Your kitchen is the “heart of the home” and a place you spend ample time cooking, entertaining, and hanging out with friends and family. This important room should feel warm, inviting, and comfortable—all feelings that can be achieved by welcoming in abundant natural light.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a kitchen remodeling project to replace your cramped, dark kitchen with a bright, airy atmosphere. Incorporate a few (or all!) of the tips listed below to maximize the natural light and, therefore, the enjoyment of your kitchen.
Illuminate Your Kitchen with Natural Light from These Tips
Paint your walls a bright neutral color.
Light colors reflect natural sunlight, while dark, moody colors absorb it. If you want to maximize natural light in your kitchen, consider painting your walls a bright, neutral color, like a cool white or a warm beige. Even if you don’t have many windows in your kitchen, the lighter walls will work wonders reflecting the available natural light.
Choose a high-gloss paint.
Instead of choosing a matte finish, consider choosing paint with an eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss finish. Not only will these glossier paints make the surfaces in your kitchen easier to clean and less likely to scratch, but they’ll also help to reflect natural light.
Incorporate reflective appliances.
We’re sure you’ve heard the design trick that mirrors can make a room appear larger by reflecting natural light. While you might not be inclined to place a mirror in your kitchen, there’s another small trick that can provide the same effect—installing reflective appliances!
Install stainless steel appliances when possible since they are more reflective than black or colored surfaces. Additionally, consider adding high-gloss ceramic tiles to your backsplash or incorporating glass décor pieces, like light fixtures and vases, into your kitchen design.
Install glass cabinetry.
Cabinets take up a lot of “real estate” in your kitchen, so choosing reflective cabinets is one of the best ways to make your kitchen feel brighter. Glass-fronted cabinets can reflect natural light from nearby windows—just like mirrors or reflective appliances—and are just as beneficial for displaying cookbooks, dinnerware, pitchers, and ceramics as open shelving.
Select light-colored surfaces.
Your kitchen walls aren’t the only surfaces that should be a light, bright color. Consider swapping out other prominent areas in your kitchen—like the counters, backsplashes, and flooring—with lighter alternatives to reflect natural light.
For example, dark hardwood flooring can be replaced with beige or gray tile, and a brown granite countertop could be swapped out with a white quartz countertop. These swaps will make a world of difference in increasing the natural light in your kitchen!
Best Window Materials & Styles to Maximize Natural Light
Of course, one of the best ways to boost the natural light in your kitchen is by adding more windows or replacing smaller windows with larger styles to allow more natural light inside.
We recommend installing sleek, modern fiberglass windows in kitchens to maximize natural light. These low-maintenance windows come with thinner frames ideal for allowing as much sunshine inside as possible, and they come in dozens of finishes and colors. Choose from these window styles to incorporate the most natural light into your kitchen design:
Even if you don’t have much wall space in your kitchen, you can almost always find an excellent spot for an awning window. Awning windows are hinged at the top and swing outward at the bottom, and they’re typically smaller and offer more privacy than other window styles. They’re ideally suited for hard-to-reach places, like above a kitchen sink or front door, and they are perfect for providing refreshing ventilation—which is often much-needed in a steamy kitchen.
The best part about awning windows is that they can be installed in tight spaces where other windows won’t work, so they can genuinely “maximize” the natural light in your kitchen with minimal effort.
Bay and Bow Windows
Unlike small awning windows, bay and bow windows are some of the largest windows available. These systems are made up of several windows (usually anywhere from three to six) and protrude outward from the wall at a curve or angle to create additional square footage—perfect for a breakfast nook, reading corner, or kitchen desk. Bow windows generally look best in traditional homes, while bay windows are often incorporated into contemporary designs.
Bay and bow windows do more than invite natural light into your kitchen. Because they’re angled, they can also “catch” the light at different times of the day, illuminating your kitchen with a golden glow in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Fixed windows are large, inoperable windows with no sashes or hardware attached—meaning they can provide more expansive, brighter views while inviting more natural light inside. Fixed windows look great behind a dining table or above a kitchen countertop to provide plenty of natural light while preparing and serving meals.
One of the disadvantages of fixed windows is that they cannot be opened to welcome fresh breezes inside. However, this potential problem can be easily combated by installing operable windows, like sliding or casement windows, on each side to provide more natural light and ventilation.
Increase the Natural Light Sources in Your Kitchen by Installing Pella Windows
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you with a few ways to maximize natural light in your kitchen! Some to-do items, like painting and incorporating more reflective appliances, are easy DIY projects, while others, like window installation, will require professional help.
JD Hostetter & Associates is proud to be a Pella Elite Certified Contractor—the highest level of certification offered by this high-standard manufacturer. If you would like to brighten your kitchen with awning, picture, or bay and bow windows from Pella—we would be happy to help you.
To learn more about the benefits of replacement windows and the window styles and materials we install, read up on our expert window services in Indianapolis!