Colour compact kitchens
Lighter colours are particularly suited to smaller kitchens as they help make a room look larger. However, there is no need to fear this making your room look too stark - we have an extensive colour palette containing subtle tones such as Cashmere and antique white, and of course they can also be combined in two-tone colour schemes. The obvious choice of door finish is gloss which reflects light and brightens a small kitchen; however we have found that our satin lacquer finishes have proved extremely popular with clients who do not want gloss finishes but are wary of the light absorbing characteristics of matt kitchen finishes.
Why do natural colours reflect light?
Choosing colours that will help reflect light within a room is important. Most surfaces will reflect light as it falls on them but how well this happens depends on the colour, composition and texture of a surface. Without getting too technical, light is an electromagnetic wave and when it hits a transparent substance it is reflected back. The more opaque a surface the less well the light wave is able to do this, for example, a black, matt surface does not reflect light well but instead the light wave's energy is absorbed by the atoms of which the substance is composed, making them vibrate. In turn this vibration generates heat and this is why dark surfaces get warm if exposed to sunshine. It also verifies that dark colours are much less suitable for small kitchens because by absorbing rather than reflecting the light they tend to make a room feel smaller. In respect of other colours, part of the electromagnetic wave's energy is absorbed within a material when it hits it but some is reflected back; how much depends on the colour tone and texture. The lighter the colour and the smoother it is, the more light will be reflected back. This explains why a shiny white gloss would be the best option for enhancing the feeling of space within a compact kitchen.
Natural light for small and compact kitchens
Whilst appropriate use of colour can make a room appear larger there is nothing more effective for this than the introduction of natural light itself. Windows, skylights, glass panels or a glazed ceiling may allow natural light to flood a room creating a spacious and airy feel. If looking to implement any form of glazing then triple glazing would be the recommended option as it offers both improved thermal and sound insulation. Glazing is not always feasible within a kitchen so an alternative that still works to create a more spacious feel is white gloss reflective paint for the ceiling; this works especially well for a low ceiling as it helps effect an illusion of height. A gloss paint finish on ceilings can be nicely complimented with hidden uplighters above wall or tall cupboards, bathing the room in soft, indirect light.