How to Lighten Up a Dark Kitchen with Accessories

how to brighten up dark kitchen with accessories

A dark kitchen can make the entire space look uninviting, unwelcoming, and even smaller than it actually is. Fortunately, there are several ways to brighten up your kitchen, and one of the most effective methods is by using accessories. This article will provide you with tips and tricks on how to lighten up a dark kitchen with accessories.

Assess Your Current Kitchen Design

Before you start adding accessories to your kitchen, it’s important to assess your current kitchen design. This will help you determine what areas of your kitchen need improvement and what accessories will work best.

Start by evaluating the color scheme of your kitchen. If you have dark cabinets, walls, or countertops, adding more dark accessories may not be the best option. Instead, consider adding accessories in lighter colors to create contrast and make your kitchen feel brighter.

Next, consider the lighting in your kitchen. If your kitchen is poorly lit, adding accessories that reflect light or using brighter light bulbs can make a big difference. On the other hand, if your kitchen has ample natural light, you may want to focus on accessories that add visual interest and texture.

Take a look at your kitchen storage as well. If you have a cluttered countertop or crowded cabinets, adding accessories may only exacerbate the problem. Consider decluttering and reorganizing your kitchen before adding accessories.

Finally, consider the style of your kitchen. If you have a modern kitchen, accessories with clean lines and minimalist designs may work best. If you have a more traditional kitchen, accessories with more ornate details and vintage charm may be a better fit.

By assessing your current kitchen design, you can choose accessories that complement your existing space and make the biggest impact.

Use Lighting to Your Advantage

Lighting is one of the most important factors in brightening up a dark kitchen. There are two types of lighting: natural and artificial.

– Natural Lighting

Take advantage of the natural light in your kitchen. Remove heavy curtains or blinds that block the light and replace them with sheer or light-colored window treatments. Keep windows clean to allow the maximum amount of light to enter.

– Artificial Lighting

If your kitchen lacks natural light, consider adding artificial lighting. Overhead lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and accent lighting can all help brighten up the room. Install LED bulbs with a daylight hue for a brighter and more natural feel.

Choose the Right Color Scheme

Color plays a crucial role in creating a bright and inviting kitchen. Light colors reflect more light, making the room feel more spacious and open. Choose light-colored accessories such as dish towels, tablecloths, and chair cushions. Add pops of color with bright accents such as throw pillows, artwork, and kitchen utensils.

Add Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces

Mirrors and reflective surfaces can help amplify the light in a room. Consider adding a mirror or mirrored backsplash to your kitchen. Alternatively, add a few metallic or glass accessories, such as a chrome fruit bowl or glass vases.

Use Open Shelving

If you have dark cabinets that make your kitchen feel closed off, consider removing some of the cabinet doors and using open shelving instead. Open shelving not only adds visual interest to your kitchen, but it also makes the space feel more open and airy.

To get started with open shelving, remove the doors from one or two of your upper cabinets. If you’re unsure about removing all of the cabinet doors, starting with just a few can be a great way to test out the look.

Once the doors are removed, clean and paint the inside of the cabinets to create a fresh backdrop for your accessories. Then, carefully select and arrange your accessories on the shelves. Consider using a mix of functional items such as dishes and glasses, as well as decorative items like plants or art pieces.

One important thing to keep in mind when using open shelving is to keep it organized and tidy. Since everything is on display, clutter can quickly make your kitchen look messy. Consider using baskets or bins to corral small items, and keep larger items stacked neatly.

Overall, using open shelving is a great way to add both function and style to your dark kitchen. By carefully selecting and organizing your accessories, you can create a beautiful and functional display that will make your kitchen feel more open and inviting.

Decorate with Plants

One of the easiest and most effective ways to lighten up a dark kitchen is to add plants. Plants not only add color and texture to your space, but they also help to purify the air and create a more inviting atmosphere.

When selecting plants for your kitchen, consider the lighting conditions. If your kitchen has low light, choose plants that can tolerate shade, such as snake plants or pothos. If your kitchen has bright, indirect light, consider plants like spider plants or philodendrons.

Once you’ve selected your plants, choose stylish planters or pots that complement your kitchen decor. You can also consider hanging plants from the ceiling or placing them on open shelves to create a more dynamic display.

In addition to adding plants to your kitchen, consider adding other natural elements like woven baskets or wooden cutting boards. These elements can help to create a warm and inviting atmosphere and complement the natural beauty of your plants.

Overall, decorating with plants is a simple and effective way to add life and color to your dark kitchen. By carefully selecting and arranging your plants, you can create a beautiful and inviting space that you’ll love spending time in.

Hang Artwork

Another way to add visual interest and personality to your dark kitchen is to hang artwork on the walls. Artwork not only adds color and texture to your space, but it also helps to reflect your personal style and interests.

When selecting artwork for your kitchen, consider the overall color scheme and style of your space. If your kitchen has neutral tones, consider adding a bold, colorful painting or print to create a focal point. If your kitchen has a specific theme or style, such as coastal or farmhouse, choose artwork that complements that style.

When hanging artwork, consider the placement and scale. Artwork should be hung at eye level, and should be scaled appropriately for the size of the wall and the surrounding decor. Consider grouping several smaller pieces together to create a gallery wall, or choose one large statement piece to anchor the space.

In addition to hanging artwork on the walls, consider incorporating functional art pieces like decorative cutting boards or pottery. These pieces can not only add visual interest, but also serve a practical purpose in your kitchen.

Overall, hanging artwork is a great way to add personality and style to your dark kitchen. By carefully selecting and placing your pieces, you can create a beautiful and inviting space that reflects your personal style and tastes.

Invest in Colorful Cookware and Utensils

One of the simplest ways to add color and personality to your dark kitchen is by investing in colorful cookware and utensils. Colorful Kitchen Accessories not only looks great, but it also makes cooking more enjoyable. Choose cookware and utensils in bright colors such as red, yellow, or blue. Not only will they look great, but they will also add a playful touch to your kitchen.

If you prefer a more cohesive look, consider choosing cookware and utensils in a matching color scheme. For example, you could choose a set of yellow cookware with matching yellow utensils. This will create a unified look and make your kitchen feel more put together.

Investing in colorful cookware and utensils is an easy and affordable way to add personality and cheer to your dark kitchen. So go ahead and pick out your favorite colors to brighten up your cooking space!


In conclusion, a dark kitchen can be transformed into a bright and inviting space with the right accessories. Use lighting to your advantage, choose the right color scheme, add mirrors and reflective surfaces, use open shelving, decorate with plants, hang artwork, and invest in colorful cookware and utensils. With these tips, you can make your kitchen a place where you want to spend time cooking, eating, and entertaining.


What are some low-cost ways to brighten up a dark kitchen?

Some low-cost ways to brighten up a dark kitchen include adding a light-colored backsplash, replacing light fixtures with brighter LED bulbs, and using mirrors and reflective surfaces.

Can I brighten up a kitchen without adding more lighting?

Yes, you can brighten up a kitchen without adding more lighting by using lighter colors, adding mirrors, and choosing reflective surfaces.

Can I brighten up a kitchen with dark cabinets?

Yes, you can brighten up a kitchen with dark cabinets by using lighter-colored accessories, adding reflective surfaces, and choosing a light-colored backsplash.

What are some easy ways to add color to a dark kitchen?

Easy ways to add color to a dark kitchen include using colorful dish towels, adding colorful artwork, and investing in colorful cookware and utensils.

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