How to make the most of natural light in your kitchen

We list our top five tips on how to use natural light in your kitchen, using tricks like panoramic windows and skylights

Natural light is arguably the easiest way to make a room feel bigger and more inviting, especially when the days grow shorter and we really want to make the most of it.

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Whether it’s through bi-fold doors or south-facing windows, maximising natural light is a big kitchen priority in our eyes. Whereas a gloomy sitting room or bedroom can be made cosy with artificial lighting, in a kitchen you want the bright, airy atmosphere you can only get with natural light.

Here are some of the best ideas for getting more natural light into your kitchen:

Invest in bi-fold doors

Real home inspiration: 'Using a select palette gives our house continuity and flow'
‘The most wonderful part of the house is opening up the bi-fold doors on a summer day and bringing the outside in.’ – check out Jo’s kitchen makeover

If your kitchen opens onto a garden or yard, bi-fold doors are doubly beneficial. In the cooler months, they will pull in the maximum amount of light, even on the gloomiest days. But in the summer they truly come into their own, opening up to create an indoor-outdoor space perfect for entertaining.

Use bright white decor

Sparkle White Split Face Mosaic Tiles, Tile Mountain
Sparkle White Split Face Mosaic Tiles, Tile Mountain

It’s a good idea to keep things light coloured if you want to make the most of the sunlight in a room, especially in one that might otherwise feel dark and enclosed. A white integrated sink and textured white tiling blend with the subtle warm tones of the wooden worktop, creating a very natural brightness.

Install a skylight

Faye and Dean minimalist makeover
Faye and Dean Noble gave their kitchen a minimalist makeover, including a new airy skylight

If you’re lucky enough to have a layout that allows for it, installing a skylight can give your kitchen an instant lift, flooding even a gloomy space with light and air.

Make it a room with a view

Keen to encourage plenty of calming natural light and create a connection with the pretty garden, the full-height windows were extended around the corner for a striking effect
Claire Kitchener extended her full-height windows around the corner for a striking effect in her home makeover

Of course large windows will flood your room with warm sunlight, but they’re also the best way to make the most of a view.

This breath-taking kitchen from one of our favourite home makeovers is the ultimate example, but not everyone has the budget – or the view – for floor to ceiling windows. Still, going as large as possible with your windows is a great way to bring nature inside and make your space feel more at one with the surrounding environment.

Bring in some greenery

Artificial umbrella plant, £15; woven basket, £10; matt grey fish bowl vase, £6; black tealight holder, £3; green leaves dinner set, £20, all George Home
A jungle of plants will reflect noise, which prevent airy rooms from feeling echoey and cavernous. Artificial umbrella plant, £15; woven basket, £10; matt grey fish bowl vase, £6; black tealight holder, £3; green leaves dinner set, £20, all George Home
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When you have a limited amount of natural light to work with, one simple and budget-friendly hack to make the room feel brighter is to introduce as much greenery as possible. Not only will shiny leaves catch the light, an abundance of houseplants brings the outdoors inside, giving the room an uplifting fresh ambiance.