This is a guest post by Ross Donald. If you want to guest post on this blog, see the guidelines here.
The kitchen is a place where everyone wants to be. It is where families gather and friends cook together. It is the room with more memories than any other. It’s where your grandmother taught you how to make her baklava. It’s the room your father was painting that day you broke up with your first love and he comforted you with your favorite snack. Kitchens should be a safe place for you and your family, but they should also remain beautiful.
1. Light where you need it. Chopping, mixing, chopping and cutting. The kitchen can be a dangerous place, and first and foremost, your lighting needs to be there for safety. No one should be forced to cut in the dark. Make sure your preparation areas are well lit, especially the stove, sharp surfaces and anywhere when something gets hot or cut.
2. Darkness where you need it. There are certain areas that just need to be dimmed to look good. If every inch of your kitchen is as bright as a hospital, it will feel like it. Keep some corners and other less used areas dark or dimly lit. Store decorative elements in these areas. Wine bottles, fruit bowls and decorative candles look especially good. An ornamental bottle or fruit bowl looks more intense and intriguing under low light.
3. Light from below. Modern kitchens need modern lighting. Fortunately for you there are several options to make your kitchen look exactly the way you want it. Under cabinet lighting is one of the most popular and best looking options. Use longer lights to illuminate entire benches and puck lights to illuminate specific areas. Be careful with puck lights, sometimes they require extra wiring and when placed incorrectly they can make your counter top look like it’s covered in stage lights. No need to make your orange bowl feel like it’s about to give a performance.
4. Choose longevity. Do not pick your light based on current fads. Make sure you choose something that you think you will like today, tomorrow and for many days to come. Often a kitchen looks great for a few months and then soon down the road it looks dated and silly. Track lighting, recessed lighting and simple light fixtures look best and are a look that will last. Unique chandeliers and ceiling fans may look funky and fun, but you’re more likely to get bored with them.
5. Try track lights. Track lighting is a style that lasts. It looks great in the kitchen and allows you to move the lights based on your needs. It is also one of the best choices for a kitchen of any size. The kitchen in my house has track lights and I have never been happier with it. I cross the light paths to illuminate the areas I need. The modern look that track lighting offers is second to none.
6. Keep in your style. There are millions of options on the market today and most of them will match your style perfectly. Don’t rush and get confused by a lot. Make sure that what you are picking is perfect for your kitchen. After all, it’s just that, your a kitchen. Often someone finds a lamp or light that is on ‘one day sale’ and feels pressured to buy it. You don’t have to. It really won’t be worth it in the long run.
After a few simple steps you will make your kitchen the place to be for years to come. Not only will it be aesthetically pleasing, it will be safe and beautiful. It will be where you teach your children to make your own chicken dumpling soup and where holidays are spent, laughing and sharing stories.
Ross Donald is a stay-at-home dad and interior design junkie with a bad writing habit. His free time is often spent wandering the aisles of home improvement stores and daydreaming about DIY projects. Ross writes for lighting equipment suppliers.