How to Brighten Up your Dark Kitchen

Having a black or similarly dark kitchen is a pretty attractive prospect for many homeowners. It’s not difficult to see why, they look sleek, and stylish and they rarely look bad or out of place in almost any home. As in fashion, black represents a simplistic and natural chicness in home design that is simply unmatched in its understated beauty.

There are many different designs to choose from when deciding on a dark kitchen, whether this be glossy black marble, industrial grey anthracite or something else entirely. Springing for a darker shade in the kitchen can be an easy, go-to style to bring effortless class or it can be something to pore over and consider before taking the plunge.

But, that’s not to say that a dark palette will suit everyone’s taste and mood perfectly. It is definitely possible, easy in fact, to create a kitchen that is just too dark. While the kitchen itself may not appear dingy, it is definitely possible that it becomes intimidating and altogether not such a welcoming place to cook, eat or simply chill. 

So, the problem becomes not how to craft an elegant, dark kitchen but how to prevent said kitchen from becoming too gloomy. If you have your heart set on a dark kitchen it can be extremely difficult to figure out how to brighten it up without taking away from the overall style. To that end, we’ve compiled a few handy ideas to help bring the light without taking away from any of the stylish dark. Here are some ideas to help you retain all the sleekness of a dark kitchen while adding that extra pop.

Let there be lights

Starting with the obvious, adding lighting to a kitchen will obviously brighten it up, the idea here is largely in the type of lighting you use. It’s not as simple as picking up a few cheap standing lamps. To achieve success in kitchen design you will need lighting that complements the existing dark kitchen. Hanging lamps with copper, or similarly industrial, finishes hardly pop but with the right lightbulbs, they can exude warmth and juxtapose perfectly with a cold, dark kitchen to really bring the design together and make the kitchen feel chic and homely – the perfect combination. 

If you’re not a fan of hanging lamps, perhaps for fear of their practicality, then a carefully positioned selection of clamp lamps is a good alternative. Clamp lamps are versatile and useful as they can be placed in a number of different positions, you can add many for versatility or just a couple to brighten the mood. Also, with any lights, choosing the right bulb can give access to a variety of different moods to dictate the tone of the room.

Patterned floors

This might not seem like the obvious choice but hear us out. Making use of ornate or checkerboard patterned floors not only gives you the option of adding a second colour (we recommend white) but the pattern itself becomes an intuitive but unexpected centrepiece of the kitchen and will really pop against the stylish dark backdrop you have created. As previously stated, white is the natural choice to go with black when it comes to floor patterns and this is a really simple but stylish choice to bring unintrusive brightness to a dark kitchen. 

The floor takes up the largest surface area in any kitchen, it literally covers the whole room, so it makes sense to have fun with it and make the most of it when attempting to affect the overall feel of the room. That’s not to say that white is the only choice of contrasting colours to be used, you can definitely spring for something louder and brighter if you wish, brighter colours like blue or red can be bold and a little ostentatious but can work to great effect if you deem it a risk worth taking.

You can’t beat the reflective but refined elegance of a mirror

Now, time for a bit of magic, or at least illusion. Hanging a mirror in a kitchen, or any room is a tried and tested way to create the illusion of having more light. Mirrors twinkle and shine as light glints off them and this just washes over the whole room causing the dark kitchen to bathe in reflected light. 

Mirrors amplify even the most meagre amounts of light. Now, that’s not to say that choosing the right mirror won’t bring its own set of potential problems, but it’s for sure one of the quickest and easiest ways to get that fix of brightness. The right mirror depends solely on the design of your kitchen, we recommend against adding an ornate mirror to an industrial kitchen, though if you believe you can make it work, go for it; we love to see a risk pay off! 

Add pops of colour

This may seem like a generalisation but adding pops and hints of colour brightens up a dark kitchen without being overpowering. This can come in many forms. It could be as simple as adding a couple of accessories in a specific colour; a kettle, toaster, lampshades and chairs all in a bright blue or green colour. You could choose to add mosaic tiling to one of the walls in a beautiful marine turquoise colour or a more muted, autumnal yellow. You could even just choose to hang coloured picture frames around the room for an easy and cheap brightness cheat – the possibilities here are endless.

Make the most of metallic accents

All kitchens will need at least a couple of metallic objects, whether that be taps, hobs, lights or something else entirely. You can use these essential features to brighten up your dark kitchen with ease. Make sure all your metallic accents are of the same metallic shade so that there is a level of design consistency but you can really go crazy when it comes to adding that additional sparkle. More silver, almost chrome metals are most frequently used for taps and cooking surfaces but you could also spring for copper which, while not as obviously bright, can help add depth and warmth to the kitchen making for a far more welcoming and comfortable environment.

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