Kitchens designed with modular and integrated cabinets as well as kitchen appliances are known as built-in kitchens. This type of kitchen design helps you to decorate a clean and organised space. It is more functional and comfortable for everyday use. Built-in kitchens are very suitable for small apartments as well as spacious bungalows. Built-in kitchens became popular since the middle of the last century. Shortage of space in the modern homes and development in technology, forced interior architects to take a whole new approach of designing a modern kitchen.
Frankfurt kitchen, designed by renowned architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky in 1926, is considered a precursor to the contemporary built-in kitchens. Before this time, kitchens were mostly decorated with freestanding cabinets. Some of the most common features in today’s homes like modern kitchen cabinets and built-in wardrobes were a thing for the future. It did not take much time for this design to be popular across the globe. Soon further experiments injected new life in the interior of modern kitchens.
Built-in kitchens tend to have a more complicated design. So it is better to take help of an expert kitchen planner and design a kitchen within your budget. However, if you have a reasonable amount of experience in this regard, you may consider installing a built-in kitchen by yourself. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to assemble the various parts of your prefabricated cabinets. Measure the base unit and leave a gap of 20 to 24 inches between the base units and the wall units.
This space will be needed to place the small kitchen appliances on the table top. Install the wall units with the help of clamps and screws. Follow this up with the installation of the base units. Don’t forget to leave out sufficient space for plumbing and electrical wiring. Once you place the base units in their position, install the countertop. Finish this up with the installation of the door handles and knobs for the drawers.
Built-in kitchens are ideal for making optimum use of the available space in a modern kitchen. They help you keep all your kitchen items neatly organised in one space. They assist you to effectively declutter the interior. Built-in kitchens look elegant. If you are planning an open plan living room or if you live in a studio apartment, then built-in kitchens are almost a natural choice for you.
However, built-in kitchens can be expensive than freestanding kitchen units. They are difficult to install and you need expert intervention to properly install them in your home. They are designed to occupy a space of particular dimensions. So if you are planning to change the dimensions of your kitchen, expand it in anyway or shift to a new home, then your old built-in cabinets may become useless.
Built-in kitchens are more expensive than traditional kitchen cabinets. Additionally, you need to invest in built-in kitchen appliances like ovens, water dispenser, dishwasher and refrigerator. Conventional free standing appliances would not fit here. If a part of the cabinet gets damaged in any way, it will be difficult for you to replace it. Getting matching replacement for built-in cabinets is extremely difficult.
Timber is considered the most stylish choice for built-in kitchens. If you are designing a modern home, Scandinavian interior, country style residence or classical dwelling then cabinets made of timber would help you plan a chic kitchen. Timbers like mahogany, walnut, oak, maple, cherrywood and cedar are some of the common options for you. Built-in wood cabinetry is not only graceful in style, but also extremely durable. However, it is expensive and you may need to incur a cost of more than SGD 1500 per linear square foot for a built-in kitchen made of wood.
Compared to wood, aluminium, plywood, Melamine veneer and Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) are very affordable. Though none of them have the enduring charm of wood, they are reasonably durable and easy to maintain. Aluminium cabinetry costs about SGD 750 per linear square foot. Plywood or MDF cabinetry costs less SGD 500 per linear square foot.
Built-in kitchen seating helps you further optimise the space available in your kitchen. These seating arrangements are very useful for the small residential dwellings in Singapore. You may buy a kitchen island with built-in seating arrangements. The other option is to go for built-in dining booths. You may also set up a couple of built-in corner benches in one of the empty corners of the kitchen and utilise the unused space. Kitchen islands with foldable benches are another option you should check before opting for the right seating arrangement for your kitchen and dining room.
Depending on the style of décor, you may choose from frameless cabinetry or the framed ones. Frameless designs are highly suitable for a contemporary kitchen. Cabinets with glass doors will help you design a kitchen that looks breezier and spacious. You may also choose from double oven and single oven base and wall cabinets. The double oven variety is suitable for a generously sized modern kitchen. Choose the texture and colour of the cabinetry according to the overall colour scheme. You may varnish or paint your wooden cabinets in a shade of your choice or go for the laminated versions.