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How to Brighten up a Dim Kitchen

As the seasons change and daylight savings come to an end, your kitchen can seem darker, colder and generally less inviting. This might seem out of your control but we’re here to offer you kitchen design ideas to brighten up your dim kitchen. 



We all know that windows are designed to let the natural daylight in. Depending on your kitchen design, your kitchen might be set up to allow morning or evening light into the space. If you need to enhance this area of your kitchen design, you can remove your window furnishings entirely to allow more natural light into the room. You’d be surprised how a few inches of expansion can make a huge difference in the overall brightness of the space. Large windows are a modern design aspect in kitchens and will never date. Keeping the window designs white or lightly coloured will also create a clean and spacious environment, allowing the space for natural light to enter into the kitchen. 



It’s very easy to allow clutter to pile up in your kitchen. Shelves, benches and tabletops make great areas to dump unwanted objects however, when left in the kitchen, they can darken and dim the entire kitchen environment. Declutter the kitchen by assessing what should belong in the kitchen. Identify the decorations such as vases, placemats and artworks from the clutter, such as bags of belongings, magazines and newspapers, mail and more. By removing what doesn’t need to be in the kitchen you’ll feel the entire mood brighten, allowing more room and ‘white space’ for natural light to seep into the kitchen. This will also maximise space in the kitchen, something we often can’t get enough of! 



Blinds are essential for most kitchens, but if you feel as though your kitchen is suffering as a result of their heavy, dark coloured fabric then it’s time to reassess their place in your kitchen. Opt for installing a flynet, or Venetian blinds with light tones such as cream, white and bone. Plantation shutters also work well for filtering natural light into a space. Timeless in design and easy to maintain, plantation shutters suit a variety of kitchen design styles. For light and bright contemporary kitchen design inspiration, go to Pinterest or read our blog for more kitchen design ideas



Colours play a large role in the overall ambience of the kitchen. Light coloured walls and open plan kitchens will enhance a modern kitchen design and allow the entrance for sunlight. A dark kitchen with dark wood cabinets, green or red tiles and heavy joinery will feel smaller and darker during all seasons of the year. If you’re not in the space to paint your walls this winter you can spruce up the room with lighter coloured accessories such as dinnerware, placemats, artwork, and indoor plants. By making these additions, you’ll automatically notice a shift in your kitchen’s environment. Read more about the dos and don’ts of kitchen colour schemes. 


Artificial assets

Add a mirror. The oldest trick in the book for making a space appear larger and brighter than it is. Choosing a modern mirror design is a low-fuss, low-cost alternative if you’re not in the place to make any major contemporary kitchen renovations


Embrace the clamp light or ceiling-hung light. This is a global trend in kitchens around the world and can provide many light levels such as warm, ambient or white light. Another alternative is to install a mix of pendant lights, wall-mounted sconces, and lamps with design-friendly shades to light up your kitchen from all angles.


Now’s also a great time to check the wattage of your bulbs. If they’re below 60 watts, consider swapping them out for something much brighter (80-100 watts per bulb). This is an easy way to brighten up your space without any impact on your kitchen renovation cost.



Creating space in the kitchen is easier than you might imagine. Maximise your floor space by building your cupboards shallower or looking at extending the dining space by adding in a butler’s pantry. Consider the art on the walls and what mood they’re creating. Also take note of how many artworks or plants are in the kitchen. Although we love them, too many can cramp the entire space and block sunlight from filling the room. A contemporary kitchen design is one which maximises space and creates room for sunlight. 


Light-reflecting assets 

Don’t forget that metallic assets and objects reflect light. Consider mirrored splashbacks, white benchtops, and of course skylights which can make your space feel bigger, brighter and lighter. Allowing natural light to bounce off reflective surfaces doubles the amount of sunlight in your kitchen, and subsequently adds the illusion of more space for you to do the things you love doing in your kitchen. 


We discuss everything you need to know about modern kitchen design in our 2020 Design Trends eBook. Download it now.

Still curious? At Apollo Kitchens, we’re here to help you. Reach out to us today and we’ll happily provide you with our expert advice.

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