How to Brighten a Dark Kitchen?

Dark kitchens can feel uninviting and unwelcoming. If your kitchen feels too dark, don’t worry! There are many things you can do to brighten it up. In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips for making your space more welcoming. We will cover everything from painting your walls a lighter color to adding more light fixtures. So whether your kitchen is currently in dire need of some brightness or you just want to prepare for when the days get shorter, keep reading for our helpful guide on how to brighten a dark kitchen!

Why Would You Want to Change Your Dark Kitchen?

There are many reasons why someone might want to brighten up their dark kitchen. Maybe you just moved into a new home and the previous owners had very different taste in décor than you do. Or maybe you’re sick of your current kitchen’s dreary aesthetic and are looking for a change. Whatever your reason may be, there are several ways to achieve your goal!

Why Would You Want to Change Your Dark Kitchen?

A dark kitchen can feel small and cramped and less comfortable. It can be difficult to see what you’re doing, and it can be hard to find things in a dark space. Additionally, a dark kitchen may make your home feel less welcoming overall.

If your kitchen is particularly small, or if it has low ceilings, you may feel like the walls are closing in on you. This can be an especially daunting feeling when you’re trying to cook a meal. [1]

Ways to Brighten a Dark Kitchen

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to brighten up your dark kitchen. With a few simple changes, you can make your space more open and inviting. Below we shall discuss some tips for how to brighten your kit to brighten them up in detail.

Add vivid decorations

One of the most entertaining ways you can brighten up your kitchen is by adding decorations. Decorations add life to any room, and they can be a great way to express your personality.

If your kitchen is feeling a little bland, try adding some short colorful curtains or a fun rug.

You could also hang up pictures or paintings that feature bright colors.

Another way to add decoration to your kitchen is by displaying items that are meaningful to you. This could include family photos, souvenirs from trips, or even just things that make you smile. By surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, you’ll help brighten up your space overall.

Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to the feel of your kitchen. If you’re not sure where to start, try adding a few colorful accents and see how they change the space. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes. [2]

Add more open shelves

A simple way to make a dark kitchen feel brighter is to add more open shelves. This will allow light to reach the back of your cabinets and make your space feel more open overall. If you have the opportunity, adding glass doors to your cabinets can also help brighten up your space. [2],[3]

Paint cabinets in a light color

One of the quickest ways to brighten up a dark kitchen is by painting the cabinets in a light color. This will immediately make the space feel more open and airy. If you have darker countertops, consider painting them as well. Light colors will reflect more light than dark colors, making the space appear brighter. Try using white, cream, or pastel colors on walls, floors, cabinets, or countertops. You can also add some brightness by installing new hardware on your cabinets that are in a lighter color or finish.

Paint cabinets in a light color

It’s important to avoid installing any dark wooden cabinets as these will only make your kitchen feel more closed off.
If you have to go with darker colors, try to stay within a light-medium shade range. [1],[2],[3],[4]

Avoid mosaic patterns in decor

Mosaic patterns are often used in kitchens to add color and personality. However, these patterns can actually make a space feel smaller and more cluttered. If your kitchen is on the small side, avoid using mosaic patterns in your decor.

You may also want to avoid using dark colors in your decor. Dark colors tend to make a space feel smaller and more closed off. If you want to use dark colors in your kitchen, try painting one accent wall or using them in small pieces throughout the room.[1]

Paint your walls in light colors

If you want to make a big change to your kitchen, painting the walls is a great place to start. Light colors will help brighten up the space and make it feel more open. If your kitchen is currently painted in dark colors, consider repainting it in a light hue.

You may also want to consider painting the ceiling. A white or light-colored ceiling will reflect more light and make the room feel taller. This can be especially helpful in a small kitchen.

Don’t limit yourself to white paint, though. There are plenty of other light colors that would work well in a kitchen. Try out a few samples before you decide on the perfect shade for your space.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect color, painting the walls is a relatively easy process. You can either do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Either way, you’ll be amazed at how much difference a fresh coat of paint can make. [2],[3]

Make the use of windows

Another way to brighten up a dark kitchen is by making use of the windows. If your kitchen doesn’t have any windows, consider adding some. Windows will allow natural light to enter your space, making it feel more open and inviting.

Make the use of windows

If you already have windows in your kitchen, make sure they are clean and clear of any obstructions. You may also want to consider hanging curtains or blinds that are in a light color. This will help reflect light and brighten up the space even further. [1]

Install under cabinet lights

Installing under cabinet lights will help your dark kitchen as well. These are small, efficient lights that can be installed directly under your cabinets. They provide task lighting, which is perfect for cooking or preparing food. Under cabinet lights are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. You can find them at most home improvement stores.

Consider adding a dimmer switch to your under cabinet lights so that you can control the amount of light in your space. This will allow you to create the perfect ambiance for any situation.[4]

Install receding lights

You can also brighten up a dark kitchen by installing recessed lights. These are small light fixtures that are installed in the ceiling and point downwards. They provide a lot of light without taking up any valuable counter space.

The most effective way to utilize receding lights, is to prioritize strategic areas.

For example, place a light above your stove so that you have better visibility when cooking. Or, put a light over your sink so that you can see while washing dishes.

You can also use receding lights to highlight certain areas of your kitchen. For example, if you have a beautiful backsplash, install a light above it to make it stand out.

Installing recessed lights is a bit more complicated than other methods on this list. However, they are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most home improvement stores. If you’re not comfortable doing the installation yourself, hire an electrician to do it for you.

If your kitchen doesn’t have enough electrical outlets for recessed lights, you can also use track lighting. This type of lighting gives you the flexibility to move the light heads around, so you can direct the light where you need it most. Track lighting can be especially useful if you have a dark corner that you want to brighten up. [1],[3]

Install pendant lights

Pendant lights are a great way to add style and light to your kitchen. They come in a variety of styles, so you can find something that fits the overall look of your space. These lamps provide focused light that can be directed where you need it most. Pendant lights are typically hung from the ceiling, so they won’t take up any valuable counter space.

Install brighter bulbs

Sometimes, the quickest and easiest way to brighten up a space is to simply install brighter light bulbs. If your kitchen has CFL or LED bulbs, consider swapping them out for higher wattage options. This will make it easier to see what you’re doing and make the space feel more open overall.

The recommended wattage for kitchen is 80-100 watts, so look out for the bulbs within this wattage range. [4]

Add reflective surfaces

One way to brighten up a dark kitchen is by adding reflective surfaces. This will help to bounce light around the room and make the space feel larger.

Adding a mirror is an easy way to add a reflective surface to your kitchen. You could hang a mirror on one of the walls, or you could prop it up against another surface. Mirrors are especially effective in small kitchens as they create the illusion of more space.

Another way to add a reflective surface to your kitchen is by installing shiny stainless steel countertops or fridge. If you have dark cabinets, adding reflective surfaces will help to brighten up the space. [1],[3],[4]

Make your backsplash lighter

Backsplash is a great place to start when trying to brighten up your kitchen. If your backsplash is dark, it can make the whole room feel darker. Try using a light-colored backsplash to create a more open feel in your kitchen.

Make your backsplash lighter

One way to brighten up your backsplash is by adding some color. You could use brightly colored tiles or paint to add some life to your kitchen. This is a great way to inject some personality into your space and make it feel more welcoming.

If you’re not sure what color to choose, white is always a safe bet. You could also try a light blue or pastel green. Whatever color you choose, make sure it’s something that you’ll be happy with for years to come. It could be either glossy or matte. [2],[4]

Brightening Your Kitchen: Strategies for Dark Spaces

If you have a dark kitchen, there are several strategies and design choices you can make to brighten it up and create a more inviting and functional space. Below, we explore methods for brightening a dark kitchen, including lighting, color schemes, materials, storage solutions, and decor, to help you transform your kitchen into a well-lit and welcoming area.

Aspect Information
Lighting Improving kitchen lighting with fixtures, task lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and natural light sources.
Color Palette Choosing light and reflective colors for walls, cabinets, and countertops to enhance brightness.
Mirrors and Glass Using mirrors, glass cabinet doors, and glass backsplashes to bounce light and create a sense of openness.
Open Shelving Replacing some upper cabinets with open shelves to reduce visual bulk and add an airy feel.
Reflective Surfaces Incorporating materials like stainless steel, glossy tiles, and quartz countertops for their reflective qualities.
Minimalism Opting for a minimalist design with fewer decorations and clutter to maintain a clean and open look.
Window Treatments Choosing light and sheer window treatments to allow more natural light to enter the kitchen.
Light-Colored Flooring Selecting light-colored flooring materials, such as light wood or tile, to brighten the space.
Artificial Plants Incorporating artificial plants or greenery to add a touch of nature and freshness to the kitchen.
Accent Lighting Adding accent lighting to highlight certain areas or features in the kitchen for a more dynamic ambiance.

Explanation of the Table:

  • Lighting: Discusses various lighting options to brighten the kitchen.
  • Color Palette: Emphasizes the importance of choosing light colors for a brighter atmosphere.
  • Mirrors and Glass: Explains how mirrors and glass elements can enhance light and space.
  • Open Shelving: Highlights the benefits of open shelving for reducing visual weight.
  • Reflective Surfaces: Discusses materials that reflect light effectively.
  • Minimalism: Suggests a minimalist approach to maintain an open and uncluttered feel.
  • Window Treatments: Recommends using light and sheer window treatments.
  • Light-Colored Flooring: Advises on the choice of flooring materials for brightness.
  • Artificial Plants: Recommends adding greenery for a fresh touch.
  • Accent Lighting: Explains the use of accent lighting for a more dynamic atmosphere.

By implementing these strategies for brightening a dark kitchen, you can create a more inviting and enjoyable space for cooking and dining.


How do you remodel a dark kitchen?

There are a few ways that you can remodel your dark kitchen to make it more bright and comfortable. One way is to change the color scheme. If you have a dark kitchen, chances are that the walls are painted a dark color. Try painting the walls a lighter color, such as white or cream. This will instantly brighten up the space.

Another way to brighten up your dark kitchen is to add more lighting fixtures. If your kitchen doesn’t have many windows, then consider adding some extra light fixtures, such as pendant lights or track lighting.

How do you lighten dark countertops?

The easiest method to lighten dark countertops is to place lighter-colored items on them. For example, use a white cutting board or put a vase of light-colored flowers on the counter. Try using brighter colors in your kitchen accessories to add a pop of color and make the space feel lighter overall. Or, you can use under-cabinet lighting to help to illuminate the area.

How do you make dark kitchen cabinets look good?

There are a few things you can do to make dark kitchen cabinets look good. One is to install bright lighting under the cabinets and in the corners of the room. This will help to brighten up the space and make it feel more welcoming.

Another tip is to paint the walls a light color. This will reflect some of the light from the cabinets and help to brighten up the space.

Finally, you can add some brighter decorations or accents to the room. This will help to add some visual interest and make the dark cabinets stand out less.

What are some effective ways to brighten a dark kitchen?

To brighten a dark kitchen, consider these strategies:

1. Use Lighter Paint Colors: Choose light, neutral colors for your kitchen walls, cabinets, and countertops to reflect more light.
2. Adequate Lighting: Install under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights, and recessed lighting to illuminate workspaces and create a brighter atmosphere.
3. White or Light-Colored Backsplash: Opt for a white or light-colored backsplash to bounce light around the kitchen.
4. Reflective Surfaces: Incorporate materials like glass, mirrors, or stainless steel appliances to add reflective surfaces that enhance light.
5. Open Shelving: Replace some cabinet doors with open shelving to create a more open and airy feel.
6. Light Flooring: Choose light-colored flooring, such as light wood or tile, to brighten the kitchen.
7. Window Treatments: Use sheer curtains or blinds to allow natural light in while maintaining privacy.
8. Declutter: Keep countertops and surfaces free of clutter to maximize the sense of space and light.
9. Maintain Cleanliness: Regularly clean and maintain your kitchen to prevent dirt and grease buildup that can make a space feel darker.

Are there specific types of light bulbs that work best for brightening a dark kitchen?

Yes, for a brighter kitchen, use cool white or daylight LED light bulbs. These bulbs provide a clear and bright illumination that closely resembles natural daylight, making your kitchen appear brighter and more inviting.

Can changing the kitchen layout help brighten a dark kitchen?

Yes, changing the kitchen layout can improve the lighting and overall feel of a dark kitchen. Consider opening up walls, relocating appliances, and creating better flow to allow more natural light to penetrate the space.

Is it possible to brighten a dark kitchen without a major renovation?

Yes, you can brighten a dark kitchen without a major renovation by implementing some of the strategies mentioned earlier, such as changing paint colors, adding lighting, and using reflective surfaces. These changes can significantly improve the kitchen’s brightness without the need for extensive remodeling.

What are some budget-friendly ways to brighten a dark kitchen?

Budget-friendly ways to brighten a dark kitchen include repainting the walls and cabinets, upgrading the lighting with affordable fixtures, adding peel-and-stick backsplash tiles, and using adhesive shelf liners to brighten cabinet interiors.

Can natural light be enhanced in a dark kitchen with limited windows?

Yes, you can enhance natural light in a kitchen with limited windows by using light-colored window treatments that allow more light to filter through, installing a skylight, or strategically placing mirrors to reflect available natural light into the space. Additionally, keeping windows clean and unobstructed helps maximize the impact of natural light.

Useful Video: How to brighten a dark-colored kitchen


If your kitchen is feeling too dark and cramped, don’t worry! There are simple solutions to make your space feel larger and brighter.

Start by adding more light sources – this could be anything from additional lamps to brighter overhead lighting. Add some artistic touches, such as a colorful backsplash or some fun kitchen accessories.

One great idea is to utilize windows well by placing seating areas near them so natural light can flood in. Finally, paint the walls a lighter color to reflect more light and make the space feel open and airy. With these simple tips, your dark kitchen will soon be the bright space you’ve always wanted. Thanks for reading!