You can have all the storage space possible, a user-friendly island and top-rated appliances in your kitchen. However, if the lighting is dim or otherwise inappropriate, the kitchen won't be the cooking and dining haven you had hoped for. Plan and layer your lighting to create both a safe work environment and cozy ambience.
Start with Natural Light
The first step is to observe the placement of your windows and note when they provide natural lighting. Perhaps you have east-facing windows that get terrific morning sunlight, or maybe northern windows that provide suffused light all day long. Consider this source of natural light when planning your remodel. For instance, placing the sink in front of windows is often useful not only because it gives you a view during the washing up, but sunlight is usually sufficient for sink tasks during the day time.
Plan Work Stations
Next, think about where you want to perform essential kitchen tasks. Especially note where you plan to prepare food. This is where safety is a consideration – you're less likely to have accidents with knives or boiling water if you have sufficient light. Plan to have task lighting installed over these essential areas.
Remember Your Island
The kitchen island can be tricky for lighting. Typically you add an island for increased work space. However, they take center stage in the room. An excellent option for your island is pendant lighting. These hang from the ceiling, so you can have them adjusted to best illuminate the work space.
Consider the Ambience
Kitchens are often places that people congregate. This is especially true if you're including a breakfast nook or other dining option in your remodel. Recessed lighting – along with natural light during the day – usually provides sufficient illumination for these times. A couple of considerations to keep in mind – make sure the recessed lights are evenly spaced, and have them attached to a separate switch.
Adding layers of lighting to properly illuminate your kitchen doesn't preclude attractive design. Quite the contrary – once you've decided where and how to illuminate the area, the fun begins. You get to plan your lighting design. According to Better Homes and Gardens, there are several trends in kitchen lighting that can add pizzazz to your remodel:
- Pendant clusters: One option for island lighting is selecting clusters of pendants dangling from the ceiling.
- Sculptural lighting: Have a monorail track with pendants and task lighting installed in your ceiling.
- Chandelier: Utilize a pretty chandelier as jewelry for your kitchen.
Carefully planned and attractive lighting can become a premier asset in your kitchen, so remember to have fun with it during your kitchen remodeling project.