How to light an open plan kitchen
These days, open plan living is becoming more and more popular. Combined kitchens and dining rooms are common in contemporary new-build homes, whilst many house renovations now involve building extensions and knocking down walls to create a spacious kitchen-diner space. Open plan kitchens are perfect for creating a social hub in the home where family members can gather to cook meals, relax and entertain guests.
However, these open plan areas often cause confusion when it comes to choosing kitchen-diner lighting. What type of lights are best for a large space? When illuminating a kitchen-diner, do you opt for practical kitchen light fittings or choose decorative dining room lighting? Litecraft offer some expert advice on how to light an open plan kitchen.
Use lighting to define zones
A kitchen-dining room is designed to be open and spacious, but it’s a good idea to break up areas and create sections for different uses. Lighting can be used effectively to define areas and make a large space more homely and intimate. Each zone should be lit independently from another, whilst also creating an overall ambience for different occasions. For example, a kitchen area will benefit from bright and practical lighting to illuminate work surfaces and making cooking and preparing food easier. To define a separate dining area, choose a complimentary ceiling lighting and add wall lights for a more ambient glow.
If possible, link the lighting in each area to a different light switch so you can light up different parts of your kitchen-diner at different times. Dimmer switches can also be used to create different lighting levels.
Incorporate a mix of different lights
Large, open-plan areas need multiple source of lighting for a successful space with enough light. A single ceiling light fitting just won’t do. Lighting must be both functional and atmospheric. When you’re illuminating a room that’s used for a variety of tasks, choose a mix of different lighting styles to provide practical illumination and an interesting look.
Kitchens should predominantly feature practical task lighting such as recessed ceiling spotlights and under cabinet lighting for a bright source of focused lighting, but LED strip lights can also be used in alcoves and shelving to add mood lighting in this area. Statement pendant lights and bar lights can be hung above dining tables and breakfast bars to provide less harsh ambient lighting in seating areas. Wall lights can also be used for a lower-level glow that’s perfect for dinner parties.
Choose light fittings to complement the style of the room
Light fittings should always complement the overall look of a space to create a coherent look. Identify the style of decor you have chosen for your space - is it modern and minimalist, country-style and cosy or classic and traditional? Choose light fittings that complement the look of your kitchen cabinets, dining table and decorative elements. Contemporary kitchens with sleek work surfaces, modern finishes and minimal decoration will look great with minimalist ceiling pendants and recessed spotlights to continue the theme. For more traditional style kitchens, rustic style ceiling lights, decorative wall lights and lamps will complement the look.
Lighting is an integral part of creating a successful kitchen dining room, so don’t leave it ‘til last minute. Plan your lighting at the start of your project to ensure that it works for each defined area and complements the overall look of your space. Visit Litecraft to find stylish kitchen light fittings for an open plan kitchen.