How to make a kitchen without windows appear lighter

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Your kitchen may be the centre of activity in your home, but if it's located in the centre of other rooms, you're stuck with no windows. A lack of outside light can make the room feel dark and closed in, but a few decorating tricks can offset this. For most people, adding light and life to a kitchen is a do-it-yourself project.

Paint the room white or a very light colour such as pale yellow. Paint the cabinets as well as the walls and install a light-coloured counter top. Use a glossy paint to reflect light and to make cleanup easy, a plus for kitchens where you need to clean up grease spatters and spills often.

Install a light-coloured floor. Light hardwood or laminate or light-coloured tile will help reflect light and keep the room from feeling closed in. A hard surface also makes it easy to wipe up kitchen spills.

Install additional lighting such as overhead lights and under-cabinet task lighting. Place full-spectrum bulbs in some of the light fixtures. Full-spectrum bulbs emit light closest to daylight, without harmful UVA or UVB rays. These bulbs have a bluish glow and are used to treat people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. In your kitchen, they'll mimic the look of daylight pouring in through the windows.

Add plants to your kitchen decor. Plants bring the outside indoors and help clean the air. Plants such as English ivy, peace lily and philodendron do well indoors in lowlight conditions and filter toxins from cleaners, plastics and other contaminants from the air.

Borrow light from adjacent rooms. Position a mirror so it reflects daylight and outdoor scenery into your kitchen. Or, cut a pass-through in a wall from the kitchen into a room with natural light.

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