Freestanding kitchens – for those seeking a more relaxed approach to kitchen design

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

    Freestanding kitchens 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 kitchen units around if you fancy a change later on. The fact that everything doesn’t ‘match’ means freestanding kitchens are often a more affordable option than fitted kitchens. They’re certainly more flexible too, and can evolve to fit in with your needs, rather than needing to be perfectly planned from the outset.

    For more great kitchen ideas, visit our kitchen channel

    1. Make it your own

    Freestanding kitchens

    Image credit: 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 like dresser, butchers blocks and open shelving, all making for a much more relaxed and informal look. Often styles are combined, with old and new furniture pieces mixed together and 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

    Freestanding kitchens

    Image credit: David Brittain

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

    Freestanding kitchens

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    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.

    Want to add colour to your kitchen? READ: Painted kitchen ideas – to give your space a new lease of life with creative colour

    4. Factor in freestanding storage

    Freestanding kitchens

    Image credit: 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. Mix up the colours and finishes of your cabinets – 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 kitchen

    Image credit: David Giles

    For those seeking a laid-back kitchen design, the idea of freestanding cabinets is proving increasingly attractive. Selecting stylish freestanding pieces to match living-room furniture is a great solution for large open-plan spaces, where cooking and living collide.

    Need help planning a layout? READ: How to plan a kitchen – your step-by-step guide to the perfect space

    6. Be as flexible as you like

    Freestanding kitchens

    Image credit: 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 where you have the flexibility to include standard-sized units in between the key areas of sink, cooker and fridge. Here, mixing colour 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?

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