How to Brighten Up a Dark Kitchen: The Complete Guide

April 29, 2020

Are you trying to figure out how to brighten up a dark kitchen? If yes, you should check out our guide here with some useful tips.

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. People spend a sizeable amount of time in their kitchen cooking, cleaning, and enjoying time with their families.

Because you're spending so much time in your kitchen, it's very important that you make the space as welcoming as possible. But, what if your kitchen is dark? Is there anything you can do to brighten up a dark kitchen?

The answer is yes!

Check out this guide to discover how to brighten up a dark kitchen.

Install More Lighting

Obviously, one of the easiest ways to brighten up a dark kitchen is to install more lighting. But, this doesn't mean you should just go about placing lamps all over your kitchen. you can also brighten up the kitchen with bright wall art from

In order to create a pleasing lighting aesthetic, you need to be strategic. Here are the three types of lighting you need to focus on in your kitchen:


Ambient light serves as your main source of light, and you'll want to cast as much of it as possible and as evenly as possible from your ceiling.

Youn can do so through a combination of pendant lights, skylights, chandeliers, flush mounts, and recessed lights. If you would like to install a skylight in your kitchen, you should check out these skylight companies.


While ambient light makes it easy for you to navigate through the kitchen, task lighting helps to illuminate specific surfaces. This makes it easier for you to focus on tasks such as reading recipes, prepping meals, and easily spotting ingredients.

Puck lights and strip lights are common options for task lighting.


The third type of lighting your kitchen may need more of is accent lighting.

Accent lighting is meant to serve as the cherry on top of a well-designed kitchen. Think cabinet lights, toe knick lights, and any other type of lighting that can help accentuate your favorite kitchen elements.

Add Pops of Color

Another great way to brighten up a dark kitchen is to add pops of color. This type of visual distraction will help brighten up any space.

Here are some simple ways you can add pops of color to your kitchen:

  • Choose colorful cookware
  • Paint a single wall
  • Use open shelving to show off your colorful dinnerware
  • Paint your sink a bold color
  • Place a brightly-colored curtain or shutter on your window
  • Paint the inside of an open cabinet
  • Add color underfoot with a rug
  • Add plants to your kitchen for some living color
  • Paint your barstools or opt for brightly-colored seating
  • Display bright linens
  • Paint your island topper
  • Replace boring cabinet knobs and hardware with brightly-colored pieces
  • Add a chalkboard wall that you can brighten up with your own creations

As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to add pops of color to your kitchen.

Install a Mirror 

Installing a mirror is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to brighten up your kitchen. When it comes to creating the illusion of more light and more space, mirrors are the oldest trick in the book.

Here's what you need to keep in mind when choosing a decorative mirror for your kitchen:

  • Consider Size: To brighten up the space as much as possible, we suggest opting for a large mirror
  • Consider Shape: While rectangular and square mirrors are the most common, choosing a mirror in an unusual shape can help draw attention to the wall it hangs on. If the mirror is hanging on a brightly-colored wall, an unusual shape can really help the room seem brighter
  • Consider Color: As we just mentioned, pops of color can brighten up a room, so consider a mirror in a bold color

If you're looking to pack a decorative punch with your mirror, you may also want to consider one that has a unique frame.

Paint Your Kitchen Walls

Painting your kitchen walls is another great way to brighten up your space. While dark-colored walls can look great in some kitchens, if you don't have a lot of natural light, dark colors will just make your space look dingey and unwelcoming instead of cool and sophisticated.

While white will make the biggest impact when it comes to brightening up the space, sunny colors like yellow, orange, or pink can also do the trick. To keep cleaning easy, make sure you opt for a paint with semi-gloss.

Replace or Repaint Old Cabinetry

Replacing or repainting old cabinetry is another great trick to liven up your kitchen. Instead of opting for mahogany or dark materials, we suggest opting for white or light wood to brighten up your space.

Before beginning your kitchen or bathroom renovation I recommend checking out for further advice in cabinetry.

If overhauling your kitchen cabinets is not in the budget, you can still brighten up this area with a new coat of paint or stain. You can also resurface your cabinets, which means you'll get new cabinet doors and drawer faces.

Consider New Kitchen Countertops 

If your kitchen countertops are worn out and dull, then it can cause your whole space to look dark and dingey.

To brighten up your space, consider installing new custom kitchen cabinets in light-colored marble, granite, or laminate. While some kitchens look awesome with dark stones, a kitchen that suffers from a lack of light will do best with a tan, off-white, or gray finish.

Or, don't be afraid to go with a plain white color. If you're afraid of a light color being too much, you can always off-set it with some darker accent elements.

How to Brighten Up a Dark Kitchen: Are You Ready to Transform Your Space?

Now that you know how to brighten up a dark kitchen, it's time to put these tips into action. Before you know it, your space will be completely transformed.

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more home improvement-related tips and tricks.

Tatjana Faplo
I am a professional writer and editor with a rich history of writing experiences. In the past, I've worked for glossy magazines, branding agencies, creative institutions, architectural and design firms, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and health foundations.

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