The kitchen is the heart of the home, so you want it to be a bright, relaxing space where you can create new recipes to enjoy with your family. If your kitchen is dull or dim, it can be hard to get inspired when cooking. That is why we have put together this list of some of our favorite ways for you to brighten up your kitchen.
1. Add Metallic Accent Pieces
Having reflective surfaces in your kitchen is a great way to make it feel a little brighter. You can try appliances with a metallic finish, a reflective backsplash, or some bright, chrome-finished hardware.
2. Change Out the Hardware
A pretty quick and easy way to brighten up the kitchen is to change out the hardware — the handles on the cupboards and drawers, as well as the faucet on the sink with something a little brighter. You can choose something metallic to help reflect light or a bright and cheerful color to add some accent color to the room.
3. Hang a Mirror
Another great reflective surface that you can add to your kitchen to help brighten it up and make it feel a little bigger is to hang up a mirror. This is something that is easy for you to customize to fit your style, no matter if you would prefer something sleek and modern or vintage or rustic. If possible, try to mount it across from a window or big light source so it can bring in the maximum light.
4. Let in Natural Light
Do you have heavy shades on your kitchen windows? Taking them down or replacing them with something a little brighter can let in more natural light, which is a great way to brighten up your kitchen.
5. Make the Cabinets a Lighter Shade
While having dark cabinets can be a beautiful statement, if your kitchen is already not a very bright space, having dark cabinets is not a good idea. A great way to help brighten up the cabinets is to go for a lighter-shaded wood or paint them something light and cheery. You can go with something fun like yellow or bright blue to help make the kitchen feel brighter and lighter.
6. Get New Countertops
While a dark countertop may give the kitchen a dramatic look and feel, it can make the room feel darker. Try changing out the counters for a lighter marble or granite or a laminate countertop. A brightly colored tile countertop would also work well to help brighten up the kitchen.
7. Whitewash Your Kitchen
To make the kitchen really bright, paint the entire thing white. Make the walls, ceilings, countertops, and appliances all white. This will take some extra effort to keep it looking clean, so it is important to keep that in mind before you decide to whitewash the entire room. If you are worried about it being too bland in all white, you can add in some pops of color. Make the hardware a bright color, put some plants in the kitchen window, or hang some brightly colored artwork.
8. Install a New Backsplash
If your backsplash has seen better days or is too dark, replacing it is a great way to brighten up the kitchen. You can choose a brightly colored tile or even install faux stone for your kitchen backsplash. This is a great way to add some color and something a little unique to your kitchen that will stand out.
If you cannot completely replace your backsplash but want to make it look a little brighter, you can cover it with a peel-and-stick tile. These are quick and easy to apply to your kitchen backsplash to replace your dark tiles without all the work that it would usually take.
9. Invest in New Light Fixtures
One of the best ways to make a kitchen brighter is to invest in new light fixtures to brighten up the space. You can install pendant lamps or even a chandelier. Recessed lighting can easily be transformed into a pendant lamp. You can also hang some lights on the underside of your kitchen cabinets to brighten them up and make it easier for you to see what you are doing when you are doing food prep.
If you upgrade the overhead lighting in the kitchen, but it still feels too dark in there, you can try hanging some clamp lamps. These are easy to attach to the walls to give you a little more light when it is needed.
10. Replace the Floor
Old or dark kitchen flooring can make the kitchen feel a little darker. Investing in lighter-colored kitchen flooring is a great way to help make the kitchen seem brighter. You can get some beautiful tile, linoleum, or lighter-colored wood.
11. Add Some Bright Pops of Color
Another great way to brighten up your kitchen is to add some fun, bright pops of color to the kitchen. You can add a bright vase, hang a piece of art, repaint some of the cabinets, or even a brightly colored backsplash. If you have open shelving, you can paint the wall behind the shelves something bright, or even just the shelves themselves. Even the ceiling can be painted to give the kitchen a little pop of color to brighten it up. If you have a breakfast bar, you can paint the barstools into a bright accent color that draws the eye or reupholster them with brighter fabric.
12. Declutter the Kitchen
One quick and easy way to brighten up the kitchen is to declutter it. The kitchen counters often end up becoming a dumping ground for clutter on a busy day or filled with appliances. So, if your kitchen is feeling a little too dark, the easiest and least expensive option can often be tidying up and finding a new home for or pairing down your small appliances.
13. Try Open Shelving
If the cupboards make the kitchen feel too closed off or dark, try adding open shelving instead. This is also a great way to let your cookware turn into decor. If you want to try something other than open shelving, you can instead invest in glass cupboard doors. These will give you a similar effect to what the open shelving will offer without having to have the open shelving.
About the Author
Auz Burger is a freelance writer and an expert in faux stone and brick veneer and home DIY projects. She has a BA from Washington State University and has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade.