Bright ideas to make the heart of your home more functional — and beautiful, too.
BY JOANNE SASVARI
In the kitchen, lighting isn’t just about making things look good. It also has to be functional. You need to see what you are doing, not just so you don’t mistakenly add salt instead of sugar to a dish, but to stay safe in a place where you are working with sharp knives, boiling water, searing surfaces and flames.
Long gone are the days when you had one single fixture in the centre of the ceiling casting shadows on every workspace; the key to good modern kitchen lighting is layering it so you have the right illumination in each area and for each task.
If you are looking to upgrade the lighting in your own kitchen, consider integrating some — or all — of these bright ideas:
Recessed lighting: Expensive to install, but still the best choice for all-over brightness, replacing such outmoded features as sunshine ceilings and track lighting.
LED strip lighting: Easy to install, customizable, energy efficient and popular for under-cabinet and kick lighting; the latter is a good safety idea for night-time snackers.
Hidden lighting: Concealing light sources behind cabinets, shelves and other architectural features is a good way to create a soft, indirect glow.
Sconces: A terrific and trendy way to add lighting at mid-height and also direct it to areas that need a little extra brightness, such as over the sink or stove.
Task-specific lighting: Consider pendants for food prep, a spotlight for a coffee station or other highly functional lighting to make your kitchen both stylish and practical.
Smart lighting: Your fridge, sound system and doorbell are high-tech; shouldn’t your lighting be, too? Smart lighting systems allow you to control lighting levels, colours, timing and more through apps or voice commands.
Tabletop lamps: One of the prettiest trends of the moment is adding lamps to tables, islands and countertops; they look lovely, but also create a warm communal glow.
Statement pendants: While most pendants don’t really add much in terms of functionality, they do create a beautiful focal point and a welcoming glow over the island, peninsula or table where your friends and family gather. Go bold and dramatic.
Whether you are adding sconces, lamps or pendants to your space, consider incorporating one or more of the following design trends:
- Warm metallics such as gold and copper.
- Natural elements such as wood or rattan.
- Mixed materials, such as wood and metal, glass and brass, or concrete and copper.
- Minimalist designs incorporating clean lines, simple shapes and neutral colours.
- Artisanal and handcrafted fixtures.
- Wabi-sabi, the Japanese esthetic that embraces imperfections.
- Vintage-inspired lighting; think milk glass and Edison bulbs.
- Bold, oversized, sculptural chandeliers.
- Vibrant colours, such as teal, coral or green.
Discover more ideas in kitchen design at Spruce magazine’s Design Heads event on February 6, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
This fun and inspiring evening will feature a panel of renowned Victoria design and build professionalism who will share their best advice to help you create a beautiful, functional space, whether you are looking to renovate your kitchen — or just enjoy a fun night out!
Meet and learn from:
Jackson Leidenfrost, owner, HYGGE Design Inc.
Raubyn Rothschild, lead designer, Rothschild West Design + Planning
Ann Squires Ferguson, CEO, Western Design+Build
Pamela Úbeda, architect and principal of Coast + Beam Architecture
Ticket includes a cocktail reception with appetizers.
GET YOUR TICKETS RIGHT HERE