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6 ways to increase the natural light in your kitchen

Do you have a kitchen with little natural light? Or perhaps, as autumn and winter draw in, you're wondering how you can increase the natural light in your kitchen. In this post we share our top tips to brighten your kitchen and dining space.

Exposure to natural light can reduce blood pressure, lower stress and anxiety, and boost your immune system.

It can also increase the value of your property and help to keep your electricity bills lower!

When you first enter a property, the abundance (or lack of) natural light will play a big part in how the space makes you feel.

More natural light can make a room lighter and brighter, which gives the sense of more space. It’s also thought to improve our mood and wellbeing.

So if you have a kitchen with little natural light, it’s understandable that you’re keen to investigate how you might change this. And some of these tips can work for other rooms too with no or little natural light.

So if you’re not blessed with tonnes of natural light in your kitchen, what can be done about it?

Expert tips to increase natural light in a kitchen

Here are our six top tips for how to add natural light to a kitchen:

1. Opt for a lighter shade of paint on the walls

White absorbs the least amount of light from the spectrum, making it the most reflective paint colour.

Therefore, one of the easiest ways to increase the natural light in your kitchen is to paint the walls in white or neutral tones.

Some of our favourite shades include greige, sage green, and blush pink.

2. Go for gloss

When buying your wall paint, opt for a light reflective paint finish. These formulations contain light-reflective particles that reflect up to twice as much light back into the room.

For woodwork, choose a gloss finish to help bounce more light around the kitchen.

3. Choose light-coloured flooring

Another top tip for helping to increase the natural light in a kitchen is to choose a lighter-coloured flooring.

A lighter-coloured flooring will help to create an airy feel to the space. However, many home interior experts agree that your floor colour should be darker than the walls to make the room appear larger.

Therefore, if you choose a light wall colour, aim for a slightly darker tone on the floor for contrast. A light grey or ‘greige’ would work well. A polished or shiny finish such as ceramic tiles or a high-gloss vinyl will help to reflect natural light around your kitchen too.

Increasing the natural light in the kitchen

4. Mirrors!

If you’re clever with the placement of mirrors in the kitchen, you’ll really feel the benefits.

Mirrors are expert light-reflectors, so place one opposite or near the window to amplify the natural light that enters the room. The bigger the mirror, the brighter and lighter your kitchen will feel.

Mirrored splashback, gloss subway tiles, high-gloss cabinets, and glass worktops will all harness the power of their light-reflecting qualities to brighten a dark kitchen.

5. Accessorise carefully

The advice so far has been to keep design choices light and bright in a naturally dark kitchen.

However, you can accessorise with pops or colour or metallic finishes to draw the eye.

Don’t be afraid to display these items on open shelving. The key here is to keep clutter to a minimum.

6. Add a touch of glass

Sometimes it’s possible to replace part of an external wall with glass blocks to allow more natural light into the kitchen. Our cost guide, below, shares more detail on the cost of this project.

If you have more budget to play with, and it’s structurally possible, the installation of Velux windows, skylights, bi-fold doors, or Crittall doors will flood your kitchen with natural light.

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How to add natural light to a room without windows

We have three ideas to share with you for how to lighten a dark room with no natural light.

1. Sun tunnels

The first is to add a sun tunnel. This is a domed or flat panel that sits on the roof, attached to a reflective tube that leads down into the ceiling. The natural light filters down the tube and into the room below. You can expect to pay around £725 for a sun tunnel (incl. installation). Take a look at our sun tunnel cost guide for more information.

2. Skylights

Another popular way to add natural light to a room without windows is to have a skylight (or Velux window) installed. The cost will vary depending on the type of window you go for, the scope of the work, and the cost of installation. Read our handy guide on the cost of installing skylights.

3. Turn up the lights

Of course, it’s not ‘natural’ light, but another effective way to brighten a dark kitchen is to add more lighting! Ceiling spotlights and under-cabinet LED lighting will make the space much more inviting.

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How do you add natural light to a dark kitchen?

There are many interior design tricks you can use to add natural light to a dark kitchen, including using light wall paint in a light-reflective finish.

Choosing a lighter-coloured floor, light-reflective materials such as high-gloss subway tiles and cabinet fronts, mirrored splashback and glass worktop.

Finally, position a mirror next to or opposite the window to bounce the available natural light around the kitchen.

What do you do with a kitchen with no natural light?

For a kitchen with no natural light you might consider structural alterations where possible.

For example, replace part of an external wall with glass blocks, have a skylight installed, or go for a fully-glazed wall in the form of bi-fold doors. Spotlights and under-cabinet lights will work wonders to brighten a kitchen with no natural light.

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