For many clients, the focus on any new kitchen design is invariably on the choice of furniture or appliances, and yet the truth is that even the most carefully selected kitchen can be massively undermined by poor lighting. Dark, impractical corners or harsh and uncomfortable lighting in other areas of the room can all add up to create a kitchen scheme that falls woefully short of fulfilling its potential.
Given the multitude of uses for the modern kitchen, lighting solutions need to adapt to a variety of atmospheres and cater for parts of the space separately; ensuring guests can be welcomed into a dimmed, atmospherically-lit dining area, while plentiful light remains in the cooking and preparation areas.
To ultimately deliver for the client, functionality and style must be equally balanced; so besides the practical considerations, what are the current trends that should be factored in to a kitchen scheme? Sam Hart of Roundhouse Design said: “The way trends have moved recently means that most people with an island want some form of pendant lighting over it. As a consequence of this, homeowners then require a discreet extractor; either an integrated flush-fit ceiling extractor or a downdraft extractor, to allow for visual focus to remain on the pendants.
“Selecting this type of lighting actually plays an important functional role, as well as appearing aesthetically pleasing, by providing effective task lighting for the island worktop. Most people combine this with a serious of spot lights recessed into the ceiling, which will illuminate the remainder of the kitchen.”
When discussing the importance of placement, Hart explained: “Under-cabinet lighting is essential for providing task lighting onto the worksurface below. This can be either LED spot downlighters, which cast individual pools of lights, or a continuous LED strip light which creates more of a wash of light and can help to emphasise a beautiful material used as a splashback, such as a stunning piece of natural stone.”
Featured: Zirconia crystal pendants and PAD2 under-cabinet lights, from SensioSensio | sensio.co.uk