Published on September 11, 2020

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Courtesy of Chris Loves Julia

Brand-new kitchen cabinets will take up a good chunk of your renovation budget (replacing old ones costs an average of $5,000, and that’s if you’re sticking with a basic wood veneer or laminate). But unlike other updates that are unavoidable, like fixing faulty plumbing, there’s plenty of wiggle room when it comes to purchasing new cupboards. The secret to saving is buying ones that are freestanding.

While they may not take advantage of every last square inch of your space, stand-alone cabinets offer flexibility. You can mix one or two in alongside built-ins, take them with you when you leave your rental, or move them to another room and use them for something non–cooking related. Where is it written that you have to pay for custom millwork? These eight totally autonomous cupboards prove it’s not all that bad flying solo.

The Pantries 

You don’t need to hire a contractor to add character to your kitchen—an arched storage unit takes care of that for you. With seven interior shelves, this tall cupboard can hold all of your dried goods without a problem. 

The British are known for their savvy plate racks, so it’s no surprise this U.K. brand incorporated a separate shelving display for glassware into its playful cupboard, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Rangwali Pink. The deep shelves can hold everything from a picnic basket to a serving bowl.

The Islands 

This hardworking pick, complete with drawers, a sliding cupboard, and two towel bars, will be the center of your kitchen’s universe. When you need additional counter seating, simply extend the drop-leaf rubber-wood worktop.

Stop stowing your wine bottles on top of the refrigerator, where it gets too hot. Instead display them inside this cement island’s stylish metal grate cabinet. The mobile bar also has a place to hang stem glasses, so you can free up your actual cabinets and countertop for good. 

The Fit-Anywhere Frames

You could outfit an entire kitchen in DeVol’s freestanding line or pick and choose which one works best in your existing space. This slim, 66-inch-high cupboard can go right up next to the counter edge. Tack on an additional $90 for the dot and petal pattern cutouts. 

No need to have a carpenter build you a snazzy appliance garage—this box, constructed of MDF and lacquered oak, is up to the task. Simply roll up the plastic door to get to your toaster or coffee maker.  

The China Displays

Your cookbooks, serveware, and go-to pots can all fit nicely inside this two-door wood case. The sliding doors at the bottom makes it extra-easy to stow storage baskets.

Curate your own mini museum by mixing small treasures (gemstones, figurines, family photos) in with your most prized dishes. This cabinet’s jet-black frame instantly makes any old objects feel modern. Your cabinet of curiosities awaits. 

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