Fitted and unfitted kitchens: Which is right for you ?



The 21st-century kitchen has become a hub for gastronomically-inclined individuals, with bloggers, influencers, and celebrity interior designers making waves in streamlining trends in kitchen decoration. While they were once hot, noisy, and extremely busy spaces, modern kitchens have now become social spaces where you can comfortably spend hours trying new recipes and welcoming guests.


Kitchen decoration trends move more slowly than others under the category of interior design. Most homeowners rarely consider a renovation unless there are significant issues, such as mold, breakage, or a huge leak. As a result, it is pertinent to get the initial design as perfectly as possible. One of the biggest dilemmas you may run into is choosing between unfitted and fitted kitchen designs, which play a huge role in your kitchen’s overall aesthetic and functionality.


Breaking Down The Differences Between Fitted And Unfitted Kitchens


Generally speaking, the best fitted kitchens consist of professionally-installed cabinets and furnishings to create a seamless and uniform look. The 1950s saw a rise in fitted kitchens, as housekeeping editorials glamorized the idea of matching cabinets that took up the entire wall space. While uniformity is key in its design, fitted kitchen units are not entirely monotonous. There are small nuances, such as glass fronts, stone or marble countertops, and a pop of color that you can add to make them unique and eye-catching.


As fitted kitchen designs consider the entire functionality of the room, you do not have to worry about lacking storage space. Every element is customizable, so you can have everything from wine drawers to glass racks to match the kitchen’s overall aesthetic. Additionally, while the fitted kitchen unit acts as the base of the overall form and functionality of the design, it still leaves enough room for you to add other elements to make the interior more interesting.


In contrast, unfitted kitchens are essentially kitchens that are not professionally-installed to create an almost entirely seamless look. As a homeowner, you would have to pick out every storage unit, countertop, cabinet, and stovetop to make up a fully functional kitchen. Unfitted kitchens offer you more freedom to explore a wide range of materials and styles, but also require more thought to unify the overall aesthetic while maintaining practicality with limited space.


Kitchens are often storage-hungry spaces, which means that it is pertinent to install as many cabinets and drawers as possible, while also being space-efficient. Most kitchens are not the biggest rooms in the house, so space conservation is key to designing a kitchen with enough space to cook and move around. The use of space is perhaps the biggest differentiating factor between fitted and unfitted kitchens.


Pros And Cons Of Fitted And Unfitted Kitchens


Both kitchen designs certainly have their ups and downs, which can help you decide on an option that better suits your home and lifestyle. However, remember that both options can be either practical or impractical, depending on how well they are installed.


  • Fitted Kitchen

Fitted kitchens are significantly more economically-friendly as the installation of standard cabinets is cheaper than purchasing custom designs. The uniform and highly functional approach to the kitchen space allows you to maximize small spaces through a multitude of cabinets and countertops. While you can benefit from a range of storage spaces, the overall look remains clean and minimalistic.


However, the clean approach to fitted kitchen designs can look a little clinical and monotonous. Most budget options have little room for creativity apart from implementing a pop of color. But if you have a little wiggle room in your budget, you can mitigate this issue by choosing unique materials, such as quartz and marble, to place over surfaces. You can also request to integrate a few must-haves into the fitted kitchen units for a creative flair.


  • Unfitted Kitchen

Unfitted kitchens are designed to match your or an interior designer’s vision, so you do not have to be burdened by a monotonous design that lacks creativity. It allows you to explore unique styles with exotic materials from all over the world, such as trunk shelves or industrial bars -- the possibilities are endless.


However, unfitted kitchens can be extremely costly, especially if you opt to import furniture or purchase high-end, custom-made options. Putting a focus on design can also leave you with a less practical space -- for example, one with too little storage or too many decorations. As a result, you have to be more mindful when decorating an unfitted kitchen. Once you successfully bypass those limitations, you will have a unique space with all your favorite elements.


Which One Is Better For You ?


Neither a fitted or unfitted kitchen is objectively better than the other, so it depends entirely on your taste. For instance, if your home has a modern look and feel, it may be a better idea to go for a fitted kitchen with appliances. The turn of the decade has seen an upward trend to the use of smart technology, which you can integrate into the clean and uniform approach of fitted kitchens without breaking the design.


In contrast, if you are decorating a kitchen for a cabin, a house decorated with exotic paraphernalia, or a rustic, industrial abode, then it may be a good idea to stretch your creativity with an unfitted kitchen. Most fitted kitchen designs are made with modern interior in mind, so it may not fit into, for example, a castle-inspired space.


Generally, choosing between a fitted and unfitted kitchen is primarily dependent on the overall design of your home. It helps to decide on an overarching look and feel before making a decision. Additionally, consider your budget when making a choice. The price of an entire fitted kitchen installation can equal the cost of a single custom cabinet for an unfitted design, depending on where you choose to source furniture. Compare prices and determine which is best for you.


Fitted Kitchen Decoration Ideas


Fitted kitchens are more customizable than you may think! Adding a few fun pieces is enough to give a vibrant flair into plain white walls and cabinets. Here are some low-cost ideas that bring life into your fitted kitchen.

  • Install Pendant Light Fixtures. Low-hanging lights are some of the most striking elements you can install to amp up your kitchen’s overall design significantly. You can hang them above countertops for a unique visual, but they also function as extra lighting for prepping meals and eating.

  • Introduce A Unique Texture Or Material. Introducing a new texture or material into a fitted kitchen is a wonderful way to bring decorative pop in the monotones. Stone, pink quartz, and marble are some 2020 favorites that will tie in your kitchen’s overall look and feel. There are plenty of options available -- you may want to consult with a fitted design company to see what they can accommodate for countertops and other surfaces. Additionally, it will be beneficial to stick to hard-wearing surfaces to ensure longevity.

  • Choose Classic Colors. Bright neons are fun, but they are seasonal trends that you will likely want to replace after a few months or years. As kitchens are decorated with longevity in mind, consider classic neutrals that are pleasing to the eye. White, black, and grey fitted kitchens are popular choices -- you can use two to three colors in the palette for a more interesting design.

  • Decorate Vertically. When decorating for a small space, it is pertinent to take on a vertical approach to storage instead of filling in the floor space. You may not have enough room to place an island or extra countertops, but you can instead direct the storage options to multiple shelving layers, long cabinets, and wall mounts.

  • Add Seating. As the kitchen has become a highly social space, it is pertinent to add seating for family and guests to enjoy. Long countertops are not only great for prepping meals but also for you to watch the children do their homework as you cook. Tall counter chairs come in all sorts of designs and materials, but you may want to choose a comfortable cushioned option or a modern see-through material.

  • Opt For Smart Storage Solutions. If you are a minimalist or somebody who prefers a clean interior without any vision of clutter, opt to install smart storage solutions. For instance, a blank panel may horizontally open up to your most-loved kitchen utensils, or you can store wine in drawers to hide them from view. Fitted kitchen units can accommodate these extras by request.

  • Introduce Plants. Plant friends have been a staple in the home for the past few years because they bring fresh air and a vibrant appeal. Consider large, potted plants if you have the floor space. If not, then hanging plants are a wonderful use of empty walls and other vertical spaces. Some low-maintenance options include English Ivy, Aloe Vera, and the String Of Pearls.


Contact Us For A Free Consultation


It is best to speak to a professional before ordering ready to fit kitchen units, as these require precise measurements and an evaluation of your home. For instance, it is important to know where the sink has to be installed so that the rest of the design can move to accommodate it. It may also be necessary to know if you have other built-in furniture that may have to be removed or integrated into the fitted kitchen. You can contact us anytime for a free consultation to determine the best fitted kitchens for your needs.


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