How to Lighten Up a Kitchen With Cherry Cabinets

Last updated on September 24, 2023

Discover effective ways to brighten and rejuvenate your kitchen space, effortlessly complementing those stunning cherry cabinets.

Are you struggling to find the perfect lighting for your kitchen with cherry cabinets? While these cabinets can add warmth and depth to any kitchen, they can also make the space feel a bit darker than you’d like. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to brighten up your kitchen without sacrificing style.

In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for bringing more light into your space while still showcasing those beautiful cherry cabinets. Whether you’re looking for a complete overhaul or just a few simple changes, we’ve got you covered!

Key takeaways:

  • Lighten walls with complementary colors: Use lighter hues or bold accents.
  • Incorporate natural light: Clean windows, add skylights or glass doors.
  • Use light window treatments: Choose sheer curtains or blinds.
  • Enhance lighting fixtures: Install brighter overhead lights or task lighting.
  • Install under-cabinet lighting: LED strips or puck lights highlight cabinets.

What's Inside

Lighten Walls With Complementary Colors

cherry cabinets kitchen

While darker shades can make your space feel smaller and more enclosed, lighter hues will reflect light and create an airy atmosphere. Consider using soft pastels or neutral tones like white, beige, or gray to balance out the richness of your cherry cabinets.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a pop of color with bold accents like reds or yellows. These vibrant shades will add energy and personality to your kitchen while still keeping it light and inviting.

When selecting paint colors for your walls, keep in mind that natural lighting can affect how they appear throughout the day. Test out different swatches at different times before making a final decision on which shade works best for you.

Incorporating Natural Light

kitchen Window Ventilation

If you have windows in your kitchen, make sure to keep them clean and unobstructed so that as much sunlight as possible can filter through. Consider removing heavy curtains or drapes and replacing them with lighter window treatments such as sheer panels or blinds that can be easily adjusted for maximum light exposure.

If your kitchen doesn’t have many windows, consider adding some! A skylight or sun tunnel can bring in plenty of natural light without taking up any wall space. You could also consider installing a glass door leading out to an outdoor patio area if possible.

Using Light Window Treatments

Hanging the Curtains

Heavy drapes or dark shades can block natural light, making your space feel darker and smaller. Instead, opt for lighter window treatments such as sheer curtains or blinds that allow plenty of sunlight to filter through.

If you prefer more privacy, consider using frosted glass film on windows instead of heavy curtains. This will still let in natural light while providing some level of privacy.

Another option is to use Roman shades made from lightweight fabrics like linen or cotton. These types of window coverings are perfect for adding texture and interest without blocking out too much sunlight.

Enhancing Lighting Fixtures

cherry cabinets kitchen with lights

If you have outdated or dim light fixtures, it’s time for an upgrade! Consider installing new overhead lights that are brighter and more energy-efficient. You can also add task lighting under cabinets or above the sink to provide extra illumination where you need it most.

Another option is to install a statement pendant light over your kitchen island or dining table. This not only adds brightness but also serves as a stylish focal point in the room.

When selecting new lighting fixtures, keep in mind that lighter finishes will reflect more light than darker ones. Opt for brushed nickel, chrome, or white finishes instead of black or oil-rubbed bronze.

Installing Under-Cabinet Lighting

orange Walls With Grey Kitchen cabinet

These lights are installed underneath the cabinets, providing direct light onto the countertops and workspaces below. This type of lighting can be particularly useful in kitchens with cherry cabinets because it helps to highlight their rich color and texture.

There are several types of under-cabinet lighting available, including LED strips, puck lights, and linear fixtures. LED strip lights are a popular choice because they’re easy to install and provide even illumination across the entire countertop surface.

When installing under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen with cherry cabinets, consider choosing warm white or soft white bulbs that will complement the wood’s natural warmth without overpowering it. You can also opt for dimmable fixtures so you can adjust the brightness level according to your needs.

Replace Fluorescent Bulbs With LEDs

led bulb lights

If your kitchen has fluorescent lighting, consider replacing them with LED bulbs to create a brighter and more inviting atmosphere. Not only do LEDs use less energy than traditional fluorescent bulbs, but they also last longer and emit a warmer light that’s easier on the eyes.

When selecting LED lights for your kitchen, look for ones with a color temperature of 2700K-3000K to achieve warm white or soft white lighting. You can also choose dimmable options to adjust the brightness as needed throughout the day.

Add Pendant or Light Fixtures

cherry cabinets kitchen with pendant lights

Pendant lights come in various shapes, sizes, and colors that can complement any decor style. They are perfect for hanging over the kitchen island or dining table and provide focused lighting where you need it most.

When selecting pendant lights for your cherry cabinets’ kitchen, consider choosing lighter shades that will reflect more light into the space. You can also opt for metallic finishes like brass or chrome to add some shine and brightness.

If you have a small-sized kitchen with limited ceiling height, then mini-pendant lights would be ideal as they take up less visual space but still provide ample illumination.

Selecting Light-Colored Countertops

Granite Countertops

Lighter shades such as white, beige, or gray can help reflect more natural and artificial light in the space. These colors also create a beautiful contrast against darker cabinetry.

When choosing a countertop color, consider materials that are durable and easy to maintain like quartz or granite. Both options come in various shades of whites and grays that will complement cherry cabinets beautifully while adding brightness to your kitchen.

If you prefer something less expensive than quartz or granite, laminate countertops offer an affordable option with many color choices available including lighter hues.

Adding Lighter Backsplash

kitchen backsplash

A backsplash can be an excellent opportunity to introduce some light and color into the space, while also protecting your walls from spills and splatters. Opting for a white or light-colored tile will reflect more natural light around the room, making it feel brighter and more spacious.

If you’re worried about keeping a white tile clean, consider using larger tiles with fewer grout lines or choosing porcelain tiles that are easy to wipe down. You could also experiment with different textures or patterns in neutral shades like beige or gray for added interest without sacrificing brightness.

A lighter backsplash can help balance out darker cherry cabinets while creating an overall cohesive look in your kitchen design.

Brightening Up Flooring

tile flooring

If you have dark wood or tile floors, consider adding a light-colored area rug or runner. This will not only add some brightness but also create an eye-catching focal point in your kitchen.

If you’re looking for something more permanent, consider replacing your current flooring with lighter options such as white oak hardwood or light-colored tiles. These materials reflect natural light better than darker ones and can make even the smallest kitchens feel brighter and more spacious.

Another option is to paint existing vinyl floors with special floor paint designed for high-traffic areas like kitchens. Choose a color that complements your cherry cabinets while still being lighter than what’s currently on the floor.

Mixing Cabinet Finishes

Kitchen And Dining Lights combined

If you have cherry cabinets, consider pairing them with lighter-colored cabinets or open shelving in white or cream tones. This will create a beautiful contrast that draws the eye and makes the space feel more open.

Another option is to mix wood finishes by incorporating different types of wood into your cabinetry. For example, you could pair cherry cabinets with oak or maple accents for a unique look that still complements the warmth of the cherry.

When mixing cabinet finishes, it’s important to keep balance in mind. You don’t want one finish overpowering another; instead, aim for harmony between all elements in your kitchen design.

Incorporating Glass Doors

glass cherry cabinets kitchen

By replacing some of your cabinet doors with glass, you can create a more open and airy feel in the space. This is especially effective if you have upper cabinets that block natural light from entering the room.

There are several types of glass to choose from, including clear, frosted or textured options. Clear glass allows for maximum visibility and brightness while frosted or textured options provide privacy and diffuse light for a softer look.

If you’re not ready to commit fully to glass cabinet doors, consider using them on just one section of cabinetry as an accent feature. You could also opt for partial overlay door styles where only part of the door is replaced with glass panels.

Add Open Shelving

kitchen ideas Natural Light

By removing cabinet doors and displaying your dishes, glasses, and other kitchen items on open shelves, you can create an airy feel that will make the room seem larger and more inviting. Plus, it’s an opportunity to showcase some of your favorite pieces! When incorporating open shelving into a kitchen with cherry cabinets, consider using light-colored or glass shelves for contrast against the darker wood tones.

You can also mix in decorative accents like plants or artwork to add pops of color and interest. Just be sure not to overcrowd the shelves – keeping them organized with plenty of negative space will help maintain that bright feeling in your newly rejuvenated kitchen!

Replacing Cabinet Hardware With Lighter Finishes

kitchen Rustic Framed Mirror

If you have cherry cabinets, consider swapping out dark or heavy hardware for lighter finishes like brushed nickel or chrome. These finishes reflect light and can help brighten up your space while still complementing the warm tones of your cabinets.

When selecting new hardware, keep in mind that simple designs with clean lines tend to work best with cherry cabinets. Avoid ornate or overly decorative pieces that may clash with the natural beauty of the wood.

If you’re not ready to replace all of your cabinet hardware at once, start by updating a few key pieces such as knobs on upper cabinets or handles on drawers. This will give you a sense of how different finishes look against your cabinetry before committing to a full replacement.

Using Light-Filled Decorative Accents

Replaceable LED Fixtures kitchen

These can include anything from vases and bowls to artwork and picture frames. Look for pieces that are made from reflective materials like glass or metal, as they will help bounce light around the room.

Another great option is to incorporate items that have a lighter color palette, such as white or pastel hues. This will not only add brightness but also create an airy feel in your space.

Consider adding some open shelving where you can display these decorative accents alongside your favorite dishes and cookbooks. This way, you’ll be able to showcase your personal style while also bringing more light into the room.

Incorporating Metal Accents

metallic Sink Gap Covers

Metal finishes such as stainless steel, chrome, and brass can add a modern touch while reflecting light throughout the space. Consider adding metal hardware to your cabinets or replacing existing fixtures with shiny new ones.

You could also incorporate a metallic backsplash or countertop for an eye-catching focal point that will reflect light beautifully.

Another option is to bring in some metallic decor pieces like vases, bowls, and utensil holders that will catch the light and add visual interest without overwhelming the space. Just be sure not to overdo it – too many metallic accents can make your kitchen feel cold rather than warm and inviting.

Adding Kitchen Plants

small pendant lights for kitchen

Not only do they add a pop of color, but they also help purify the air and create a more inviting atmosphere. When it comes to selecting plants for your kitchen with cherry cabinets, there are plenty of options that will complement the warm tones of the wood.

Consider adding herbs like basil or mint in small pots on windowsills or countertops. These not only look great but can be used in cooking as well! If you have larger spaces available, consider adding taller potted plants such as snake plant or fiddle leaf fig tree which can add height and texture while still being low maintenance.

When choosing pots for your kitchen plants, opt for lighter colors like white ceramic or terracotta which will reflect light better than darker shades. You could even mix-and-match different sizes and shapes to create visual interest.

Utilizing Mirrors for Reflection

kitchen Vintage Mirror

By strategically placing mirrors in your kitchen, you can create the illusion of more natural light and make the space feel larger. Consider hanging a large mirror on an empty wall or backsplash area to reflect both natural and artificial light sources.

You could also incorporate mirrored cabinet doors or drawer fronts for added reflection.

Another option is to use mirrored accents throughout your decor, such as reflective metallic finishes on appliances or accessories like vases and picture frames. These small touches can help bounce around existing light sources in the room.

When using mirrors in your kitchen design, be mindful of their placement so that they don’t cause glare or distortions that could be distracting while cooking or entertaining guests.

Kitchen Organization Tips and Decluttering Countertops

G-Shaped Kitchen Layouts

That’s why it’s essential to keep your countertops organized and free of unnecessary items. Start by taking everything off your counters, then only put back what you use daily or weekly.

Consider investing in some organizational tools like a utensil holder, spice rack, or hanging pot rack to help clear up counter space.

Another way to declutter is by utilizing vertical storage options such as wall-mounted shelves or magnetic knife strips that will not only save countertop space but also add visual interest to the room.

If you have limited cabinet storage, consider adding an island with built-in shelving for additional organization opportunities while providing extra prep area for cooking meals.

By keeping your kitchen organized and clutter-free, you’ll be able to enjoy those beautiful cherry cabinets without any distractions from unnecessary items on the countertops!.


How do you make cherry kitchen cabinets look modern?

To make cherry kitchen cabinets look modern, add a lighter backsplash, such as a white subway tile, to refresh and add clean texture to the space.

Can you lighten dark cherry kitchen cabinets?

Yes, you can lighten dark cherry kitchen cabinets by using either bleach or a wood stain, ensuring the appropriate type is used to maintain their natural look.

What paint color goes best with cherry wood cabinets?

The paint colors that go best with cherry wood cabinets are white, gray, and beige, as they are the most popular and work beautifully in complementing the cabinets.

What backsplash goes well with cherry cabinets?

A suitable backsplash for cherry cabinets includes light neutral colors like beige, white, cream, light gray, or more vibrant options like mint green, pastel pink, and light blue.

What types of countertops complement cherry kitchen cabinets?

Types of countertops that complement cherry kitchen cabinets include granite, quartz, and soapstone surfaces.

How can you incorporate different lighting options to brighten up a kitchen with cherry cabinets?

To brighten up a kitchen with cherry cabinets, incorporate various lighting options such as under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights, and natural light through windows.

What flooring options work well with cherry wood cabinets in a kitchen?

Some flooring options that work well with cherry wood cabinets in a kitchen include light hardwood, natural stone, and porcelain tiles.

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