Your kitchen is a source of creativity and inspiration for you. It’s the area where you may be inventive, take chances, and try new things. If your surroundings are dull and unappealing, it’s tough to experience that adventurous desire to come up with new recipes and try new things.

You know a gloomy kitchen is more than just an annoyance. Whether you have no overhead lighting or are having trouble with certain job areas. We’ve put up this guide on how to brighten a dark kitchen to assist you to enhance your present setup.

Add a Mirror

Add-a-Mirror How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

Try utilizing a mirror to reflect light and give the illusion of greater light and space, which is an age-old decorating method that any designer would swear by. Depending on the rest of your kitchen decor, choose a modern, sleek mirror, a vintage metallic framed mirror, or a distressed wood framed mirror. Alternatively, invest in a statement item like the one seen above.

Try to place it on the other side of the kitchen, near a window or the brightest source of light, so that it may reflect as much light as possible.

Add Recessed Lighting in Strategic Areas

Bloomfield-Hills-Kitchen-Renovation-by-MainStreet-Design-Build How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune
Image source: MainStreet Design Build

If you have the resources, one of the easiest ways how to brighten a dark kitchen is by installing recessed lighting in your kitchen. This will transform the atmosphere. Because the recessed lights are snuggled into the ceiling, they do not block your view. Install lights in front of your upper cabinets to direct all of the light downward.

Consider the locations where you need the most light, such as over the sink and near food preparation areas. Place lights in those important locations, and then fill in the remainder of the space as needed.

Swap for Brighter Bulbs

Custom-Beach-Home-by-Mur-Sol-Builders-Inc How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Mur-Sol Builders Inc

Do you want a straightforward, low-cost option that doesn’t need any DIY renovations? Brighter lights should be used. No, really, try using brighter lighting (energy-saving ones if you can).

The majority of kitchens utilize 60 watts or less. You can simply raise the brightness in your kitchen by increasing the wattage to the maximum setting for each fixture — generally 80 or 100 watts.

Also, if your fixture allows it, consider replacing your standard lights with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are brighter than other types of light bulbs because they produce more lumens for the same amount of wattage. 

Turn Recessed Lights into Pendant Lights

Light-n-Bright-Symmetrical-Kitchen-Design-by-Benjamin-Blackwelder-Cabinetry How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Benjamin Blackwelder Cabinetry

Any space with high-rise ceilings appears bigger and airier. If the light fixtures are too high up, however, they will not be able to adequately illuminate the entire space. You may make pendant lights out of existing ceiling light fittings and hang them over your counter or sink.

This is a beautiful décor choice in modern kitchens, in addition to being utilitarian. Most lights may be converted to pendant lights by simply adding an extension, which can be purchased at any Home Depot shop.

Stick Up Some Under-Cabinet Lights

Kitchen-Dining-spaces-by-Jordan-Iverson-Signature-Homes How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Jordan Iverson Signature Homes

For a dark and compact kitchen, under-cabinet lighting is the ideal solution. To liven up your room, choose from puck lights, fluorescent light bars, or LED light bars.

Also, if you have a reflective backsplash (which we’ll talk about later), pair it with your under-cabinet lighting to get the most out of it.

Choose A Shocking Bright Accent Color

Fort-Morgan-Beach-Home-by-Riegler-Photography How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Riegler Photography

Bright colors can liven up a drab kitchen just by changing the mood of the room. With a bright-hued vase, pottery, a backsplash, or a gorgeous piece of art, you may create your own visual distraction.

Brighter-colored cabinetry, a vibrantly patterned backsplash, or even a designer ceramic sink may be the answer. Give your eyes something to enjoy!

Avoid Busy Patterns for Flooring, Countertops and Accessories

Portola-Valley-Contemporary-by-EXPERT-WOODWORKING How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: EXPERT WOODWORKING

You want the eye to move across the kitchen to make it feel brighter and more open. If you have a busy countertop or a mosaic backsplash with complicated patterns, the eye will naturally go to the accent pieces.

There’s nothing wrong with having a focal point in the kitchen, but you must consider how it affects the overall vibe of the space. In this instance, a streamlined style with fewer interruptions is preferable.

Use A Bright Kitchen Island to Break Up A Dark Floor

Nashville-Residence-by-Jillian-Richey-Design How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Jillian Richey Design

Don’t panic if your kitchen floor is dark and you have no plans to repair it. Set a light-colored kitchen island in the center of the room, or even lay down a neutral-toned carpet, to draw the attention away from the dark foundation.

Use Metallic Accent Pieces

Transitional-Cottage-Kitchen-Glenview-ILby-Drury-Design How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Drury Design

Notice how the light reflects off this silvery, textured backsplash?

The finest tips for increasing the sensation of brightness in any environment are reflective surfaces. You may acquire appliances with a metallic finish, such as a refrigerator, stove, teapot, toaster, coffee maker, or any other gadget with a steel or metallic surface.

You might even take it a step further and install a high-quality, easy-to-maintain stainless steel kitchen countertop.

Add Colors and Visual Distractions

Add-Colors-and-Visual-Distractions How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

In any environment, a splash of color serves as a visual distraction. To draw attention to them in a gloomy kitchen, use a bright vase, a bold picture, or colored containers.

Instead of appearing gloomy and drab, a main visual point such as a sophisticated light fixture or ornamental objects may make the area appear livelier and more entertaining.

You may also build a bright, sparkling island in the middle of your kitchen.

This will not only lighten the area and provide additional counter space, but it will also serve as a focal point for the kitchen.

Take Advantage of the Natural Light in the Kitchen

HOMEWOOD-RESIDENCE-by-Anderson-Nikolich-Design-Initiative How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Anderson Nikolich Design Initiative

This might be a cost-free solution to lighten up your dreary kitchen! If there are any windows in the space, don’t hide them behind window coverings! Instead of black drapes, sheer curtains might be used. The more natural light in the kitchen, the more spacious it will feel.

Concerned about your privacy? Translucent window film provides light in while keeping your neighbors from watching your every meal.

Open Shelving

Open-Shelving How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

To store stuff in your kitchen, you’ll need closed cupboards, but attempt to limit the number of closed shelves. With some open shelves on the top, you can let your kitchen walls breathe. On them, you may display your gorgeous china, cookware, pottery, and recipe books. This will allow your individuality to shine through in the kitchen as well.

“Whitewash” the Kitchen

All-White-Transitional-Kitchen-with-Herringbone-Wood-Floor-by-Showcase-Kitchens How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A FortuneImage source: Showcase Kitchens

Whiten the whole kitchen, including the walls, ceilings, cabinets, tiles, counters, and appliances. This will require more upkeep to maintain it glossy and clean all of the time, but it’s excellent if you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep it clean. It will assist you in creating a bright and airy environment.

If fingerprints on white cabinets are a concern, use dark-colored bottom cabinets to cover the grime. Spills, kid messes, fingerprints, and other problems are more likely to occur in these cabinets. Because the kitchen will have a light hue at eye level, it will feel brighter overall.

Fill Dark Corners with Lights

Fill-Dark-Corners-with-Lights How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

This smart lighting technique will brighten those hard-to-reach corners: Fill the uncomfortable area above your cabinets with fake kitchen storage that also serves as a place to store extra light fittings!

Glass or Metallic Backsplash

Glass-or-Metallic-Backsplash How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

For your kitchen backsplash, go with glass or metallic tiles. These will reflect light and give your kitchen a warm glow while also appearing elegant. Install a clear glass backsplash or create a patterned backsplash by painting a part of the wall and then covering it with glass.

Stainless steel, copper, and brass metal backsplashes are available. For a more handcrafted look, use one made of hammered metal.

Paint Your Ceiling a Lighter Color

Paint-Your-Ceiling-a-Lighter-Color How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

If you prefer a colorful wall over a pure white wall, another technique to brighten up your kitchen is to paint the ceiling white.

More light is reflected by a ceiling that is lighter than the rest of the walls.

The natural light that enters the room from the window tends to fall first on the ceiling. This light will be reflected across the kitchen by a white ceiling.

Open the Kitchen to Other Rooms

Open-the-Kitchen-to-Other-Rooms How To Brighten A Dark Kitchen Without Spending A Fortune

This is a little more difficult than the other alternatives, but it’s a good way to lighten up a gloomy kitchen. Create a line of sight into the kitchen by utilizing light from adjacent rooms. Either fully eliminate a wall or build a ‘window’ to the other room.

This is a fantastic alternative for load-bearing walls because it doesn’t necessitate the use of a costly support beam. Opening a wall isn’t for everyone, but if you get the chance, take advantage of it!

Ending thoughts on how to brighten a dark kitchen

Optical illusions play a huge role in home décor, and small changes or additions may give your kitchen a completely new aspect. It is not necessary to have a magazine-worthy kitchen to make it cheerful.

Lighter colors and a few utilitarian elements, such as steel surfaces and mirrors, can help to brighten up your kitchen. We hope this article on how to brighten a dark kitchen helped you come up with some great solutions for your kitchen space.

If you enjoyed reading this article about how to brighten a dark kitchen, we also wrote about subjects like how to paint pressed wood kitchen cabinets, how to disguise kitchen soffits, how to organize a corner kitchen cabinet, and how to install kitchen backsplash on drywall.

That is not all. We have other kitchen-related articles on how to organize deep kitchen cabinets, how much it costs to install a kitchen faucet, how to make a kitchen island with IKEA cabinets, how to sharpen kitchen shears, and how to organize kitchen utensils.

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