Kitchen lighting ideas

From ergonomic islands to modular cabinets and hidden storage, Ruth Sleightholme considers the key elements of one of the most-used rooms in our houses, and suggests design solutions for the perfect kitchen

'We chose these "Octo" downlights from  to create a dramatic impact without overpowering the space,' says the owner of this family kitchen by design company 


Kitchen lighting ideas...

For your cupboardsTo avoid dark and cluttered cupboards, you might want to include lights that turn on when the doors open. Consider glass shelves with this type of lighting, so light spreads down throughout the cupboard.

Paul Massey
We wanted to create a glamorous 'international' look with an art-deco flavour, says the owner of this London kitchen. With the help of interior designer they used cinematic spotlights to frame the huge marble island

For your workspaceFit lights to the bottom of your wall-mounted cupboards, or above the back of the workspace. Make sure that the lights are in front of you to prevent your own shadow from falling on to the work surface. It's best to keep these lights recessed to avoid grease and dirt building up on them.

Paul Massey
Bulthaup units supply a strong geometric backdrop, which is softened by the simple pendant lighting by . 'It's a big country style kitchen with a city edge,' says the home's interior designer , co-founder of King's Road shop and interior-design firm Sigmar


For an island or dining areaThis is a chance to use pendants or decorative lighting, as ideally you want overhead light that illuminates warmly and evenly, in contrast to workspace lighting. Keep this on a separate system to the other lights for more control and ensure they are well above head height.

Alicia Taylor
Rise-and-fall pendant lights on long flex from emphasise the double-height ceiling of this former schoolhouse

For the whole roomSome people like to have small areas of light during quiet times - especially those who wake during the night. Consider soft recessed lights, perhaps on a dimmer, on top of the cupboards, spreading light upwards, or around the bottom of low cupboards, bathing light downwards.

Taken from the February 2015 issue of House & Garden.

Like this? Then you'll loveBespoke kitchens

Kitchen case studies

See all our kitchen design ideas

more from Interior Design

More from House

Go back up

Haven't found something you were looking for? Try searching...