Freestanding kitchens are complete, standalone kitchen spaces that are not connected to any walls. They have risen in popularity in recent years for their versatile and modern design aesthetic. A freestanding kitchen island is often the centerpiece, providing additional prep space and storage while separating the kitchen from other rooms. There are many advantages to choosing a freestanding kitchen design.

Benefits of Freestanding Kitchens

Freestanding kitchens offer a number of benefits:

Flexible Layouts

One of the biggest perks of a freestanding kitchen is the ability to customize the layout. Without any walls dictating placement, you can position the cabinets, appliances, and prep areas however you wish to maximize workflow efficiency. Islands and peninsulas can be situated to delineate work zones.

Open Concept Living

Removing permanent walls creates an open concept floor plan. This makes the kitchen feel more spacious and integrated with adjacent living spaces. Traffic flow improves throughout the home.

Movable Elements

All the components of a freestanding kitchen, like cabinets and islands, are movable. This adaptability lets you renovate and reconfigure down the road. As needs change, it’s simple to update the layout.

Modern, Minimalist Look

Freestanding kitchens have an airy, contemporary aesthetic. The lack of overhead cabinets contributes to the light and open vibe. The minimalist style creates a soothing, uncluttered environment.

Saves Space

Without permanent walls, a freestanding kitchen maximizes floor space. The open layout makes the area feel more expansive. This allows for larger configurations in small homes or apartments.

Easy Installation

Installing a freestanding kitchen is simpler than building an integrated one. The units do not need to be permanently affixed to walls. This cuts back on construction time.

Elements of a Freestanding Kitchen

Several key components come together to create the freestanding kitchen layout.

Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is essential for a freestanding design, serving as a central focal point. The island provides extra counter space and storage. It can house small appliances, a sink, dining seating, and more. Islands promote workflow efficiency.


typical freestanding kitchen will have streamlined cabinets set against the walls. Opt for units with a sleek, modern style to complement the minimalist look. Cabinets offer abundant storage solutions.


Open shelving is common in freestanding kitchens instead of upper cabinets. This contributes to the airy, wall-free aesthetic. Shelves are great for displaying pretty cookware and fresh herbs.


Major appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers can be integrated flush with cabinetry for a seamless appearance. Other small appliances can live on the kitchen island.


The sink can be installed on the island or in a section of base cabinets. Make sure to position it conveniently near the dishwasher.


To brighten up a kitchen without upper cabinets, add ample lighting. Pendant lights are a popular choice over islands. Recessed lighting, track lighting, and under cabinet lighting work well too.


Durable and easy-to-clean tile or wood flooring suits the freestanding kitchen style. Opt for lighter colors to contribute to the airy, open vibe. Consider radiant floor heating for comfort.

Barstool Seating

Incorporate built-in barstool seating around the perimeter of the island for casual dining. This promotes interaction and entertaining.

Design Tips

Follow these tips to create a stellar freestanding kitchen design:

  • Focus on ergonomic work triangle placement between sink, stove, and refrigerator.
  • Incorporate lots of prep space and storage with a spacious island.
  • Use bold colors and materials on the island to define it as the focal point.
  • Add a ventilation hood over the stove even without upper cabinets.
  • Install backsplashes on the walls behind appliances and prep areas.
  • Use pendant lighting over islands and counters for task lighting.
  • Employ neutral, light wall colors to enhance the airy aesthetic.
  • Anchor the layout with a statement floor covering like checkerboard tile.
  • Accent with greenery such as potted herbs on open shelves.

Choosing Freestanding Kitchen Appliances

Appliance selection is an important part of freestanding kitchen design. Here are some top options:


  • French door refrigerators provide ample fresh food and freezer storage.
  • Column refrigerators have a narrow profile to fit smaller spaces.
  • Undercounter fridges can be concealed seamlessly with cabinetry fronts.


  • Dual fuel ranges combine gas cooktops and electric ovens for versatility.
  • Induction cooktops have a sleek, modern look with no open flames.
  • Commercial-style ranges offer extra power and performance.


  • Drawer dishwashers are compact and can be placed at countertop height.
  • Panel-ready models blend seamlessly into cabinetry.
  • Quiet dishwashers run at lower decibel levels.


  • Built-in microwaves can be installed flush with cabinets.
  • Drawer microwaves are hidden away but easily accessible.
  • Over-the-range microwaves are great for smaller kitchens.

Be sure to select Energy Star certified appliances for efficiency. Visit showrooms to review options.

Freestanding Kitchen Island Ideas

The kitchen island is the star of a freestanding kitchen. Consider these island ideas:

Storage Islands

Maximize storage with an island featuring drawers, cabinets, shelves, and pull-out pantries. Include different sizes for varied items.

Prep Island

Design an island focused on food prep. Add a sink, herb garden, l butcher block, and storage for knives and pans.

Entertaining Island

Entertaining islands have space for guests to sit plus storage for serving essentials like barware and linens.

Smart Islands

Incorporate tech features like charging stations, app-controlled lighting, outlets, and Bluetooth speakers.

Double Islands

Use two small islands instead of one large one to create work zones and allow traffic flow.

Movable Islands

Islands on casters can easily be shifted as needed. Just ensure they lock into place.

Concrete Islands

Concrete islands have an edgy, industrial vibe. They’re durable and heat resistant.

The options are endless for personalized freestanding kitchen islands. Get creative!

Freestanding Kitchen Ideas

Take inspiration from these stunning freestanding kitchen design ideas:

Industrial Style

Exposed ductwork, black hardware, concrete, and metal evoke an urban loft aesthetic.

Rustic Chic

Weathered wood, brick backsplashes, and farmhouse sinks have a cozy rustic feel.

Scandinavian Style

Clean lines, light wood cabinetry, and walls make a serene modern statement.

Eclectic Mix

Include fun mixed patterns, textures, and globally inspired accents.

Monochromatic Palette

Using all white or black elements creates a dramatic modern look.

Luxury Materials

Marble, brass, polished nickel, and lacquer cabinets impress.

Bold Backsplash

Make the backsplash the focal point with tile or colorful glass sheets.

Two-Tone Cabinetry

Mixing cabinet colors and finishes adds striking visual interest.

Freestanding Kitchen Storage Solutions

With no upper cabinets, storage needs to happen below in a freestanding kitchen. Ideas include:

Pantry Cabinets

Incorporate floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets for ample kitchen storage.

Deep Drawers

Customize drawers with dividers and inserts to neatly organize contents.

Pull-Out Pantries

Make the most of corner spaces with pull-out cabinets with swing-out shelves.

Appliance Garages

Hide small appliances in cabinetry “garages” that close to keep counters clear.

Under Cabinet Racks

Install sliding racks and shelves under wall-mounted cabinets.

Pegboard Walls

Use walls for hanging often-used pans and utensils on pegboard.

Islanded Storage

Include doors, drawers, and open shelving on kitchen islands.

Hidden Waste Bins

Conceal trash and recycling bins in cabinetry for a streamlined look.

Freestanding Kitchen Layout Ideas

How you arrange the components is key. Consider these layout ideas:

Work Triangle

Optimize the work triangle between sink, stove, and fridge for steps efficiency.

Two Islands

Add a second island for more prep space and to define work zones.

Peninsula Island

A peninsula island connected to cabinets provides a natural divide.

Island with Overhang

An extended island countertop allows for seating.

Circle Kitchen

Situate cabinetry, appliances, and the island in a circular layout.

L-Shaped Design

Place the island perpendicular to cabinets in an L-shape.

The layout possibilities are infinite! Virtual design apps can help visualize options.

Small Freestanding Kitchen Solutions

Just because space is tight doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your freestanding kitchen dreams. There are many solutions to create an open kitchen layout in a small area:

Mini Island

Add a narrow island with stool seating for a space-savvy gathering spot.

Compact Appliances

Choose smaller scale appliances like an apartment-size fridge and stove to maximize room.

Peninsulas Over Islands

Attach a peninsula with seating to existing cabinetry for a more compact option.

Multitasking Furniture

Use furniture that serves multiple purposes, like storage ottomans with lids.

Floating Shelves

Install floating shelves on walls for display and storage instead of bulky cabinets.

Two-Tier Islands

Incorporate a two-tier island to double the usable square footage.

Mirrored Backsplash

Strategically placed mirrors will make the kitchen feel larger.

Convertible Island

Islands on casters can double as prep space or dining tables.

Freestanding Kitchen Cost

What’s the budget for a freestanding kitchen? Here’s a breakdown of costs:

  • Cabinets: $2,500-$5,000+
  • Island: $1,500-$5,000
  • Countertops: $1,500-$5,000+
  • Sink and Faucet: $500-$2,000+
  • Appliances: $3,000-$10,000+
  • Flooring: $500-$3,000+
  • Lighting: $500-$2,000+
  • Other expenses: $1,000-$3,000 (plumbing, electrical, demolition)

In total, expect to invest $10,000-$30,000+ for a complete freestanding kitchen remodel. Higher end materials and extensive layout changes will push costs up. Work with a designer early on to develop a budget.

Pros and Cons of Freestanding Kitchens

The pros and cons of a freestanding kitchen:


  • Open, modern aesthetic
  • Flexible layouts
  • Movable components
  • Easy renovations
  • Promotes open flow and circulation
  • Abundant natural light


  • Less storage than traditional kitchens
  • Can feel cold without definition from walls
  • Noisy and distracting if open to living spaces
  • Not good for separating cooking smells
  • Lack of cabinetry can look cluttered

Overall, the pros seem to outweigh the cons for most homeowners. Visit model homes to decide if the style fits your needs.

Freestanding Kitchen Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common freestanding kitchen FAQs:

What is a freestanding kitchen?

A freestanding kitchen is a complete kitchen space not connected to or dependent upon walls. The layout revolves around a central kitchen island.

What are the key elements of a freestanding kitchen?

Key elements include a kitchen island, cabinets, appliances, shelving, sink, flooring, lighting, and barstool seating.

How much space do you need for a freestanding kitchen?

A freestanding kitchen requires a relatively open, wide space, ideally 12 feet square or larger. But smart layouts can work in smaller spaces too.

What appliances work best in a freestanding kitchen?

Built-in or panel-ready appliances integrate beautifully. French door refrigerators, induction cooktops, and drawer dishwashers are great options.

Where is extra storage located in a freestanding kitchen?

Storage solutions include deep drawers, pull-out pantries, appliance garages, under cabinet racks, island storage, and pantry cabinets.

Can you put upper cabinets in a freestanding kitchen?

While less common, it is possible to incorporate some upper cabinets while maintaining a mostly freestanding aesthetic if needed for storage.

How do you define work zones in a freestanding kitchen?

Use strategic placement of the kitchen island and cabinetry sections to delineate cooking, cleaning, and storage zones.

What are good flooring options for a freestanding kitchen?

Durable tile, stone, concrete, and wood floors suit freestanding kitchens. Radiant floor heating adds comfort.


With their wide open layouts and versatile designs, it’s no wonder freestanding kitchens have become a top trend. Removing permanent walls creates a light, airy aesthetic and flexible workspace. Islands serve as the central hub for entertaining and cooking. Maximize storage solutions with cabinetry, pantries, and pull-outs. Smart appliance selection streamlines the modern look. Incorporate ample lighting and finishes like tile floors. While sacrificing some storage, the pros of freestanding kitchens outweigh the cons for most. Following the expert tips above will help you design the perfect freestanding kitchen suited to your unique space and needs.