We live in an era of modularity, so it's only right that our rooms start taking on an iteration of this trend as well. Aside from robotic walls and multi-purpose furniture, we can now avail freestanding kitchens and if you're wondering what exactly they can do, then you're in for an innovative treat.
Freestanding kitchens consist of modules that aren't permanently attached or fixed to the floor or walls. You can easily rearrange them in any formation that you like. You can even take them apart when you're moving to another house and set them up there. If you're looking for more reasons to opt for them, here's everything that you need to know about such kitchens:
Benefits of Freestanding Kitchens
With so many new trends cropping up, it's no surprise that we have one in this genre as well. Kitchen remodels, as a rule, are quite costly, and freestanding variations are a revolt against this expensive trend. If you're looking for more reasons, then here's why freestanding kitchens are becoming so popular:
More casual: While there's a certain timelessness that comes with fixed kitchens, these freestanding options lean more towards the low-maintenance, casual side. They're definitely more relaxed and suitable for the contemporary lifestyle. They're especially great for the millennial and gen Z way of living.
From a single to a whole: The great thing about freestanding kitchens is that they're not bound by full-scale modules. In fact, you can find them in a variety of styles that spans the gamut of a whole set up to a single pantry piece, cupboard, or even an island on wheels.
An affordable way to live: With so much economic pressure and inflation, many contemporary denizens are finding it hard to afford expensive kitchen remodels. Moreover, doing costly refurbishments in rentals is simply not sustainable. This is why freestanding kitchens are such a great option. They're cost effective and affordable. They don't bust your bank account and are an easy way to get a refresh.
Best of both worlds: A freestanding kitchen can also be fixed to your walls and floors, but it remains rather convenient if you leave it unafixed. This makes it the best of both worlds.
Unmatched and eclectic: Perhaps one of the most intriguing and visually striking qualities of a freestanding kitchen is how eclectic it truly is. It never consists of fully matching pieces with sleek finishes. In fact, it's always quite an eclectic combination of hand-picked items and accessories. It's personalization at its best and definitely adds to the relaxed vibe of the whole set-up.
Elements of a freestanding kitchen
A freestanding kitchen is a hub of various textures, finishes, and materials. But most of all, it's a complete unit that's made up with individual pieces. Let's take a look at some of the most important elements of this kitchen:
A farmhouse style table: Kitchen islands are super hyped and often redundant, but if you're fascinated by them, then opting for a beautiful farmhouse style table is an excellent alternative. They're decidedly more unobtrusive, convenient to move around, and would definitely keep the space from feeling too cluttered.
The surface of the table would provide extra counter space, so it's not useless at all, and if you ever require extra seating - well, all you have to do is pull in some chairs. Moreover, the stylistic qualities of the table style itself will lend your kitchen ambiance a beautiful, highly attractive aura. It would also make for an excellent statement piece.
Freestanding cabinets & counters: Counters are perhaps one of the most integral and culturally embraced parts of the kitchen culture. But when you're leaning towards a freestanding kitchen, you need to redefine your expectations.
Instead of typical counters with over and under cabinets, you can opt for sideboard and buffet-style furniture pieces that can be easily moved around. In fact, Frama Studio Kitchens is a Copenhagen-based company that's blazing trails in this genre. Their studio kitchen units are fully portable and outfitted with a sink as well.
Devol Kitchens also has a range of Classic English Style freestanding kitchens that lean more on the luxurious rustic side. There are many options to explore here, but ultimately, the choice depends on the dimensions of your available space and your personal needs.
Portable shelves: Storage is another integral aspect of any kitchen, and this one is a no-brainer. You just need to curate the right kind of shelves for this purpose. Ideally, they should be tall, compact, and have both open and closed storage options. Hutches can be an excellent alternative.
They can be used to feature or showcase or even simply keep your crockery and daily-use utensils within handy reach while also providing closed cabinets for the storage of biggest items as well.
Portable accents: Accents are there to evoke an aura of diversity within a space. In a freestanding kitchen, diversity and scatted visual dynamics are key components. This is where portable accents come in.
You can implement them in the form of interesting bar stools, a striking statement planter, or even a stick-on backsplash that can be easily removed once you're ready to move. You can also opt for a butcher's trolly or a chef's table for busy items that require regular back-and-forth transport from one end of the kitchen to the other.
Aesthetics of a Freestanding Kitchen
There is a certain etiquette that you must follow while curating pieces for your freestanding kitchen, and we're here to touch on it. Let's take a look:
Raised legs: One of the basics that you need to consider while adhering to the freestanding kitchen aesthetic is that most of your furniture should be on raised legs. This element of elevation will allow a see-through vibe and allow the surrounding light to illuminate the surface underneath the furniture piece.
This, in turn, will enhance the element of portability and also allow for some much-needed convenience regarding the wire clutter of various appliances. They could be hidden behind the legs to make the illusion even more convincing.
Eclectic with a common point: Just because you're opting for an eclectic vibe with your freestanding kitchen does not mean that everything has to be fully disparate. In fact, it's a bit of the opposite. You need at least one common point to make sense of the entire setup. This could be in the form of a common material, color, or accent.
Remember; everything does not have to perfectly match. In fact, mismatching is by and large a smart point because it keeps the eye moving from one kitchen piece to the next - but having something (even something as small as the hardware, knobs, etc.) can create a sense of cohesiveness within the overall space.
That one dash of color: If you feel like your freestanding kitchen leans a little on the boring side, then you can spice it up by emulating that one single dash of color in the mix. It must be bold, eye-catching, and introduced in a controlled manner so that it doesn't end up taking away from the tasteful eclectics of your kitchen space.
You can do so by simply painting the door or the window frame of your kitchen in such a color (think: mandarin, emerald, Biloxi blue, etc.). If you want it to be more integral to the design, then think about emulating it in the form of a colorful backsplash.
Popular Themes for Freestanding Kitchens
Thematic cohesion is one of the most important aspects of any kitchen. Everything must follow a certain theme for the overall aesthetic to pull together well. So if you, too, are looking for a good theme, then here are some popular ones that you can draw inspiration from:
English Classical: This style is the epitome of sophistication and can be articulated with cabinets that have shaker-style doors, elegant brass hardware, and butcher-block style wooden countertops. A classic under-mount rectangular sink can work wonders for this style - especially if it's coupled with a swan-neck stylish faucet in brass.
Add in some wicker baskets, vases of fresh greens, and herb trays to the mix with a background of exposed white brick, and it'll feel as if you're in the basement kitchen of one of those kitchens from a regency novel manor estate.
Farmhouse Chic: Relaxed and shabby-chic, this freestanding kitchen style is a total classic. Its casual elegance is what attracts most people and it's very easy to implement. You can opt for casual cabinetry with an artfully distressed finish and hand-hammered hooks (choose stick-on command ones if you're not tool savvy). Hang some floral kitchen towels and accessorize with ceramic mugs, utensils, bowls, etc. to create a casual-chic ambiance.
Welsh dresser-style cabinets have become quite a thematic mainstay in such types of kitchens. They've got quite a stylistic appeal and are perfect for featuring fine crockery. They're sturdily built and their heirloom quality often makes them multi-generational pieces.
Then you can go for farmhouse-style tables with Paris-grey finish and baluster style tall, slender legs and use them instead of typical islands. Load them up with medium-sized planters and colorful table palace mats and it'll look totally enchanting.
Modern Rustic: With light wood finishing with a prominent grain and sleek, cleanly designed furniture pieces, this type of modular kitchen is perfectly suitable for homes that require a modern touch. Some of these pieces are often trimmed with metal L-sections at the corners to enforce that contemporary vibe and lean on the stark, austere side.
The overall ambiance of this kitchen theme leans on the elegant, sophisticated, and refined side. It requires a neutral backdrop and white is one of the best colors to enforce that. Add in some subway tiles for backsplash, herringbone style wooden-finished floors, and a statement flower overflowing with leafy vines and you'll have a holistic ambiance on your hands.
Industrial chic: This is another theme whose clean, clear-cut elegance and raw appeal attract a lot of people. With metal grids and dark accents in many of the furniture pieces, they're lightened up with light wooden frames for cabinets.
These portable kitchen furniture items look the best when they're set up against a backdrop of cloudy concrete finishing and distressed wooden floor tiles. The idea is to be dramatic, so choose your material scheme accordingly.
Boho-Eclectic: Understated and charming, this particular theme is especially low maintenance. You can shop for thrift store pieces for furnishing. Oversized vintage sideboard cabinets are an especially great find for these. Ladders and old-school hutches also look great, but the key is to find eclectic, mismatched pieces with a single common factor to hook the eye.
A thoughtful layout
Freestanding kitchens come at the risk of providing awkward layout hurdles when you're designing them. So here are three rules that you must keep in mind while designing them:
Wall-to-wall layout: When you're working with as many standalone elements as are required in a freestanding kitchen, then it's best that you stick to a wall-to-wall layout. It's the most convenient, takes care of any awkward nooks, and doesn't cause any unsavory layout hurdles. When everything is outfitted against the wall, there's also a sufficient centralized circulation space for you to easily move around and about in.
A medium-sized center table: If your freestanding kitchen leans on the medium to large size, then you can furnish it with a medium-sized portable table in the center. It's an excellent way to appease the desire for a kitchen island without embroiling the space into an overbearing and obstructive construction.
The breakfast bar alternative: You can use a long, oversized freestanding cabinet to mimic a breakfast bar. It can be outfitted with the right type of stools and chairs to complete the whole look. This works really well with a wall-to-wall layout without taking away the central circulation space.
So, this is everything that you need to know about freestanding kitchens and how they've been slowly but surely creeping their way into our lives. Their convenience and affordability has made them a beloved alternative to expensive kitchen remodels and they're definitely striving to become the future of the kitchen design industry.