What first drew my attention to the “unfitted kitchen”, and thus starting a love affair with mismatched culinary spaces, was somewhat of an accident. Moving into our little cottage at the start of Covid lockdown, while it was only half renovated and without a kitchen, meant I had to get creative when setting up a temporary kitchen space.
Since our move was unexpected and last minute, I didn’t want to rush into getting a run-of-the-mill kitchen installed. My heart was set on a particular, traditional style of cabinetry for this cottage. And I was willing to wait until I could find someone to build it. That meant, however, creating an interim kitchen using furniture we already had.
An antique french oak buffet as a work bench. Two of our white cabinets as pantry and extra storage. And a small kitchen table in the centre. This little table became my meal prep area, and is still where I sit and prepare meals most nights. You can see more of it here and here.
Months after moving in, our magnificent Falcon Elise cooker arrived, so again I rearranged things. My husbands great-grandmothers old meat safe (which we’d restored) went next to the cooker. An antique shoe cupboard I bought at auction became added storage and a little bar area (very important!) in the corner of the room.
What I realised during this period and process, was how much I love our unfitted kitchen and how authentic it feels. It’s simply about practicality and functionality, rather than appearances. It’s also made me appreciate the small things (like a decent sized working sink!), and forced me to ponder what truly makes a kitchen function well. Finding clever ways to store our kitchenwares, and displaying pieces I truly love, rather than hiding everything away behind closed doors. It reminds me of all those rustic and humble kitchens in old farmhouses in rural France, England and Italy. The ones where “nonna” and “maman” create fresh, seasonal home cooked meals for their families daily.
The more I went looking for these style of kitchens, the more I fell madly in love! Beautifully authentic, unique, imperfect spaces, filled with vintage pots and plates, baskets, fireplaces, vintage art, old and mismatched furniture for storage etc.
At the same time, it dawned on me that 95% of kitchens today are just slight variations of one another. And frankly quite boring. While an unfitted kitchen undoubtedly won’t suit everyone, or every home, I find myself yearning for a kitchen that’s unique. A bit more imperfect, and loaded with old-world charm. A kitchen that feels more like a beautifully decorated room, not a sparse workspace devoid of its inhabitants personality.
So, are you a fan of the unfitted kitchen look? Or, do you prefer the more streamlined, typical kitchen style that we mostly we see today? Regardless, I hope this has at least inspired you and made you think outside the box when it comes to creating your own dream kitchen.
There are definitely ways you can create a more paired back example of this style in your existing kitchen. Adding things like baskets, artwork, lamps or wall lights, plates on the wall, or even ditching the overhead cupboards and opting for open shelves. If you want more inspiration on unfitted/deconstructed kitchens, head over to my Unfitted Kitchens board on Pinterest!
Hope you all have a great week!