How to transform a dark kitchen to one flooded with daylight?

in partnership with VELUX

When we bought our new home just over a year ago, there were a lot of things we loved about it. The quiet location, but still within walking distance from Bath, the garden surrounded by big old trees and views over the city of Bath. The house itself had an interesting shape and looked very modern despite being build in the 60’s. Inside was a little less exciting, mainly because the layout didn’t work for us at all – lots of narrow corridors, small boxy rooms and worst of all, lack of daylight in the living room and kitchen. So we knew from early on that we needed to sort out the layout and get lots more daylight in.

light kitchen diner
open-plan kitchen dining space

The importance of natural light

A home flooded with daylight is at the top of most people’s wish-lists. I know I’m drawn to light filled rooms – and feel so much better when I’m in a space that has lots of natural light. We have tried to maximise it wherever possible in our new house plans. Especially in our kitchen where we will spend most of our time during the day. I wanted to share some ideas and inspiration with you today.

modern kitchen with roof lights

It is known that appropriate daylight signals during the day, and darkness at night are critical in maintaining key aspects of our overall health. In order to align our body clock, morning light is the most important signal. Light in the morning also increases our levels of alertness, allowing increased performance at the beginning of the day. From mid-morning to early evening, high levels of daylight allow us to regulate our sleep/wake timing; whereas reduced light levels in the evening and a dark room with blackout blinds promote great sleep at night. As we spend a big part of the day (and our life really!) indoors, it’s really important to have a good overall (natural) lighting environment in our homes.

gorgeous dining space

Daylight and fresh air is at the core of everything VELUX does. Their range of roof windows help create healthy indoor environments for people’s homes. If you are considering adding an extension to your home or converting your unused loft then have a look on their website where you’ll find information on the types of roof windows for your space as well as interesting case studies of different kinds of projects.

pitched roof extension

Our kitchen/ living room currently

Here is the floor plan of the kitchen/living room side of the house so you can see how the layout was arranged originally:

floorplan before -kitchen-living

As you can see, the space was divided into multiple little rooms; top left was our kitchen and two studies below it. The largest room was the dining / living room and the room off from it at the bottom was called a ‘sun room’. A conservatory that was either too hot or cold and always damp, so not usable space for us at all.

All the rooms were quite dark too. Our house is surrounded by big trees, which is lovely but they do block some of the natural light. Also the layout and small windows meant that it was never very bright indoors. All the windows were also quite high up from the ground, so you couldn’t see outside when seated.

Below you can see a selection of ‘before’ and ‘during’ photos:

The new kitchen-dining-living layout after renovation:


As you can see we removed most of the walls to open up the space, and moved the kitchen to the other side of the house. The kitchen side is west facing so there will be evening sun, something we didn’t get in the old kitchen. The grown-ups living room is going to be located where the old kitchen was, with walls to the north/east.

I love the new layout already, and I think it’s going to make it so much better for us to live in here! We are going to have 3 big VELUX INTEGRA® solar roof windows with VELUX ACTIVE in the new kitchen-dining space to really maximise the amount of daylight. This part of the house was the darkest so it’ll make a massive difference to the light levels. We’ve also chosen to add 3 solar roller blinds in white to help us control the amount of daylight that comes in to the room. I’ll share more information on VELUX ACTIVE once our roof windows are installed but the smart sensors continuously monitor the temperature, humidity and CO 2 levels in the home and open and close our VELUX INTEGRA® solar roof windows and blinds to create a healthier indoor climate.

I can’t wait to share how the space will look like once the renovation is finished!

More inspiration for light filled rooms:

I also have a VELUX inspired Pinterest board for my kitchen renovation, as it’s great to collect together all the ideas and see them in one place. This shows me quickly what I love, and what doesn’t work so well.

mint green kitchen
light kitchen
dining room with gallery wall

I’ll be working with VELUX as one of their ambassadors for the next 12 months whilst documenting my renovation journey!


house filled with light
beautiful bright kitchen extension

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