Monday, February 21, 2011

Kitchen design ideas :: New modern kitchens

Style apart and depending on where you live and the type of property you own there are two main types of new modern kitchen. The type that you buy as a complete fitted kitchen (fixed into position) or a freestanding kitchen or “kit of parts” that can be removed when you move on or sell your property.

New fitted kitchens

Full fitted kitchens are normally supplied as standard by developers in new houses and mostly in Australia without Low VOC [volatile organic compound] materials and sustainable principles.

These images are of new kitchens fitted to older houses and new builds that have been supplied by Cantilever Interiors, a green joinery company based in Victoria.
images via Cantilever Interiors
The advantage of these kitchens is that while they may appear to look like a normal fitted kitchen they are different because they use Low VOC [volatile organic compound] materials and sustainable principles to construct the kitchen. These have significant health and sustainable advantages by using the following:

  • Use of Plantation Hoop and Radiata Plywood for carcass construction and E0 melamine face material which comes from sustainably managed forest.
  • To protect surfaces and allow for easy cleaning they use Water-based lacquers instead of Polyurethane based products.
  • Using E0 rating board and laminate finishes where possible. This has the lowest formaldehyde emission rating possible in Australia.
  • Veneer Board using local suppliers who manufacture veneers which are harvested from managed plantations.
  • Recycled timber is used where possible.

Freestanding kitchens & instant kitchens

A freestanding or instant kitchen is a different and less traditional take on kitchen design and is sort of like buying a kitchen for life.

An instant kitchen by Hansen
In Italy I have known friends who have rented apartments where unfurnished really means unfurnished. In this case the kitchen was completely empty (no cabinets, no appliances), just the cold water tap sticking up out of the floor where a fitted kitchen once stood. Also there were no light fixtures anywhere only electrical cables protruding from holes in the walls. I was surprised that the timebr floor had not been removed!

We all know that Ikea has a fantastic business selling low cost freestanding kitchens but if you are looking for a flexible kitchen option then it is worth investing on a quality product that will stand up to being moved a number of times and be of a timeless design that you will be happy with for years to come.

Here is an example by Hansen, designed by Danish Architect Knud Kapper, it is 100% eco friendly, made of solid oak or walnut from managed forests and natural low VOC finishes.

Images via Hansen
The kitchen system contains everything you need: oven, gas jets, electric power, refrigerator and water. You can position it in any configuration, all you need is to hook it up to a water supply and connect the gas and electricity.

This style is very well suited to small kitchens, studio apartments and guest accommodation however it can be placed and orientated in anyway and there is no reason why it could not be used for larger kitchens.

Personally I prefer the freestanding option as it allows you to have a kitchen for life with the versatility to suit different home configurations.

Next week I will discuss recycled and mix and match kitchens.

Have fun.


  1. I like the idea of a free-standing kitchen. These options are lovely. I like the first one you showed. It reminds me of one I drooled over recently in a magazine. Gorgeous!


  2. How peculiar to rent a place with no kitchen; it's so mind boggling. I love the images you've shown by Hansen. The colour, style and ethos all appeal to me.

  3. Hi Lisa, do you know of any green joinery companies in northern NSW or sthn Qld? Kay

  4. I really like the information which you have shared in your post about the kitchen design. A good kitchen design layout is very important if you want to run a cost-efficient kitchen. Proper planning at the start will help you avoid any unnecessary expenses during the construction process and in the future as well.


Thanks for your thoughts. I read every comment and appreciate your feedback.
Have fun, Lisa

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