How To Lighten Up A Kitchen With Cherry Cabinets

How To Lighten Up A Kitchen With Cherry Cabinets

Cherry cabinets can add warmth and elegance to a kitchen, but they can also make the space feel dark and heavy. If you’re looking to lighten up your kitchen with cherry cabinets, there are several strategies you can employ to create a brighter and more inviting space. In this article, we will explore various techniques, from choosing the right paint colors to incorporating lighting and accessories, that can help you achieve a lighter and more modern look for your kitchen.

1. Paint the Walls

One of the most effective ways to lighten up a kitchen with cherry cabinets is to paint the walls in a light and neutral color. Opt for shades of white, cream, or pale gray to create a fresh and airy feel. These light colors will reflect natural and artificial light, making the space appear brighter. Avoid dark or bold colors on the walls, as they can further darken the room and create a stark contrast with the cherry cabinets.

2. Choose Light Countertops

Another way to brighten up your kitchen is by selecting light-colored countertops. Light granite, quartz, or marble countertops can create a beautiful contrast with the cherry cabinets and help reflect light throughout the space. Consider options such as white, beige, or light gray to achieve a more open and luminous feel.

3. Install Under Cabinet Lighting

Proper lighting is crucial in any kitchen, especially when trying to lighten up a space with dark cabinets. Installing under cabinet lighting can help illuminate the countertops and create a more inviting atmosphere. LED strip lights or puck lights are popular choices for under cabinet lighting, as they provide a bright and focused light source. This not only enhances visibility but also adds a touch of modernity to the kitchen.

4. Incorporate Pendant Lights

In addition to under cabinet lighting, pendant lights can be a great way to brighten up a kitchen with cherry cabinets. Hang pendant lights above the kitchen island or dining area to create a focal point and add extra illumination. Choose pendant lights with light-colored shades or transparent glass to maximize the light output and create a visually appealing contrast with the cherry cabinets.

5. Use Light-Colored Backsplash

A light-colored backsplash can further enhance the brightness of your kitchen. Consider using materials such as white subway tiles, light-colored mosaic tiles, or even mirrored tiles to reflect light and create a sense of depth. A light-colored backsplash can also serve as a backdrop for your cherry cabinets, allowing them to stand out without overpowering the space.

6. Opt for Open Shelving

If you have the opportunity, consider incorporating open shelving in your kitchen design. Open shelves can create a more open and airy feel, as they allow light to pass through and visually expand the space. Use open shelves to display light-colored dishes, glassware, and decorative items to add a touch of brightness and style to your kitchen.


1. Can I paint my cherry cabinets to lighten them up?

Yes, painting your cherry cabinets is a viable option to lighten up your kitchen. Choose light-colored paint, such as white or cream, to create a fresh and modern look. However, keep in mind that painting cabinets requires proper preparation and execution to ensure a durable and professional finish.

2. What other colors can I pair with cherry cabinets to create a lighter look?

While light and neutral colors work best to lighten up a kitchen with cherry cabinets, you can also consider pairing them with soft pastel shades. Light blues, greens, or even pale yellows can create a harmonious and uplifting atmosphere when combined with cherry cabinets.

3. How can I make my kitchen feel brighter without changing the cabinets?

If you prefer to keep your cherry cabinets but still want to brighten up your kitchen, focus on other elements such as the walls, countertops, and lighting. Choose light-colored paint for the walls, install under cabinet lighting, and opt for light countertops to create a more luminous space.

4. Are there any specific lighting fixtures that work well with cherry cabinets?

Pendant lights and under cabinet lighting are two popular options that work well with cherry cabinets. Pendant lights can add a decorative touch and provide additional illumination, while under cabinet lighting helps brighten up the countertops and create a more inviting atmosphere.

5. Should I avoid dark accessories in a kitchen with cherry cabinets?

While it’s generally recommended to stick with light-colored accessories to maintain a bright and airy feel, incorporating a few dark accents can create an interesting contrast. For example, a dark-colored rug or a few black decorative items can add depth and visual interest to the space without overwhelming it.

6. How can I maximize natural light in my kitchen?

To maximize natural light in your kitchen, keep window treatments minimal or opt for sheer curtains that allow light to pass through. Additionally, consider placing mirrors strategically to reflect natural light and make the space feel brighter and more spacious.


Lightening up a kitchen with cherry cabinets can be achieved through various strategies, from choosing light paint colors and countertops to incorporating proper lighting and accessories. By following these tips, you can create a brighter and more inviting space that complements the warmth and elegance of your cherry cabinets. Remember to experiment with different elements and find the perfect balance between light and dark to achieve the desired effect in your kitchen.