The kitchen as we know it evolved during the 18th century, when running water was first made available in homes, and stoves were invented. Mass-produced iron goods, such as hobs, made cooking much easier, and baking became popular. Prior to this, kitchens were ramshackle, often multipurpose spaces, where pots and pans were tidied away so the room could be used as a sleeping or eating space.
Now the epitome of smart design, our “engine rooms” are not only required to be as functional and practical as commercial kitchens, but are also used for entertaining, homeworking and family time.
Why is a freestanding kitchen a good choice as opposed to a fitted kitchen?
- If you are looking for authenticity, freestanding is the best choice. Old kitchens would not have had fitted kitchens so a traditional look is much more achievable with freestanding dressers, larders and wall-mounted plate racks.
- Old homes rarely have straight walls which can complicate installing a fitted kitchen.
- In a smaller cottage kitchen, freestanding furniture can offer versatility and allow you to rearrange the space as needed.
- A fitted kitchen will set you back a few thousand — freestanding items are more affordable and can be mixed and matched for a high-end kitchen on a budget. You can also source secondhand and antique items for a truly unique kitchen.
- Freestanding furniture can be moved if a space is remodelled, or even taken with you if you move. This makes it worth investing in quality pieces.
What pieces should you look for to create your kitchen?
Larders are also becoming the mainstay of a freestanding design, to add to the traditional ‘cook’s kitchen’ feel. Companies are adapting these to include hideaway storage areas for kettles and toasters, for clutter-free worktops, or even fitting them with marble surfaces inside for pastry making or as hidden food preparation areas.
Vintage Welsh dressers are perfect if you have a big enough space. The shelves can be used to display your favourite kitchenware, while the cupboards provide space to hide away clutter. Open shelving or plate racks can be added elsewhere for additional storage. Wood is a classic choice, but stainless steel versions create a low-maintenance, industrial look.
A movable island or butcher’s block can be used to increase work space as needed. When prepping food, a surface that can be moved from the sink to cooker can be very useful.
How to design a freestanding kitchen
Designing a kitchen is a very emotive and personal process. Visit showrooms and collect images of what you like from websites and magazines for ideas. To make it a little easier for our clients, we have an online tool where you can upload your kitchen floor plan dimensions to be sent to us, we will then provide a FREE design and quote for you.
A freestanding kitchen is very easy to design yourself. Some people will opt for a few fitted units, and supplement the kitchen with freestanding pieces over time. This is a great way to spread the cost over time.
If you do design your own kitchen, try an online tool that we have; Click Here). Be sure to measure the space thoroughly beforehand, including where doors and windows are located.
Consider how the room is going to be used, too — is it a space for entertaining as well as cooking in? It’s also a good idea to write a wishlist of priorities, highlighting which aspects of the kitchen are most important.
Grey is a continuing trend for freestanding kitchens — it’s timeless. The industry is also seeing a move towards bolder, more experimental colours, as well as individual pieces painted in contrasting shades (but if your tastes are more demure you can choose items in several shades of the same colour). One idea could be to include an island unit made from unpainted wood in the centre of the kitchen, which creates a less utilitarian look.