Kitchens have changed a lot over the recent decades to evolve into a stylish hub of all household activities; they incorporate specific zones – at least work surfaces and food preparation areas, an island and bar area, and a dinette area; so, plan carefully your lighting scheme considering the size and the décor of the kitchen.
Usually, the key to a functional and efficient lighting lies in layering the light; multi-layered lighting lets you adjust the amount of light you need and create the effect you want.
- Focus on task lighting for the zones for food preparation, cooking and washing the dishes
Under cabinet lighting is a perfect option for lighting up a kitchen work surface. It proves to be highly efficient especially in small kitchens because it lights counter surfaces when necessary and contributes to energy saving, not to mention that creates an illusion of space and the kitchen looks larger and more esthetically appealing. There are four different sources of light you could apply here: fluorescent, halogen, xenon and LEDs; check their advantages and make your choice to meet your needs.
If there are no cabinets directly above the worktop area, recessed lights – available in a variety of trims and configurations, are also a good choice for lighting kitchen task zones; still another option is hanging pendants fitted directly above the work area.
Consider dimming – it can add depth and drama to your space, and it is an easy way to save energy costs.
- The island and bar zone
Typically this zone is lit up by a group of two to five pendants or mini-pendants; these fixtures are a versatile source of illumination and not only provide enough task light over that specific zone, but also contribute to a better general lighting of the entire space; furthermore, they add style and elegance to the décor.
In case you opt for a bold oversized lampshade and hang it low above that zone, it will immediately become the focal point of the kitchen.
You could also opt for recessed fixtures to provide focused task lighting for the island and bar zone.
- The dining zone
Use a pendant or a group of pendants/as to match these over the island/bar zone/ placed directly above the table to adequately illuminate this part of the kitchen; take into consideration that the bottom of the pendant should be 30” above the table. This not only looks stylish, but also visually distinguishes this area as a separate zone of the entire space.
Tracks or recessed lights are your other options to provide enough light for that part of the room.
Keep in mind that dimmers are useful to provide the mood and ambience for special dining occasions.
- Consider some of the 2012 lighting trends that could help give your kitchen a fresh, modern look with just a few trendy touches:
Fixtures are softer and warmer, with slim, clean lines, fluid curves plus a variety of finishes, to complement any décor for its modern, updated look; eco-friendly options are on-trend; try with any yellow hue fixture – it brings in warmth and fun to the décor, but if it is too bold for you or does not blend into the style of your home, you could still incorporate the trendy tone – for instance, yellow lamp shades could be an alternative. Natural motifs and organic shapes are also in vogue – the fascination of all four elements /Earth, Water, Air, and Fire/ is an inspiration for lighting designers to create unique eye – catching models.
More tips how to use lighting in your kitchen:
- Illuminate your favorite tableware
Display your tableware – collections of fine chine or beautiful glassware, and use mini – spots to highlight it; this will definitely brighten up your kitchen and will add a feeling of charm and visual appeal.
- Install plinth lighting
It is a great option to create ambient lighting; furthermore, when installed low around the base of the kitchen island, it could attract the attention to the new stone flooring of your kitchen.
- Hang a statement chandelier
Create a focal point in your kitchen with a make-a-statement fixture, it adds style and personalizes the space.
If you think any of these ideas could enhance your kitchen décor, try to apply them; ultimately, your only boundaries are your imagination and creativity.