How to give your flatpack a designer look

Homeowners use flatpack solutions to save on costs but worry that the end result is going to look obviously like a flatpack solution. With a little bit of creativity, the flatpack solution can quietly take on a designer look. They’re versatile and it’s one of the reasons why so many homeowners love them!

Whilst these ideas are skewed towards the kitchen, flatpack solutions are incredibily versatile and can be used throughout the home from entertainment units, to buffets, wardrobes vanities, laundries to pet homes and so many other ways. If you’re interested, and would love to lose a few hours down the rabbit hole jump onto Pinterest and search for hacks. They’re endless and amazingly creative and sometimes downright ingenious!

Adding your own handles, sourced outside of the flatpack provider, is one of the easiest ways to introduce a design solution that suits your personality. There is a myriad of choice available and because they’re small items can be easily shipped from outside of Australia. Handles are also one of the easiest ways to either make a statement, or add another layer to the design.

Integrate appliances
If budget allows, integrate the appliances for a more streamlined and finished look to the kitchen. If you are integrating appliances then I would suggest choosing from the range available from the flatpack provider. If you really don’t want to use their appliances make sure you check, and check again the specs on the appliances you do want to use to make sure they fit both the space and the front panel. Actually, check all appliances regardless of whether you are integrating them or not!

Custom colour the back panel on the island/peninsula
Whilst flatpack solutions can be built from the front end quite easily, it’s the back of the island or peninsula that the panel sizes available can sometimes let down the design. Quite often you’ll find the largest length of panel is less than 3m which means you’ll need to have a join on the back of the island or peninsula which to me looks a bit messy. This is where I’d suggest getting a joiner to custom colour a panel that spans the full length.

Add open shelves to odd spots
If the space you’re working on doesn’t fit the standard widths of cabinets available and you’re left with an odd gap, here’s a great opportunity to add open shelves to the design. A great spot to add relief to the design, to character and inject a bit of your own personality to the design. Like the handles I’d suggest sourcing this from somewhere standalone so that it really does add character. Of course, you can take this further and deliberately add open shelves to other areas of your design, but it’s a good starting point to get you thinking about how you’d like to customise the space to suit your own personal style and aesthetic.

Frame the flatpack with walls
One of best ways to ensure your flatpack moves past its humble origins is to frame out the kitchen with walls. In other words, we’re looking to go beyond the end panels and into a purpose designed space. Following on from this, adding a bulkhead to the design elevates the design beyond the flatpack.

Introduce materials outside the flatpack scope
Apart from the cabinets themselves, the bench and splashback are dominant features of a kitchen. This is a perfect opportunity where you can go beyond the flatpack and move more into the designer look. Even on a budget, there are some amazing cost effective solutions available from Australian manufacturers that are worth hunting down.

Find yourself a flatpack installer
My last tip is to source and meet with a flatpack installer. Nope, I’m not suggesting that you blow the savings on having someone else put all those cabinets togethers and install it for you. What I am suggesting is it’s smart for you to have someone available you can bring into the project when things don’t make sense, or for those tricky bits you’re not confident in doing yourself. You may pay for a couple of hours of advice, but it could save you a whole lot of money in the long run.

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I'm always looking for new ways to break down the language barriers that exists around the design world. Without the right language, it's really easy to become overwhelmed and shy away from lack of understanding. I want more of us to be able to experience the daily joys design brings to my life. I do this by sharing my own learnings, my knowledge and my experiences so that everyone can have a beautiful home. It's not just about the aesthetic beauty, it's also about the spiritual and emotional beauty that can exist in our homes. 

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