flat pack kitchens with a designer look
Flat pack kitchens are an excellent option to consider for your renovation, particularly if you’re looking for a more budget conscious choice. If you’re handy with the tools this is a great way to save on budget and take care of a big chunk of the work yourself. Here are some ways I’ve been able to get a designer look when using a flat pack solution.
Assembling the flat pack is a fairly straight-forward task as long as you’re good on the tools and you’re excellent with following instructions! If you’re renovating on a budget then you’ll probably like the idea of a flat pack solution, but worry it’s going to look like every other flat pack kitchen. One of the good things about using a flat pack solution is that if you want to change things up in the future the carcass comes in standard sizes so changing out the fronts to give a whole new look will be relatively easy.
Add a bulkhead.
Installing a bulkhead gives the kitchen a built-in look so no one is ever going to know it’s a flat pack. Although there are a couple of ways this can be installed, I prefer to install a framed and sheeted bulkhead as this give a fluid link between any adjoining walls and the bulkhead. It also gives you the option to include functional features like task lighting to shine down onto the bench.
Add custom hardware.
This is such a simple, yet easy way to bring your own design style to the mix. There are so many options available to you it’s insane! I’m not going to talk about what styles, materials or shapes you should use, because after all that’s the fun part, and I’ll leave that up to you. However, one piece of advice I can give you is that if you’re installing integrated appliances make sure the handles you use are easy to grip and use. Integrated appliances require more pressure to open so it’s best to have a handle that’s easy to use. This tip applies even if you’re installing a custom made kitchen rather than a flat pack kitchen.
Hiding your appliances in plain sight is one of the best ways to elevate your flat pack kitchen. Integrate the dishwasher and fridge, use an undermount rangehood and if you’re installing a microwave make sure its installed with a trim kit so it’s built in. All of this detail can be achieved with flat pack kitchens. Some suppliers will offer their own appliances and that makes it so easy to get the design right. Other flat pack suppliers though, you need to do your own research, check specifications and get help before placing any orders. Make sure you are meticilous with checking, double checking and triple checking to get it right the first time!
Source your own benches.
If your budget allows a custom bench then do so as this will improve the overall look of the kitchen and take it from a flat pack kitchen to a custom design. Source this from a reputable local stonemason rather than sourcing it from the flat pack kitchen supplier to differentiate it from the typical flat pack solution. There are some amazing materials and products on the market that you are bound to find one that suits both your budget and the look you’re going for.
Make a splash.
I love to use the same material I’ve used on the bench for the splash back to give a beautiful continuity to the design. A more cost effective solution is tiles and with so many beautiful choices you can really stamp your own design style here. If you’re using tiles, but are worried about cleaning the grout choose a larger tile. I worked on a project a few years back where we installed a 600×600 as the splash back, ending up with 5 vertical grout lines. Super easy mantainence and cost effective! Paired with sourcing your own benches this is going to really elevate the finished look of your flat pack kitchen by leaps and bounds.
Get the lines right.
If you’re a pretty good DIYer you might skip this step, but if you could still use some help then I would always recommend getting in a professional who can align all the doors and drawers on the flat pack kitchen, making sure that everything is going to operate properly.
This article was first published 28 November 2018. Update published 7 October 2020.