How To Get More Light Into A Kitchen Extension

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One of the things we love about kitchen extensions is that they can completely transform a house. A once dark and dated kitchen can turn into a wonderfully bright and spacious entertaining space. With some careful planning and tricks, you can ensure that even a dull north facing kitchen extension can be transformed into something quite spectacular!

If you are planning a kitchen and need some help finding a local kitchen designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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Maximise the light from above

Windows in the roof can bring in up to 3 times the amount of light than a standard vertical window, so this is a great way to brighten up your space.

Kitchen extensions with skylights are a cost effective way of introducing the light from above and will give the illusion of more space - skylights look particularly great in a contemporary kitchen extension. 

Roof lanterns are the perfect option to bring in light from above and work so well in both contemporary and traditional kitchens. By raising the ceiling height, the kitchen will feel far more spacious and airy.  We adore the roof lantern in the home of @overatno18 on Instagram, a contemporary slimline roof lantern which lets the light flood into this stunning kitchen....what an amazing sociable and bright family space. Roof lantern is by the Roof Maker.

Kitchen in the home of @overatno18 on Instagram. Roof lantern by Roof Maker.



Incorporate a glass ceiling in a side return

Side return extensions in particular can be very dark in nature as you may have to sacrifice at least one window to the side of your house. A full glass ceiling will maximise the light into your extension whilst adding a striking look. Another option is a modular skylight which will give the effect of a glass ceiling whilst also providing effective ventilation.

We adore this glazed ceiling to the side of this extension (by archangels ARCHITECTS) - it's such a huge expanse of glass which makes this space feel so light and airy. The wonderful white walls and light oak flooring adds to the brightness.

Wonderful side return extension with a glazed ceiling by archangels ARCHITECTS



Allow light to flow internally

In addition to bringing more light in via the rear extension, you should try and maximise the amount of light flowing from the front of the house too. You can do this by having glazed internal doors such as crittall doors, which look great and allow the light to stream through.

We absolutely love the kitchen extension below by Granit, who have made the bold move of knocking through from the front of the house to the rear extension. The bay windows at the front of the house mean there is an abundance of additional light flowing into the extension area. This is perfect if you want a super bright space and love open plan living.

By knocking down an internal wall, more light floods into this kitchen from the front bay window. Extension by Granit.


Glaze the gables

Utilise the space you have between the gable and doors. Not only will this create a design feature but it will introduce light in an otherwise wasted space. This can look good in either traditional or contemporary schemes - particularly if you maximise the size of the glass panel.

This kitchen extension below by Simon Merrony Architects looks so bright with light pouring in from the sliding doors, gable windows and roof lights. The room is painted in white and the light and glossy worktop reflects the light even more. 

Glazed gable extension by Simon Merrony Architects



Consider a glazed extension

Glazed extensions are a wonderful way to let light flood into your kitchen as the light will pour in from above and through the windows. They are super modern in design and can look striking as part of your extension. Either go for a minimal framed extension for an ultra modern look, or a crittall style of extension for the latest look. We love this one by Uskuri Theobald Architects which is so contrasting to the rest of the space and feels like the garden is connected with the living space.

Crittall style glazed extension by Uskuri Theobald Architects



Light decor keeps the kitchen bright

If you want to make your kitchen as bright as possible, a white and cream colour palette will allow more light to bounce around. Of course if you are blessed with plenty of natural light then the decor is less of an issue.

Also consider light worktops, glass splashbacks and pale flooring which will allow the light to bounce around even more. The kitchen extension below by TW10 Architects shows that if you get the decor right, the space will feel wonderfully light.


A fabulous light and bright kitchen extension - the flooring, worktops and decor lets the light bounce around. Extension by TW10 Architects.



Create feature windows

A floor to ceiling glass window can turn an empty spot into a feature and allow more light to flood in than a standard window wood. The example below in this Victorian extension shows how a tall window can be a striking feature, whilst also allowing so much light to flood in.

Tall windows allow the maximum amount of light to flood into this kitchen. Windows & doors by IQ Glass.


If you need some help finding a local kitchen designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

Find a kitchen designer

Published: March 19, 2020


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