Freestanding kitchen ideas – designs for those seeking a more relaxed approach

Free yourself from the restraints of a fully-fitted kitchen and enjoy a more flexible, laidback cooking space

These freestanding kitchen ideas do exactly what they say on the tin. They're kitchen units that are not fixed to the wall or floor, so you can configure them in any way you like. The main components of freestanding kitchens are island units, storage units, display dressers and wheeled trolleys, which can be moved around your kitchen space freely.

The benefits of freestanding kitchens are numerous. You don't need to have costly fitted appliances, you can use existing or second-hand furniture (such as a cupboard, sideboard or dresser). And you can move your units around if you fancy a change to your kitchen layout later on.

The fact that everything doesn't 'match' means freestanding kitchens are often more affordable than fitted kitchens. They're certainly a more flexible kitchen idea, too. And can evolve to fit in with your needs, rather than being perfectly planned from the outset.

Freestanding kitchen ideas

1. Make it your own

cream kitchen with red smeg fridge and freestanding island

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

If a wall-to-wall bank of fitted kitchen units aren’t what you’re looking for, then why not try the freestanding look instead? This style is quite varied and spans from loose cabinet units to variations in furniture. Items like dressers, butchers blocks and open shelving all makr for a much more relaxed and informal look.

Often styles are combined, with old and new furniture pieces mixed together. Even some newly bought freestanding kitchens are designed to mix and match materials and colours.

2. Create a display you'll be proud to show off

colourful kitchen with decorative baskets and an orange table cloth

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

For an elegant look, display favourite pieces of tableware in an open-rack dresser, such as the one shown in this colourful kitchen.

If you have an old dresser and aren't happy with the colour or finish, consider giving it a coat of paint to suit your scheme. It's a simple approach to decorating a freestanding kitchen, but will make the most of any existing furniture you may have.

3. Mix and match

cream kitchen with a small blue aga and navy shutters

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith )

There are a range of painted kitchen ideas to choose from but with freestanding units and cupboards, using a range of colours, materials and styles means each item looks like a piece of furniture in its own right.

Less is definitely more when it comes to choosing freestanding furniture, so don't feel you have to fill every nook and cranny with cabinets. Make sure there is enough space to use your kitchen comfortably.

4. Factor in freestanding storage

neutral room with a marble fireplace and a freestanding kitchen storage unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

A larder cupboard is a classic piece of furniture that can be added to all types of kitchens where space allows. If you have room in the dining area, use it to store china and glasses for entertaining. Or, make it a breakfast cupboard with easy access to cereals.

When planning a kitchen, why not mix up the colours and finishes of your cabinets for a unique look? For example, having two or three complementary paint shades on different units. You can also use this idea on a fitted kitchen to give a freestanding feel.

5. Opt for a cohesive open-plan design

freestanding grey and white kitchen with wooden bar stools and a wooden dining table

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

For those seeking a laid-back kitchen design, the freestanding kitchen ideas are proving increasingly attractive. Select stylish freestanding pieces to match living-room furniture. This is a great solution for large open-plan kitchens, where cooking and living collide.

6. Be as flexible as you like

blue and cream kitchen with a freestanding island and blue shutters

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

Although you have the flexibility to move things around in a freestanding kitchen, it's still best to have a layout plan from the start. Unfitted works best in larger rooms because you have the flexibility to include standard-sized units in between the key areas of sink, cooker and fridge.

Here, mixing colours accentuates the beauty of this freestanding design. A growing trend in island design is to have tall legs that give a free-flowing, freestanding feel.

Will you be giving your home the unfitted look with freestanding kitchen units and appliances?