Let there be light…


Never underestimate the importance of light in the kitchen. Not only is it essential for task areas, providing a safe place to chop, prep and cook, but it can also affect your whole mood and attitude to cooking in general. Get it right and your kitchen will soon become the social hub of the home.

First things first… you can’t beat natural light, so wherever possible make existing windows larger, knock down walls to create a light-filled open plan space, replace an exterior wall with concertina glazed doors or fit skylights into the roof.

Natural light for the kitchen in this Viennese penthouse

Don’t forget to check with your local council about planning permission and building regs for any changes you want to make. If you don’t want to mess with the exterior, there are plenty of ways to inject more light into the interior, too.

Choose your kitchen materials carefully. A crisp white scheme is cool and calming; the perfect antidote to the hectic daily grind. My favourite is this spectacular Viennese penthouse design, created in Alpine White HI-MACS® natural acrylic stone.

I love the ergonomic sweep of the functional island unit and the soft curve of the corner cabinetry. It reminds me of my school science lab and I can imagine experimenting with fantastic new flavours and ingredients in here!

Alpine White HI-MACS natural acrylic stone 1

The owner’s wife is an enthusiastic cook who wanted a central island with enough worksurface for multi-course menus, an extensive view of the living room and space for fresh herbs.

Alpine White HI-MACS® natural acrylic stone 2

If white is too stark for your tastes, go for a colourful high gloss look instead. Its reflective qualities will help create the illusion of light and space and there are some wonderful colours coming onto the market. Magnet’s Astral Blue boasts a high gloss metallic finish that oozes European chic.

Astral Blue from kitchen Magnet

Next, you need to think about artificial lighting – make sure there are adequate task lights beneath wall cabinets as well as good lighting on your extractor. Angled ceiling lights can be used to focus on different work zones, such as the sink, hob and worktop, while a pendant light with dimmer is perfect for the dining table. You may want to make a feature out of certain elements too, with a backlit glass spashback, plinth lighting or even strip lights around the perimeter of an island.

Finish with stainless steel appliances and a glass or mirrored splashback and you’ll soon need shades to step into your light-filled kitchen haven.

Viennese Penthouse information:

Architects: Project A01 Architects, ZT GmbH – Austria www.projecta01.com

Fabricator: Rosskopf & Partner AG, Germany www.rosskopf-partner.com

Material: HI-MACS® Alpine White – www.himacs.eu

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert / hayleygilbertblog.wordpress.com

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert

  Website:  http://www.hayleygilbert.co.uk

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