17 Bright Ideas To Lighten Up Your Kitchen

Bright Ideas To Lighten Up Your Kitchen

When it comes to kitchens, one of the main goals is usually to make the space as bright and welcoming as possible. But sometimes, no matter how much you clean or how many new appliances you add, your kitchen can still feel a little bit drab.

In this article, we have rounded up 17 ways to make any kitchen brighter, no matter what your budget or style may be. So whether you are looking for a quick and easy fix or a more permanent solution, we’ve got you covered.

Tips And Tricks To Make Your Kitchen Look Brighter

One of the simplest ways to make any space brighter is using lighter colors. You can do this in many ways, such as painting the walls, adding light-colored countertops or backsplashes, or even simply using white dishes and linens. Here are other few things to remember:

1. Use Brighter Bulbs

Lighting is one of the most important elements in any room. It can impact the overall look and feel of the space. The right lighting can make a room appear larger, brighter, and more inviting.

When it comes to the kitchen, using brighter bulbs is an easy way to make the space feel lighter. Consider changing your old incandescent bulbs to newer, more energy-efficient LED ones. LED bulbs emit a brighter light while using less energy, making them a great option for the kitchen.

Warm white light bulbs are the best type of LED bulbs to use in the kitchen. They provide a warm and inviting light that is perfect for creating a bright and welcoming space. Bright white light bulbs are also a good option for the kitchen, but they can sometimes give off a harsh light that can be too bright for some people.

2. Add Accent Lights

Elegant kitchen with under-cabinet lights

In addition to overhead lighting, you can also use accent lights to brighten up the kitchen. Accent lights are an excellent way to add extra light to specific areas of the kitchen that need it the most. For example, installing under-cabinet lights will greatly improve the lighting on countertops and work surfaces.

You can also use accent lights to highlight specific features in the kitchen, like artwork or architectural details. They are typically two times brighter than ambient or task lighting, so they can really help make a space more open and bright.

Pendant lights are ideal for adding accent lighting to the kitchen because they come in a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes. You can use them to add extra light to task areas like the sink or stove. Other great options for accent lighting include floodlights, track lights, and recessed lights.

3. Bring In More Natural Light

The main source of natural light in your kitchen is, of course, the windows. Having large windows will help make the space brighter by allowing enough light into the room. If you don’t have many windows (or you do, but they are too small), you can do a few things to maximize the light they let in.

  • Hang sheer curtains that will allow sunlight to filter through without sacrificing privacy.
  • Keep the windows clean so there’s no build-up of dirt and grime blocking the light.
  • If you have the opportunity, add more windows or enlarge the ones you have.
  • You can also install skylights or solar tubes to bring in more light from above.

4. Hang Up Mirrors

If you have a limited number of windows in your kitchen or if they are too small, try hanging a mirror. Mirrors reflect light and make the space seem brighter and larger. You can add a mirror in any area of the kitchen, but they are especially effective when placed behind a pendant light or above the sink.

Find an open wall space in your kitchen to fit a mirror. It does not have to be big; any size mirror can serve its purpose. You can hang two huge mirrors to cover one wall in your kitchen or use a small circular one as kitchen decor.

Not only will a mirror brighten up your kitchen, but it can also be a stylish addition to the space. All sorts of mirrors are available in the market, from antique to modern or small to large, so you are sure to find one that fits your kitchen’s style.

5. Opt For Reflective Materials

Kitchen with stainless steel refrigerator

One of the 17 ways to make any kitchen brighter is by adding reflective surfaces. This can be anything from stainless steel appliances, like refrigerators, microwaves, or stoves, to a tile backsplash. They can help reflect some light, making your kitchen look bigger and brighter.

Glass cabinet doors are another simple way to add reflective surfaces to your kitchen. If you have solid doors, consider switching them out for glass ones. Using transparent elements allows for a continuous and unobstructed visual line. This way, the eyes move more freely around the space, making the room feel more spacious and brighter.

You can also add metallic accents by opting for shiny hardware such as drawer pulls and light fixtures. These will also enhance the reflection of light around the room.

6. Paint The Walls In Lighter Colors

Dark colors tend to make any room feel cramped and gloomy as they absorb light. If you want to make a big impact, painting the walls in a light color is the way to go. This will immediately brighten up the space and make it feel larger.

When choosing a paint color, opt for something light. White is always a good choice for kitchen walls. It looks clean and mixes well with any color scheme. You could also try cream, pale blue, or green. These colors will make your kitchen more open and airy by reflecting more light. You can also consider adding an accent wall in a brighter hue.

If you have a small kitchen, painting the walls white can be especially effective in making the room feel more spacious.

7. Hang Vertically Striped Wallpaper

Choosing the right wallpaper can also make a big difference in how bright and open your kitchen feels. Look for vertically striped wallpaper to cover your kitchen walls. Vertical lines have a lengthening effect that creates the illusion of taller ceilings and makes the small space feel larger. They also help reflect light around the room.

You can use a pale blue or green for a calming effect or a brighter color like yellow or pink for something more cheerful. You can also try using patterned wallpaper with light colors. This will add interest to the space without making it feel too busy.

8. Avoid Color Contrasts

Contemporary kitchen with Yellow walls

Another way to keep the brightness of your kitchen is to avoid colors that create a lot of contrast. Big color contrast can make a space feel smaller and imbalanced, so it is best to stick with colors in the same spectrum.

Do not mix dark and light colors in the same space. For example, do not use a dark-colored backsplash or countertop if you have white walls. Instead, opt for materials that are light in color or have a reflective surface. This will help brighten up the space and make it feel more open.

9. Stick To Neutral Colors

The best way to avoid color contrasts in your kitchen while giving it a brighter look is by sticking to light-enhancing neutral colors. They will make your kitchen feel bright and open without being too overwhelming.

Neutrals are light colors that go well with any other shade. They complement wood and stone, making them a great fit for your cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes. They also blend beautifully with the metallic surfaces of your kitchen sink, faucet, and hardware.

The most popular neutral colors for kitchens are white, cream, beige, pale blue, and light green.

10. Play With Patterns

If you are looking for ways to brighten up your kitchen while adding some personality to it, consider playing with patterns. Patterns are a great way to add interest to a space without making it look too busy. Geometric and diagonal patterns are ideal for decorating small kitchen spaces as they draw the eyes in different directions, making the room feel larger.

Incorporate patterns into your kitchen design by using them on your backsplash, countertop, or floor. You can even use patterned wallpaper to add a pop of color and personality to the space.

A bright rug is a great way to add patterns to your kitchen. It will also help absorb any sound, making the space more inviting. However, avoid going overboard with the patterns, as too much can make a space look cluttered.

11. Add A White Backsplash

Kitchen with white backsplash

Another way to make your kitchen brighter is to add a white backsplash. It will reflect light and make the space feel more open. Use marble or subway tiles, as they are excellent reflectors.

You can also consider using a light-colored tile for your backsplash to reflect even more light. Glass tiles are a good option because they create the same effect and come in many different colors.

12. Use Compact Furniture

Small kitchens tend to be less bright. You cannot do anything about the size of your kitchen, but you can make it feel brighter and larger by choosing compact furniture. Avoid bulky kitchen fixtures and instead opt for sleek and slender pieces. This will give the illusion of a larger space in your kitchen.

You may also want to consider freestanding furniture with legs that allow you to see under them. This will free up some floor space and make a small kitchen look more spacious and open.

Another excellent option is to use foldable or movable furniture such as a rolling island, collapsible table, or cart. They can be moved out of the way when not in use, which will give you more flexibility with your space and allow more light.

13. Choose Open Shelving Over Cabinetry

Modern kitchen with open shelving

Cabinets and closed shelving can make a kitchen feel dark and cramped. They are big, solid blocks that obstruct light from entering your kitchen and fill up the space, leaving little room for light to reflect.

If you want to make your kitchen more spacious without compromising your storage space, you may consider removing the cabinet doors from your existing cabinetry, transforming them into open shelves. Or you may replace your bulky cupboards altogether. You can also choose floating shelves, which will make the space feel larger as they take up less visual space.

If you do not like open shelving, you can also try glass-front cabinets. These will still let in light while providing some storage space for your kitchenware.

14. Update Your Hardware

Updating your cabinet hardware is another quick and easy way to brighten up your kitchen. It can be as simple as replacing your cabinet knobs or drawer pulls with something in a lighter color or finish. You can also try painting your hardware if you are feeling really adventurous.

15. Lighten The Floors

Your floors can also make a big difference in the overall brightness of your kitchen. If you have dark floors, consider lightening them with a stain or paint. You could also try adding a brightly colored or patterned rug to help brighten things up.

16. Use Light-Colored Big Floor Tiles

Kitchen with White floor tiles

You can maximize your floor space by using big floor tiles in a single light color. This will help to reflect more light and make your kitchen appear brighter. Using smaller tiles will create lots of grout joints, which can make the area appear closed in and divert the eyes from the tiles.

On the other hand, larger tiles can stretch the floor space to help make a small kitchen look bigger. You can also choose a grout color that will complement the tiles to make the grout less noticeable, reducing visual clutter. This helps to make the room feel larger and more open.

17. Organize And Unclutter Your Kitchen Area

One of the easiest ways to make your kitchen appear brighter is by decluttering it and making it more organized. When there are too many objects in a room, it can appear darker and congested. Removing some of the unnecessary items from your countertops can help make your kitchen appear brighter and more open.

Ensure that all your kitchen essentials have their designated place so you can easily put them away once you are done using them. The less clutter there is, the more spacious and brighter your kitchen will appear. Check some of these kitchen organization ideas to help you with your decluttering.

You can also find some storage solutions to help you declutter your kitchen and make it appear more spacious. If you have a small kitchen, invest in creative storage such as hidden storage racks or wall-to-wall storage.


There are many ways that you can make your kitchen appear brighter. By decluttering, adding more light fixtures, or using lighter colors, you can transform your dark and dreary kitchen area into a more lively and spacious one.

We hope this article has been helpful to you. Which of these 17 ways to make any kitchen brighter is your favorite? Please let us know in the comments below.

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