Utopia    Guest Blog 19 Feb 2015

Kitchen lighting By Sally Storey, design director of John Cullen Lighting


What is the first thing I think about when designing a kitchen? It is of course the lighting. So often these days the kitchen is the centre of the home. It is not just a kitchen, it is a dining room, living room, in fact the heart of the house. The only way to change it throughout the day to become a living working space is with the lighting. This needs to be flexible, atmospheric and up to the task – so where do you start?

Lighting is one of those things that is difficult to understand unless you see it and experience it. It is more than choosing a pretty light fixture, although this may be part of it. Having written three books on the subject I know how difficult it is to get it across. If you are lucky enough to live in London, do visit the John Cullen Lighting showroom as this shows a simple kitchen lit in different ways with wall washers to the front of the cupboards, uplights above, edge lit shelves, and about three different task lights – so by seeing and experiencing it is easier to make a choice.

When you are planning your kitchen, if it’s a big open-plan area it is worth considering dividing it into areas such as sitting, dining and kitchen. Then using lighting controls so that each effect can be individually controlled, for instance undercabinet lights separately from downlights, wall lights and so on. This is the key to setting the mood and if budget allows a pre-set system is ideal as at the touch of a button the lighting will readjust to the pre-set setting to suit day, early evening and dining.


I hope that you find these tips helpful. John Cullen offers a lighting design service to ensure perfect results. Lighting can be fun and if you are in doubt do ask the experts!