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Your kitchen needs to have the most flexible lighting scheme of the whole house to reflect the wide range of functions for which it is used, so it's always wise to start with a good lighting plan. To find out how to design and create your own lighting plan, please see our page here
Define a dining zone
Define the eating area in your kitchen with large striking pendant lights. Hanging them low will allow the shades to take centre stage, but make sure they're high enough not to get in the way of conversation!
Create a practical space to prepare meals by adding task lighting above your cooking station. Under cupboard lighting is great for this because it is well hidden and stops your shadow obscuring the worktop. LEDs are winners all round for this purpose as they are far more economical (see our page about LEDs here) and they have less heat output so they prevent cupboards and food becoming too warm. Also, make sure the sockets and switches around your cooking area are flush to the wall so they are easy to clean.
Corners disappear into darkness and make your kitchen look smaller. Illuminating them with corner lights will create the illusion of space as it redirects the eye to the outer perimeter of the room making it look bigger than it actually is. Even better, fit shelving into your alcoves or cupboards and install lighting behind to illuminate your kitchen accessories and cooking products. For more space-saving ideas, see our page on creating the illusion of space with clever lighting here
Bold lampshades aren't just for the living room or bedroom. Choose an oversized statement shade and hang low above an island for an instant shot of colour. Another great idea is to incorporate lighting below the unit as this will make it appear to float.
Create a wow-factor focal point in your kitchen by adding a dash of opulence with a grand chandelier. A glistening metal and crystal number suits this modern kitchen but you could also add a classic twist by opting for bold antique chandelier.
Spotlights are great task lighting. They're subtle enough not to interfere with the rest of your scheme, but are a sure-fire way to brighten up the whole look. If your kitchen or dining area is small, you can increase the sense of space by using directional spotlights angled towards the cupboards and walls. The light is reflected back into the room and is much more effective than shining the light straight down at the floor.
As well as the essential task lighting, add some accent and ambient lighting. Using a number of different sources lends a more ‘three-dimensional’ feel and so helps you create the mood you want. Each source should be controlled individually so that the scheme can create anything from the feeling of bright daylight to an intimate atmosphere over dinner.