Maximising daylight makes a kitchen feel not just brighter, but bigger and more welcoming, too. As we move between seasons, it’s important to create a kitchen space that’ll mirror the lightness of the summer seasons and feel light and airy as the evenings draw darker.
So, whether you’re renovating your home, adding an extension, or simply looking for clever design tricks to make the most of natural daylight, bespoke kitchen company Tom Howley share its advice on how to maximise natural light in a kitchen.
Install glass cabinetry
“Glass is an excellent finish for kitchens. Not only do glazed cabinets break up the monotony of repetitive, solid fronted doors – especially in large spaces – they maximise the flow of light into darker corners. Having glass-fronted doors is as good as open shelving when it comes to displaying your prized pieces. They’re also fantastic when accessing everyday essentials allowing you to see what you have and where you’ve put things,” explains Tom Howley, design director at the leading luxury kitchen company.
“Islands take up a large amount of space so having glass-fronted doors can break-up the block. Glass inserts create an illusion of depth and increase the perception of square footage, which is a bonus in smaller kitchens. A traditional Shaker-style kitchen would always have a dresser for crockery and copperware, so glazing in an island that’s inspired by Shaker-style design recreates the look in a contemporary way.”
Choose work surfaces that’ll bounce light around a kitchen
On the subject of work surfaces, Howley says: “There are a plethora of smart ways to make your kitchen feel spacious. To keep an open feel choose light paint colours and reflective materials such as bright quartz or a mirrored splashback. Utilise every inch of space from the full height, awkward nooks and the use of islands if you have room. Even though an island will take up floor space, it will benefit your kitchen by ensuring more storage, prep space and a place to gather and socialise.”
Neutral colours to create the effect of brightness
“Lighter wood finishes and paint colours work well to expand the perceived space of your kitchen. Pair light tones with very light-coloured countertops, and your kitchen will look spacious and airy. If you do decide on floor to ceiling cabinets, these should only be fitted with glass door display cabinets. This will open up the space in a way that opaque cabinetry will not in a smaller kitchen,” explains Howley.
He adds: “Soft shades of warm whites and earthy beige work well on their own but even better when used in a two-tone scheme. Two of our most loved shades are Tansy and Willow, beautifully understated, they create truly stunning kitchens enhancing architectural interest, all without the need for bold colour. If you’re using lighter colours to enhance your space then try painting your walls in the same shade, this will focus your eye on the whole area, allowing it to feel larger and lighter.”