You know how a quick blast of sunshine boosts your mood? No kidding! The positive effects of natural light in the home are well documented and as we move towards the darker months, it’s time to make changes to kitchens that give dungeons a good run for their money.
Your happiness and well-being are directly influenced by the production of the hormone serotonin, which is triggered when we are exposed to natural light sources. In the colder months we head to the kitchen for comfort foods, warming dishes and recipes that lift our spirits – if we add that extra super-ingredient of more light, the prospect of a long, dark winter isn’t so bad.
Here are some surefire ways to lift light levels in a depressing and gloomy kitchen.
Let there be white
It may sound obvious, but a kitchen that is painted predominantly white or pale will appear much lighter. White doesn’t have to be sterile if you combine different pale shades from the same palette. Once you start looking, you won’t believe how many shades of pale exist! Teamed with counter tops in materials such as Carrera Marble, pale granite, stainless steel or polished concrete and combined with white splash-backs in subway tile, a kitchen will glow with subtle energy created by the reflected light. Consider pastel or white cabinets, white appliances and pale flooring and ceiling to reinforce the bright mood. Temper any suggestion of overkill by introducing contrasting, bold colors in cabinet pulls and handles, accessories, feature pendant lighting, rugs, chinaware and wall art.
Ditch drapes in favor of the sleek and sharp lines of plantation shutters. These stylish, easy clean gems can be fitted as a straightforward DIY project and offer controllable light levels in a room. Also great for adjusting privacy levels where necessary, they really are the perfect solution for increasing natural light in a kitchen.
Remember to remove anything that obscures light from breaking through the window. Internally, move any furniture that blocks light, and do the same outside with badly positioned shrubs, hedges or tree branches.
Invest in a few mirrors to maximize brightness levels in areas farthest away from the light source. Transform dark corners and alcoves into attractive features with a well-placed mirror. Position large mirrors opposite a window for a double dose of natural energy flooding into the room. You may want to also consider a mirrored splashback as a glamorous alternative to ceramic tile.
Getting a daily dose of natural outdoor light is vital for maintaining healthy circadian rhythms, regular sleep patterns and keeping us on an even keel. Encourage yourself to spend time outside even in the winter by planting up an herb garden outside the kitchen door. Liven up cold weather recipes with delicious herbs such as chive, horseradish, bay, rosemary, sage and evergreen mint – all tough enough to survive icy temperatures.
If you have a bigger budget, suck more natural light into your interior with a new skylight, solar tubes, or even knocking down internal walls to spread light further. All of these tips will help your kitchen look brighter, but when the sun goes down at the end of the day you’re going to want quality lights as well. Check out Savoy House Lighting for some lighting inspiration. They offer plenty of different styles of lights, like contemporary, crystal, traditional, organic-leaf, and transitional. Since they’re based online, it’s very easy to hone in on exactly what you want with a few simple mouse clicks. Choose a very specific style of light, such as an elegant wall sconce, and add some personal flair to your kitchen.
Banish the winter blues forever by letting light into your home. You’ve got the kitchen covered, so which room are you going to tackle next?