Creating the feel-good factor in the Kitchen
Light can transform a room from feeling unfriendly and sterile to cosy, a place where you wish to spend more time with your family and friends. Your home is a haven, where you relax and unwind, hence that is why it is so important when it comes to design light.
Why should you consider lighting before anything else for your kitchen? The kitchen is the heart of your home, so why not give light and life to the most important room in your house. Proper lighting helps a room feel homely and cosy. Many a times, we do not even realise the humongous effect light has on peoples’ lives. When designed well, light leaves a positive effect on people’s moods and it also helps increase productivity.
With a few clever choices, you can set the tone and establish the feel-good factor. Kitchens are often the busiest areas in the home, and bright, well-diffused kitchen lighting makes them more efficient and enjoyable.
Kitchens are primarily a place for storing, preparing and cooking food. It requires a bright clean light with emphasis on work surfaces, hob, sink and oven. It is also a place where guests and family come together, so you should think of relaxed, warm lighting. Successful kitchen lighting is achieved if you keep both settings in mind. Today’s contemporary kitchen has also become a centre for entertaining, a room where people gather to eat and enjoy one’s company in an informal setting. When designing kitchen lighting never place aesthetics over practical considerations, especially if you have an open-plan living space. Kitchen lighting should be every bit as good as the lighting in the rest of the home, if not better.
During the design process make sure that the intensity and colour of the lighting should match, or at least be similar, to that in other areas of the home. This will avoid an unpleasant jarring effect when you enter the room, above all you should not be dazzled by a harsh, utilitarian glare.
Experience and industry knowledge have determined that we come a long way from the single pendant light or fluorescent tube that was once the main form of kitchen illumination. Nowadays, the same rule applies to lighting kitchens as to other rooms in the home; it is vital to layer different light sources so that you can achieve the subtle changes required for different activities.
The lighting must also be easily controllable, so that you can adapt it in accordance with the natural light levels at various times of the day, as well as create the required atmosphere at the flick of a switch. Many have experienced bad lighting design, where they have surface-mounted lights, track lighting down the centre of the ceiling or a grid format of low voltage halogen lights that cast harsh, unflattering shadows over the kitchen and the people in it. To avoid such problems, start off by good, bright ambient lighting and combine it with effective illumination on work surfaces, hob and sink. These areas should be overlaid with warm, atmospheric tones of tungsten, particularly in the eating area.
And just because it is the kitchen, it does not mean you cannot install some decorative architectural up lighters with warm light to finish the scheme. Once all the practical lighting is cared for, these important finishing touches can be finally added.