Image: HGTV.com

The kitchen. It’s where your family makes dinners and bakes goodies together. It’s where your friends gather for coffee and dinner parties. Whether you’re entertaining, relaxing with a cup of tea, helping the kids with homework, or doing a craft project, it’s likely that a good amount of your home life is spent in the kitchen. In fact, the kitchen is one of the first rooms buyers look at when shopping for a new home. If this room is a turnoff, it can distract from the other great qualities your home features. For this week’s how-to, let’s take a look at a few ideas for brightening a dark kitchen.

 

1. If space is an issue, sometimes all you need is to open things up. Removing cabinet doors can do a lot to open up a small kitchen. As a bonus, you can use this opportunity to display particularly colorful dishes or other collections. If keeping things clean and organized is not your forté, however, this might not be the best idea for you. Instead of getting rid of the doors completely, replacing the wood with glass can also create the illusion of space.

 

2. Does your kitchen lack light? The culprit could very well be the color of your walls and fixtures. While dark, designer colors can be stunning in the right room, they can also bring a poorly lit one down. If your kitchen is on the dark side of the house or doesn’t have enough windows, brighten things up with a lighter paint color. If you’re brave enough, go with an all-white color scheme. Not only is bright white a design “do” right now, but it also allows you to go crazy with fun decorating accents.

 

3. Get rid of clutter! This is important for any room in the house, but it’s especially true for the kitchen. Start by removing everything from the counter tops. Put it all on the floor for a little perspective. As you pick each item up, really think about whether it actually belongs on the counter. If it’s not something that’s used often, it should probably be stowed away in a cabinet or pantry until it’s needed.

 

4. If your kitchen is truly tiny and you have the time and resources, think about knocking out a wall or two. Opening your kitchen up to the rest of the house allows for better flow, more space, and affords you the opportunity to converse with friends or family in the living room while you take care of kitchen duties.

 

5. When all else fails, turn to the obvious—lighting!  Natural light is always best, but it might not be possible to open up your kitchen to the outside. Sometimes you have to resort to the next best thing. Buy some beautiful pendant lights. Install under-cabinet lighting. Do whatever you can to shed some light on the situation.


If you’re thinking of selling your home, the kitchen is one of the first rooms that should be spruced up and updated. Opening up your dark, drab kitchen will certainly help possible homebuyers see your home’s potential. As a bonus, it might just inspire you to enjoy more time there with a few new recipes. Has your kitchen undergone a renovation or update lately? Share some of your own tips and tricks in the comments section below!

 

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