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

Secto Design[/link] 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

Paolo Moschino[/link] 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

Michael Anastassiades[/link]. '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

Holloways of Ludlow[/link] 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.

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