Bringing Your Home and Garden Into the 21st Century

Light and Dark: How to Open Up Your Kitchen with Colour and Shine

Whether you're entirely refitting your kitchen or simply giving it a fresh lick of paint, chances are that it would be nice for the room to feel a little bigger. Because kitchens are such dense rooms, packed with equipment and counter space, even a large room can feel smaller than it should. To combat this, here are a couple of ideas to make your kitchen feel light, open and 'empty'—and still very much like home.

Allow Contrast

Whatever colour scheme you've chosen, it should include both lights and darks. You need not work with such polar opposites as black and white exactly—but if the tone of your kitchen is the same all the way around, there's nothing to distract the eye and break it up, making it feel small and compact. Instead, choose high-contrasting countertops, floors, cupboards and accessories. If your countertops are light, make your floors dark.

Use Pop Colours

This is especially effective in a more modern-styled kitchen, but it can work for traditional designs too. The idea is to introduce a tiny spot of bright colour into the room to catch the eye and add some visual interest. Don't be afraid to pick something unusual like yellow or purple—but whatever you choose, think about using it wherever you can. Perhaps you can find dishtowels with a stripe of your chosen colour. Photo frames and candles can work well too.

Reflect the Light

Ideally, your kitchen will be well-lit. Whether this is natural or synthetic light doesn't matter—although there's a lot to be said for a big, open window to help open up the kitchen. Either way, you're going to want to make sure that light bounces around the room as much as possible. One good way of achieving this is to incorporate high-shine metallics into the design. Chrome is a popular choice for kitchens, for example. In more traditional designs, where metallics make less natural sense, you could think about choosing chrome for your cupboard closures or countertop equipment.

To open up any room, you need two things—light, and variety. This lets your eye move around the room nice and easily, and prevents it from looking stuffy, monotonous and closed-in. Of course, these tips won't actually increase the size of your kitchen, but at least it may feel like a more warm and welcoming space for you and your family. You'll be surprised what these few simple changes can do. For more information, contact a local expert in kitchen designs.