How to Make The Most of Your Flat Pack Kitchen

Ikea Flat Pack

How to Make The Most of Your Flat Pack Kitchen

Most kitchen designers would tell you not to install a flat pack kitchen but here at The Interior Difference we recognise that not everyone has the budget for a custom made kitchen nor does every project warrant the expense. And just because you haven’t got a mountain of money to spend you still deserve a great looking kitchen.

The Interior Difference offers affordable design assistance to help you get the most out of your flat pack kitchen, so don’t hesitate to call if you need help. In the meantime here are a few pointers to get you going!

Know the limitations of the product you are working with and design your cabinetry accordingly.

There are often many limitations with flat pack kitchens, but provided you are aware of the limitations that apply to the particular range you are interested in, there is no reason why you can’t achieve a great looking kitchen. One of the most commonly encountered issues is that benchtops may only be supplied in set lengths with no joins pre-cut. I can tell you that unless you are suitably qualified you do not want to be trying to create your own masons mitre in a laminate benchtop, it will end up looking terrible. Instead, design your space to negate the need for joins in the benchtop. This may be as simple as opting for a galley style rather than a ‘U’ shape kitchen, or considered placement of the pantry, fridge, etc. If a corner benchtop is unavoidable consider using the savings you have made on the cupboards to put towards having the benchtop custom made. You may be surprised how cost effective a joiner made laminate benchtop can be.

Pay attention to the widths of cupboard doors and drawers

A dead giveaway of a cheap kitchen is the presence of mismatched sizes in the cupboard doors. Often there will be three 1000mm cabinets in a row, then a skinny 300mm cabinet at the end to make it all fit into the space available. This looks terrible! Clever planning and design in the early stages before going out to buy your cupboards is definitely the way to go to avoid this situation. Look at the available sizes of cabinets and the space that you need to fill and take this into consideration before settling on a particular flat pack brand. One brand may be a little cheaper, but if the other has more size options you will probably end up with a far more appealing kitchen for hardly any more money.

Bunnings Flat Pack

Photo courtesy of Bunnings


Think outside the box

Ok, so maybe the cupboards are in a box, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t think outside of the box. There are lots of little things that you can do to give your flat pack kitchen a better fit and make it less obviously a flat pack. Did you know that most times by buying one extra pantry door, you will have enough edged material to make yourself a coloured open shelf unit to fill any awkward spaces? If there is 440mm left over and the only cupboard available in the range is 300mm you will end up with an extra wide, cheap looking filler on the end. Or alternatively, for the cost of a melamine pantry door (which is around $100 -$150 in most flat pack kitchens) you can make a perfectly fitting display shelf. I know what I would rather see!

Bling it up!

One of the easiest ways to give your kit kitchen the edge over the rest is to add a little bling. Don’t go with the standard range of satin nickel handles that are on offer. Leave them out and invest a couple of extra dollars in better or more interesting handles. It’s surprising how much more expensive your cabinetry will look with long stream-lined handles, but with a little internet shopping prowess, you’ll be able to find the perfect handle for your kitchen for next to nicks! So easy and so effective.


Most importantly – to DIY or not to DIY?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with installing your own flat pack cabinetry, and indeed if you have the skills and have followed the above tips, you will end up with a smart looking kitchen. But you need to be honest with yourself here. There is nothing that will detract from a house more than a cheap, shoddily installed kitchen. If you’re not up to the task there are plenty of tradesmen who specialise in working with flatpack joinery who can make sure that your kitchen comes up a treat. It’s the little things that really make a difference – hinges need to be adjusted so that doors sit perfectly, handles need to be straight, kickers need to be properly scribed to the floors. If not done properly these things really stand out.


Even more importantly – consider hiring a designer!

Contact The Interior Difference here.

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