How to choose the right freestanding furniture for your kitchen

Embrace a more laid-back aesthetic in your kitchen design with a scheme that incorporates standalone furniture

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen

Fitted cabinetry has been a popular choice in our kitchens since the 1950s, but there’s now a growing trend for a more easy-going mix-and-match aesthetic, one which weaves in freestanding furtniture such as larders and dressers.

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Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
PAST PERFECT Nail that quintessential freestanding look with deVol’s bespoke Classic English Kitchen where every piece of furniture is based on traditional Georgian designs. Kitchens priced from £25,000

‘High-quality pieces that can be moved around or repurposed are becoming increasingly attractive,’ says Jacinta Pratt, senior kitchen designer at John Lewis of Hungerford.

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
COLD SNAP Add a pop of upbeat colour with John Lewis of Hungerford’s quirky Cool Refrigerator cupboard in Easy Pink, from £2,355.99. The framed Shaker-style kitchen, painted in Pearl, is priced from £20,000

‘In part, it’s due to concerns for the environment, but also trends are moving away from the uber-polished to a more relaxed approach.’ Jane Stewart, design director at Mowlem & Co, agrees.

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
BLUE NOTES In this bespoke design by Sustainable Kitchens, a moveable butcher’s block was designed to fit flush on the edge of a peninsular, while a statement glazed dresser filled with china adds character to the space. Kitchens priced from £25,000

‘There’s a movement towards honesty of material and design. Mixing things up with the odd heirloom piece feels more handpicked and gives a home character.’

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
MIX AND MATCH The freestanding island, larder and range cooker in Harvey Jones’s Arbor kitchen combine to lend a laidback feel that’s in keeping with this informal industrial space. Priced from £20,000

While customers still rely on wall-to-wall units with a continuous worktop for practicality, ‘a fitted kitchen wrapped around a room can be overpowering,’ says Neil Stafferton, design manager at British Standard. ‘Freestanding items help break this up and add scale, texture and grit.’

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
OPPOSITES ATTRACT The freestanding pieces in Mowlem & Co’s bespoke American black walnut kitchen, priced from £30,000, add colour, character and balance to this period room

Stand-alone elements bring practical benefits too, as Richard Moore, design director at Martin Moore explains. ‘Freestanding pieces work well in period houses with awkward architectural features.

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
ADD AN ACCENT Break up a simple white scheme by adding in standalone pieces painted in contrasting tones, as shown here in the Eclectic kitchen, priced from £25,000, Life Kitchens

‘They can be made to fit around odd angles and features like fireplaces and alcoves. And they’re versatile – a cook’s table can be shifted around when the kitchen needs to be rearranged.’

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
DOUBLE DUTY When space allows, opt for an island and a moveable cook’s table to provide a flexible work zone, as in Martin Moore’s Modernist kitchen, priced from £35,000

Freestanding pieces you might want to consider are a butcher’s block for ad-hoc workspace, a larder to hide everything from appliances to spice jars, and a timeless dresser to display treasured china and glassware.

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
A LA MODULAR If you’re looking for adaptable kitchen storage, Neptune’s bespoke Chawton in Snow, priced from £1,897, can be added to over time, or broken down into multiple pieces when you move home

It’s worth remembering, though, that the heavier the piece, the less flexible it will be. And what is the key to blending freestanding with fitted pieces? ‘Play around with older items to help ground the space,’ says Neil.

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‘Balance materials and proportions – but don’t overdo it.’

Freestanding furniture: how to choose the right standalone furniture for your kitchen
BERRY CRUSH Create a mix-and-match scheme by picking out a freestanding table island and larder unit in a bold colour. A range cooker and a tiled ‘rug’ effect finish the look. Marlborough kitchen painted in Scots Grey and Mulberry, priced from £12,000, Masterclass Kitchens