning television personality and chef Andrew Zimmern once said, “Everything happens in the kitchen. Life happens in the kitchen.” Indeed, your kitchen is the heart of your home – not just a place where people cook and eat, but where they come together every day to share their lives. The takeaway is clear when it comes to interior design: Kitchens are important.
However, not all kitchens are created equal. One way to make sure your space lives up to its potential? Pay careful attention to lighting. Read on for a roundup of tips aimed at helping you design the best kitchen lighting plan for your wants, needs, and design aesthetic.
1. Embrace Layered Lighting
In a perfect world, your kitchen would have ample natural lighting to fulfill its multi-purpose role as a food prep and cooking area, display space, and gathering spot. In the real world, however, most kitchens suffer from a lack of natural light. Enter artificial lighting, which can help your kitchen deliver in terms of both form and function.
The best kitchen lighting plans incorporate three types of lighting:
- Ambient lighting, or soft overhead light that provides general illumination.
- Task lighting, which brightens counters, sinks, islands, and other work areas for more effective food prep, cooking, and cleaning.
- Accent lighting, which showcases architectural features or other interior decor items of your choice.
Using a layered light approach that comprises all three types of lighting not only ensures that you’ll have the right lighting levels for your kitchen’s many uses but also makes the room warmer and more welcoming while minimizing shadows and glare. All this being said, the beauty and ease of natural light cannot be overstated. Including a natural ambient light source, such as a window or glass-paned door, can boost light coverage while adding warmth.
2. Choose Your Fixtures Wisely
Interior lighting fixtures should be anything but an afterthought. Chosen carefully, everything from table lamps to chandeliers can enhance both the look and feel of your home. Jennifer Post of Jennifer Post Design encourages homeowners to, “Choose lighting that complements the entire home.” That way, you can create spaces that flow seamlessly into one another while also accenting the property’s unique features.
For example, a bold chandelier hanging in the center of the kitchen becomes a statement-making focal point, as do three evenly spaced pendant lamps. You can also make a big statement through fixture design details. According to Eclectic Home’s Penny Francis, “The finishes and styles don’t have to match. Push the envelope and add the unexpected.” Conversely, less can sometimes be more. Selecting lighting fixtures in a cohesive color palette or with complementary finishes can add up to a harmonious end result.
Dimmer light switches are also a sensible choice in kitchens, as brighter settings are ideal for cooking- and cleaning-related tasks, while dimmer light facilitates ambience during meals and gatherings.
3. Position Fixtures Properly
Creating a lighting design and selecting beautiful light fixtures are only part of the kitchen lighting process. Also essential? Positioning fixtures so they shed light in the most desirable way. For example, chandeliers, lanterns, flush-mount fixtures, and other types of ambient lighting should be positioned above the center of the ceiling or over the island to shed light directly across the kitchen floor. Meanwhile, recessed lighting should be spaced properly – both for aesthetics and function. Experts recommend leaving a distance between recessed lights equal to half of the ceiling height.
Task lighting, such as pendant lights and wall sconces, should be placed directly above dining tables, sinks, and other hubs of activities. LED strips, on the other hand, should be carefully placed to cast adequate light without causing glare.
Lastly, accent lighting should be positioned to highlight the details you’d like to feature. For example, decorative ceiling tiles will be elegantly enhanced by cove lights installed in the ledges of a ceiling, while a wall sconce can be used to draw attention to a piece of artwork.
Of course, not all homeowners are comfortable devising their own lighting plans. Because of this, many lighting stores – especially those offering high-end lighting – provide design assistance for interior lighting for kitchens and the rest of the home. Taking advantage of these resources can help you bring your vision for your dream kitchen to life.
As a leading light store in Connecticut, Fashion Light Center is dedicated to helping customers brighten up their homes with exquisite lighting fixtures. Our selection includes top-of-the-line pieces from renowned industry leaders, including Northeast Lantern, Robert Abbey, Regina Andrew Design, Arnsberg, and more. From stunning chandeliers to functional landscape lighting, Fashion Light Center has everything you need to bring your design vision to life.