Lighting is an essential but often overlooked part of home decor and interior design. In addition to choosing fun new designs, the placement and effectiveness of the lighting should also be considered. With the rise of open kitchens, kitchen decor and lighting choices often influence the atmosphere of the rest of the home. A balance must be found between functionality and aesthetic quality.
The kitchen is one of the most used parts of the home and it is certainly used for much more than just cooking. It's also where the family gathers, where last-minute errands are handled, guests are entertained, and lighting is crucial in any scenario. Three basic types of lighting should be considered in every kitchen: ambient, task and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting is the main source of light in your kitchen. This can be used to supplement natural light or, if there is none, to replace it. It is intended to illuminate your space as evenly as possible, and while the design you choose (be it recessed lights, pendant lights, etc.), largely up to you, the light should be strong and wide enough to illuminate most of your kitchen for functional purposes.
It's used for those tricky spots in your kitchen that inevitably remain in shadow, even with ambient lighting. It is intended for those spaces in the kitchen that you may not use as often, but are no less important, such as your pantry and shelves. Adequate lighting (such as spotlights or portable lights) in these areas allows you to perform the tasks you need safely and effortlessly.
Accent lighting helps cross the line from a purely functional kitchen design to one that is much more aesthetically pleasing. These lights can be installed on top of more functional lights and can be used to highlight your favorite elements in the kitchen. Lighting (such as recessed lights, LED strips) behind or above open-concept shelves can be used in the kitchen as a way to provide soft lighting.
Blending function and aesthetics
Pendant lights have become fashionable due to their perfect blend of functionality and that "wow" factor. Often hanging lights over the kitchen island provide great lighting and allow you to focus on chopping, slicing and preparing your meal, all under some pretty glamorous lighting! Of course, surface lights are still a common and popular type of ambient lighting, and while they are effective, they also have some beautiful and modern designs that you can add to your interior decor.
Under-cabinet lighting, which can include anything from surface, deck, or even strip lights, is incredibly effective at task lighting and great for eliminating dark or shadowy corners in your kitchen. By keeping them small and planning ahead, you can ensure that they don't clash with your ambient lighting while adding to the overall ambiance of your kitchen.
LIGHTINGAccent lighting allows you to be quite playful and creative when it comes to kitchen design. Recessed lighting can be used anywhere, but works best where light is reflected, such as on glass shelves, or used to illuminate beautifully designed areas. Above-cabinet lights, on the other hand, add a dramatic touch to your kitchen design and can be used to highlight decor or architecture.