A kitchen illuminated by natural light is cheerful and airy, no matter the size. Unfortunately not everyone has a kitchen with plenty of natural light. My kitchen is large, but the windows are located at one end. With a large porch overhang, very little light reaches the opposite side of the room where meals are prepared. I am renting my home, and therefore I cannot make drastic changes, but I have discovered a number of decorating options for a dark kitchen. Try these easy decorating ideas, and make a dark dreary kitchen look and feel brighter and cheerier than ever.
Paint a Dark Kitchen a Warm Light Color
Some people take the color plunge and bathe their walls in deep bold hues, but when a room is already dark, this is not a good option, even if the space offers a generous amount of square footage. Opt for light warm colors such as creamy yellow, a light variation of tangerine, or blush. Keep in mind that colors on tiny paint swatches will look different when applied to large areas. Even the lightest hues will still be apparent, and when decorating a dark kitchen, choose shades with just a hint of pigment or neutrals with a white base.
Decorating with Windowpane Mirrors to Enhance Existing Light
Depending on the style of the kitchen, windowpane mirrors are an excellent way to add light to a dark space. They can provide the look of a window without making a major investment. Although they do not generate light, they will reflect existing light and make a kitchen appear naturally brighter.
I placed a stylish windowpane mirror on the wall next to a countertop bar with stools, and it reflects natural light from the living room. This decorating option works in my dark kitchen with traditional style, but mirrors are available in all styles and sizes for every decorating preference. Browse websites that sell mirrors, and envision the perfect style on a bare wall in your dark kitchen. When carefully placed, it will make a difference in the overall look of the space.
Use Room-Enhancing Light Bulbs and Under-Cabinet Lighting
New light bulbs can make a tremendous difference when looking for affordable and easy decorating options for a dark kitchen. Instead of using standard incandescent bulbs, opt for room-enhancing light bulbs of the highest wattage recommended for kitchen fixtures. In addition, consider adding under-cabinet LED lighting when decorating. The areas beneath upper cabinets tend to be the darkest of all, and this will greatly help bring more light for practical and aesthetic purposes.
Install Light-Colored Countertops to Make a Dark Kitchen Brighter
If a kitchen appears dark and dreary, dark countertops will only make it look darker. When decorating a kitchen and making significant changes, opt for lighter colored countertops such as Corian, light colored granite, cement, or highly affordable plastic laminate. Look into the various options, and choose something light and bright instead of dark material.
My dark kitchen has ugly gray speckled laminate countertops, and they do absolutely nothing for the room. Since the home is rented I am stuck with the dark countertops that make the dark kitchen appear drearier than ever. However, I covered open areas with large white cutting boards, and this made a tremendous difference. This is a great option for anyone that cannot replace kitchen countertops.
Decorating Windows with the Right Shades and Sheer Curtains
Choosing the right window treatments is essential when decorating a dark kitchen. Instead of selecting heavy cotton drapes or dark woven curtains, choose sheer Roman shades in a light color. Matchstick blinds are also an excellent option. They will allow light to shine in while nicely dressing up the windows. In addition to light shades or blinds, embellish the windows with light sheers in a color that will enhance the accent colors in the room.
A skylight, larger windows, or additional windows are the best solutions when decorating a dark room, but this option is not always feasible. Try the aforementioned ways of decorating a dark kitchen, and make it look like a welcoming part of the home instead of a cave. Even the darkest area can look lighter and brighter will a little effort and creativity.