This is a guest post by Ross Donald. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
The kitchen is a place where everyone wants to be. It’s where families gather and friends cook together. It’s 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 dad was painting the 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, blending, slicing & dicing. 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 chop in the dark. Make sure your prep areas are well lit, especially the stove, cutting surfaces and anywhere when something gets hot or cut.
2. Dark where you need it. There are certain areas that just need to be dim to look good. If every inch of your kitchen is as bright as a hospital, it’ll feel like just that. 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 bowl of fruit will look more intense and intriguing under low light.
3. Light from below. Modern kitchens require modern lighting. Luckily for you there are several options to make your kitchen look exactly as you’d like it. Under cabinet lighting is one of the most popular and best looking options. Use longer lights to illuminate whole counters and puck type lights to light specific areas. Be careful with puck lights, sometimes they require extra wiring and when poorly placed they can make your counter top look like it’s covered in stage spot lights. No need to make your bowl of oranges feel like they’re about to give a performance.
4. Choose longevity. Don’t pick your lighting based off current fads. Make sure you pick something you think you’ll like today, tomorrow and for many days to come. All too often a kitchen will look great for a few months and then shortly down the road it looks dated and silly. Track lighting, recessed lights and simple light fixtures look best and are looks that will last. Unique chandeliers and ceiling fans can look funky and fun, but you’re more likely to get bored with them.
5. Try track lighting. Track lighting is a style that lasts. It looks great in the kitchen and allows you to move lights based on your needs. It’s also one of the best options for a kitchen of any size. My kitchen at home has track lighting and I’ve 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. Stay within your style. There are millions of options on the market today and many of them will fit your style perfectly. Don’t rush and don’t be swayed by a great deal. Make sure what you’re picking is perfect for your kitchen. After all, it’s just that, your kitchen. All too often someone will find a lamp or light that’s on a ‘one day sale’ and feel pressured to buy it. Don’t. It really won’t be worth it in the long run.
Following a few simple steps will make your kitchen the place to be for years to come. Not only will it be aesthetically pleasing, it’ll be safe and beautiful. It’ll be where you teach your children to make your 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 day dreaming about DIY projects. Ross writes for light fixture suppliers.