Try Dick and Angel Strawbridge's amazing hack for lighting up small, dark spaces

The Escape to the Chateau couple answer your DIY home improvement questions

Earlier today, Escape to the Chateau's Dick and Angel Strawbridge  joined the This Morning sofa to help callers with their DIY dilemmas.

Related: Small kitchen ideas – to turn your compact room into a smart, super-organised space

As experts in home renovations the couple were only too happy to help with all manner of home improvement questions – but resolving the issue of a dark kitchen problem was by far the stand out from the show!

'How do I get more light into my kitchen?’

dark kitchen with kitchen storage unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Andrew Dee)

Asked one homeowner, feeling left in the dark by her dull kitchen space. Caller Faye explained to the team she has a very dark kitchen. Saying 'We moved in 12 years ago and we’ve done nothing to it. It’s the one room in the house I really don’t like’ she stresses to the couple, seeking their help.

‘It’s always been really dark. As with a lot of people at the moment funds are quite low, so to be able to do something to bring some light into that kitchen on a show string budget would be amazing.’

Looking at the kitchen in question Holly explains ’It’s got a flat roof above. Dark tiling on the floor. So what would you do with that you two?,’ addressing Dick and Angel.

Dick is quick off the mark to make his suggestions. Saying ‘I would suggest with a flat roof cutting a hole and putting a skylight in’ Going on to say ‘It is completely possible but it’s not for the fainthearted’ or every budget. Then he unveils the couples secret of faking the look of a skylight!

white kitchen with skylights and wooden worktops

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Considering the work involved and the budget he turns to Angel and says, ‘I think I would go for putting a lot of light in there with something like the things we use in your treasury?’ The treasury is Angel’s workroom, a home office of sorts. The couple are talking about LED ceiling panels, which give off the impression of skylights – without the renovation involved in having one fitted.

To which Angel enthusiastically agrees and says, ‘Yep! They re amazing actually, I’ve got four in my treasury and it looks like, honestly, they are skylights themselves. And they re quite responsibly priced. A couple of those in your kitchen, honestly it will be a different kitchen for you’.

Dick and Angel Strawbridge's lighting hack

living room with skylight led panel sofa set with cushions

(Image credit: Amazon)

You can pick up these smart lights from Amazon, from only £17.99!

Amazon describe the high performance lights as a ‘light-emitting surface’ which effectively reduces the need to light dead space. ‘Bringing you the best light-using experience.’ which Dick and Angel can agree on.

The panels can be installed easily, requiring no hired in help.

escape to the chateau make

(Image credit: Kindling Media Ltd)

Here's Angel in her workroom, illuminated by what we now know is smart LED lights imitating windows.

Related: You can now buy the iconic Escape to the Chateau tiles for your home

Does your dark kitchen need brightening up? Will you be trying Angel Strawbridge's LED panel hack?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.