Built-in-kitchens: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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What are built-in kitchens?

The type of kitchen design which uses fully integrated modular cabinets and countertops is known as a built-in kitchen. This type of kitchen design became popular at the turn of the last century. Many companies at the time were experimenting with composite cabinetry and built-in wardrobes. An Indiana based organisation, named The Hoosier Manufacturing Company, designed an integrated cabinet in 1910 and it became very popular among the homeowners at the time.

It is generally believed that the now famous Frankfurt Kitchen gave birth to the modern day built-in kitchens. It was designed by Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky in 1926. However, it took another three decades for built-in cabinets to be an essential part of the modern kitchen design. In Canada this type of kitchen cabinets started becoming a staple in modern households. The advent of built-in appliances also fuelled the popularity of this type of kitchen design in Canada.

How to install a built-in kitchen?

Compared to the freestanding kitchen units, built-in kitchens have a more complex design. So to decorate your modern kitchen with built-in cabinetry, it is better to seek help from a kitchen designer. To do it on your own, start by marking the areas which are to be occupied by the articles of furniture. Go through the manufacturer’s instructions, supplied with every package, and assemble the wall cabinets. Use screws and braces to hold them in position.

Assemble the base cabinets. Attach them on the wall strip. Don’t forget to mark and leave out the openings for plumbing, drainage and electrical fixtures. Check the level using a levelling instrument and make any necessary adjustments. Use fillers to hold them in place. Install the worktop. Then place the drawers in their right order. Install the hardware like door handles and knobs.

What are the pros and cons of a built-in kitchen?

There are several advantages of using built-in kitchens. They help you to optimise the available space. Consequently they are almost indispensable for small homes and studio apartments. Their presence makes your kitchen look more expansive and organised. It becomes easy for you to store away your appliances, food items and other kitchen items in a cabinet like this.

Built-in cabinetry is also easy to maintain. This would be your best choice, if you are designing an open plan living room. The clean and minimal look will increase the beauty of the interiors.

There are some disadvantages of a built-in kitchen that you should be aware of. Their complex design makes it slightly more difficult to install. Stock cabinets are built to occupy a space of a particular dimensions. They may not fit in a space which has a different dimensions. You should keep this in mind in case you are planning to renovate, extend or shift your kitchen to a different part of your house or relocate to a different place altogether.

If a part of the cabinetry gets damaged, it may be difficult for you to find matching components. It may compromise the look of your kitchen. So buy your cabinetry from companies that provide sufficient warranty and quality after sales services. Built-in kitchens cost more than the freestanding cabinets. You would also need to invest in built-in appliances, since many of your old appliances may not fit into the new cabinet at all.

What are the different materials for built-in Kitchens and their prices?

Built-in kitchen cabinets can be made of a variety of materials. Wood is the traditional and most elegant choice for modern kitchen cabinetry. Wood can be carved into different styles. It has varied texture and color and is extremely durable. Oak, walnut, birch, mahogany and hickory are some of the popularly used wood types for modern kitchen cabinets. The price of built-in kitchens heavily depends on their sizes and designs. Built-in cabinetry made of solid wood would cost you at least $1200 CAD per linear foot.

Built-in kitchens made of plywood, Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and aluminium are significantly cheaper than their hardwood counterparts. Aluminium is lighter and easy to maintain. Both MDF and aluminium cabinetry are more durable than plywood. Melamine veneer is another popular alternative. Per linear foot cost of plywood and MDF cabinetry are around $120 CAD and $300 CAD respectively. The price of aluminium cabinetry is between $400 CAD and $600 CAD per linear foot.

What are some of the options for built-in kitchen seating in Canada? 

If you live in a small apartment, then buying a kitchen table with built-in seating would be an ideal choice for you. This type of seating arrangement is also useful for small rented homes. You may buy portable tables with built-in dining chairs. Once dinner is over, they can be easily moved to a corner. Make use of an empty corner by placing a built-in dining booth. If you have an old fashioned kitchen with bay windows, then you may use that extra space to set up your dining booth. Built-in foldable benches installed on one side of the kitchen island or on the wall are another option for you to check and consider. Choose storage banquette to maintain a tidy look of the interiors.

What are some of the best cabinet designs for built-in appliances?

To maintain a neatly organised kitchen, opt for cabinets that are ideal for your kitchen and are a good fit for your built-in appliances. You may take the help of a kitchen designer to custom design your built-in kitchen. This way you will avoid the hassles of opting for the wrong type of cabinetry for your kitchen appliances.

Depending on the position of the microwave oven, you may choose double oven cabinets, single oven base cabinetry or single oven wall cabinet. Similarly, you have the option to select between built-in and integrated refrigeration chambers. While either of them helps you to maintain a tidy looking kitchen, the integrated option has doors to keep your refrigerator hidden inside the cabinetry. The latter looks seamless and more stylish. To keep your food warm, don’t forget to opt for warming drawers.