The kitchen is a central, multi-functional part of your home. It is the space where busy lives intersect, from weekly rituals of meal planning, meal-prep, and cooking to the sorting of the mail, random middle-school science experiments and the hosting of dinner parties. The right lighting in an area as versatile as the kitchen can be essential to the general atmosphere of the room, and that versatility calls for layers. A kitchen has the option of three different layers of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.
Whether the kitchen is blessed with an abundance of natural lighting or lacking in the general window department, ambient lighting is a great way to cast the main source of light. Focus on the ceiling along the main kitchen areas; the higher and brighter you place the fixtures, the more light will fill the kitchen space. This will give a warm, casual glow to the space. General lighting options can range from recessed lighting along the ceiling to hanging chandeliers, flushmounts, or pendant lights.
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Accent lighting can help bring depth and creativity to your kitchen. Adding sconces to the walls or showcasing art with cleverly placed spotlights can create mood lighting in certain areas of the space. Thoughtfully placed lights inside a china cabinet can allure guests with the shine of your best dishes. Toe kick lighting can be used around the prime lines and angles of the kitchen, whether that is under the lower cabinets along the kitchen or a centrally placed island. This can illuminate the kitchen floors in a warm glow that gives a welcoming feeling to guests or to the occasional late-night snacker. There is even the option of installing accent lighting along the insides of cabinets and drawers, which can brighten the darker corners of storage spaces.
Lighting plays an important key in how you view and interact within the kitchen. By adding layers of different lighting throughout the space, you can create a different atmosphere for each and every occasion. Whether you overlay ambient lighting with task lighting, or accent lighting with a hint of ambient lighting, these layers of lighting will only add to the appeal of the kitchen.
Check out our kitchen gallery for more examples of the right way to light a kitchen.