When designing or redesigning your kitchen, a major decision comes into play when it comes to deciding on the style and design. The whole process can be overwhelming. From choosing the right layout and appliances, to picking cabinets and counter material, a lot goes into these complicated decisions. Luckily, there is a ton of inspiration to borrow from these days in setting up a dream kitchen to help make the process a little less stressful.

But there is also an easier way to go through a redesign. Instead of starting the process from scratch, companies like Howdens offer the ability to pick out set kitchen designs, and have them fitted directly in your own home.

So now the question becomes: when looking to upgrade the kitchen, what kind of kitchen are you looking for? Do you want a fitted kitchen or an unfitted kitchen? The style of a kitchen has come a long way so here are some features and differences to take into account.

What is a fitted kitchen?

Fitted Kitchen

Fitted Kitchens are made of matching cabinets and appliances that are set attached to the walls of the kitchen in a uniform pattern. This has been the most common type of kitchen since the 1950’s and typically what you will see in new construction. They almost always include a stainless steel sink unit, refrigerator, cabinet wall units, oven with stovetop, and an exhaust system.

Fitted kitchens are great options if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the design process. These kitchen sets are tried and true, and look great to boot and offer excellent appliances/functionality.

What is an unfitted kitchen?

fitted kitchen set

Unfitted Kitchens offer a more unique design element to them. Unfitted kitchens typically feature freestanding cabinetry, and are often paired with handcrafted or boutique items in no particular pattern. You can imagine a kitchen made for an article with some pieces varying in height levels, or elements such as a desk that you wouldn’t expect in a kitchen at all.

So how to decide which one is for you? The first question to ask yourself is what kind of experience do you want to get out of your kitchen? And what is the general aesthetic of the house?

Then start to think about how the kitchen space is going to be utilized. Are you looking for the traditional look and feel of a kitchen that serves as the social center of your house? Do you like a modern style with symmetry in a room that feels “put together”. If the answer is yes, we would recommend a fitted kitchen, which also still leaves you room to customize and add that personal touch when it comes to colors and countertops.

Are you more of a creative type, someone who likes a non-traditional setup to cooking? Do you want to build in custom workspaces and make your kitchen something so unique others wouldn’t necessarily think to have it in their house? Then we would recommend an unfitted kitchen that gives you free reign to design as you please. Note that an unfitted kitchen can be as unique or put together as you would like, mixing aspects of finished kitchens in it as well. Another positive point to unfinished kitchens can be the budget, as you don’t necessarily need to finish it all at once and can collect pieces as you go.

In the end there is no real right or wrong answer, it simply comes down to what you want to get out of your kitchen and how you plan to use it.

Keep in mind that if you are going to go for the unfinished kitchen route, that it differs from designing with standard cabinets — same height, same width, same finish — that run from wall to wall. An unfitted kitchen looks as if it evolved over the years, a single piece at a time. However, this gives you the freedom to leave your own touch on it and truly make it one of a kind.

If you are looking for some inspiration on unfitted kitchens, here are some of our favorites:

Whether you are in the beginning phases or more towards the finish line of your kitchen reno, inspiration is always a great thing. Check out some of our favorite kitchen range companies to get inspired by some seriously gorgeous stoves and appliances.

And if you’re looking to start from scratch and have some hopes on designing an environmentally friendly kitchen, learn about some things that you should definitely be considering.