What does summer mean to you? Many of us associate vacation time, the beach or swimming pool, and barbecues with summer. It also means light! Summer brings longer days with more sunlight, and less time switching on the lights inside the house. What a great feeling to come home from work when it is still light, or to sit outside on Saturday evening with friends soaking up the last of the sunshine.
You might even notice at this time of year that you hardly need to switch on lights while you are preparing dinner in the kitchen. Natural light brings many benefits, as it boosts your mood, provides vitamin D, and keeps down the electric bills. You need a well-lit kitchen for many reasons. Food preparation, eating, studying, and the many other activities that take place in a kitchen require ample lighting.
Get inspired by the summer sun, and consider all the ways you can maximize natural light all year round in your kitchen design.
First, think about your sources of natural light.
- Windows are an obvious place to start, and if you are considering a kitchen remodel, you could look at installing larger windows or adding new ones. Keep in mind that you must balance the wall space taken up by windows with the area left for wall cabinets like the kitchen design in New Hope, PA below left. If you are changing the layout of your space as part of a kitchen remodel, consider the direction your windows face, and how effective they will be at picking up sunlight.
- Skylights may be an option too, if this fits in with the style and architecture of your home and kitchen design.
- If you want to maximize the impact of natural light, select a door style that includes more glass like large sliding doors like this kitchen remodel in Richboro, PA below right. These external doors open the kitchen to the outside and serve as an excellent source of natural light.
- Don’t forget about light from adjacent rooms. Creating an open plan kitchen remodel allows the kitchen to benefit from light sources from an adjacent dining or living space.
Next, consider what you can do to make the most of your available sources of natural light in your kitchen design.
- Choice of window coverings make a significant difference in how much natural light makes it through your windows and into the room. If you find your kitchen dark or just want to get more light into the room, consider changing drapery to lighter fabrics that do not absorb as much light or simply remove all window coverings if you do not need the privacy.
- An open plan room allows more light into the kitchen as you will pick up natural light from windows and doors throughout the space. It also means you have a larger, open space with an airy atmosphere that brings more light into the room like the one shown below left.
- Glass front kitchen cabinets allow light to flow through the room more effectively. A well-planned kitchen design must have a balance of windows and cabinets to allow ample storage, but glass front cabinets are the perfect way to maximize natural light sources where you install wall cabinets around the windows like the kitchen design in Doylestown, PA below right.
- Color choices play a key role in the effect light has on a room. Dark colors absorb light and create a darker appearance in the room, while light colors reflect light. Pick the right color scheme for your cabinets, walls, and other décor in a shade that compliments natural light and maximized its effect in the room.
- Supplement all of this with a well-planned multi-layered lighting design. Make the most of natural light and soak up the rays while you are working away in the kitchen, but work with your kitchen design professional to include other light sources. A multi-layered lighting design means you can always see properly and creates the perfect atmosphere for dining or entertaining.