No matter how big or small, the kitchen is where families of all shapes and sizes spend a lot of time cooking, eating, cleaning, working, and socializing. For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home.
While homeowners likely understand the style and function that new countertops, backsplash, flooring, and appliances can add to a kitchen, they may overlook the impact of great lighting. But what kind of lighting is right for you? There are plenty of options to choose from, and while the choices may seem overwhelming – taking the step of upgrading your kitchen lighting can overhaul the look and feel of the room – and increase the overall value of your home.
“The right lighting design in a kitchen can completely change the script of the space,” says Anne Johntson, the founder of Fern & Jute, an Omaha interior design firm. “Lighting can take a kitchen from stark and cold to inviting and warm.”
There are three basic layers of lighting in a kitchen – ambient, task, and accent lighting. Each serves a purpose, whether it’s general (similar to natural light), functional (to see when preparing food) and decorative (to show depth and highlight architecture). All three layers work together to meet homeowners’ diverse and ever-changing needs.
Here are the top trends in kitchen lighting for 2021, courtesy of Fern & Jute and Powertech’s team of licensed residential electricians.
What is Trending in Kitchen Lighting?
– Recessed Lighting. A popular ambient light source, recessed lighting can uniformly light up every corner of the kitchen and can make the room feel larger since it takes up a minimal amount of visual space. If recessed lighting isn’t an option due to the structure of the kitchen, Anne selects flush mounts or track lighting as an alternative.
– Under Cabinet Lighting. Lights under your cabinets show off the backsplash and countertop, even though its primary function is task lighting during food prep (and lighting up the countertop workspace is a must). Under cabinet lighting uses less energy than many other light sources, especially if you opt for LED lights.
“Warm under cabinet lighting doesn’t require much power to provide maximum function,” says PowerTech Residential Services Manager Scott Bang. “Our customers also like the way under cabinet lights look and feel stylish and sophisticated.”
– Woven Light Fixtures. A trend the last two years that continues into 2021, women light fixtures bring a natural texture and softness to any kitchen.
“Some folks tend to think woven light fixtures only pair well with a coastal design — I say there are no rules and I bring them into many styles of kitchens,” says Anne. I feel any style can benefit from their natural hues and heavily-textured goodness!”
– Unique Accent Lighting. By far the most fun, accent lighting in the form of pendants and chandeliers can bring the most creativity and personalization to your kitchen. Pendants and chandeliers are an attention-grabber hanging over a kitchen island, a kitchen dining table or even the kitchen sink!
– Toe Kick Lighting. LED lights installed in the toe kicks around your kitchen island and cabinets look elegant and can modernize your kitchen – the difference is astounding. Toe kick lights also double as a nightlight, which adds a safety benefit when the rest of the house is dark.
“Toe kick lights are a smart and cost-effective way to bring out the best in your kitchen,” says Scott. “A lot of homeowners are including them in their lighting remodels, which makes sense as they think of ways to increase overall kitchen value and efficiency.”
– Mixing Up Metal Finishes on Light Fixtures. First things first, Anne says: Your light fixtures don’t have to be satin nickel because your cabinet hardware is satin nickel. In other words, don’t match! Different metals and textures add interest to the room, such as black iron with wood glass pendants, and oversized rattan round chandelier above a kitchen table, and a black and satin nickel flush mount above the kitchen sink.
“All of your light fixtures absolutely do not have to come from the same product line and match. In fact – my eye prefers they don’t,” says Anne. “There must be a sense of cohesiveness where they each compliment one another, but it is completely acceptable to mix it up.”
– Glass Cabinet Lighting. Lighting inside your glass cabinets makes both your cabinets and glassware pop and glow. A popular accent lighting option, glass cabinet lighting is installed in a down “U” position along the front of the cabinet.
“The key is an even distribution of light,” says Soctt. “Think of a light inside a trophy display case. You want a similar effect, only the light should illuminate the entire space. Make sure it’s installed properly with an electrician’s help.”
Looking for more home improvement tips? Check out PowerTech’s blog for information you need to help make your home the palace you deserve.
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