The kitchen has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Once relegated to the outer fringes of a home to keep smells away, today’s kitchen is no longer hidden from view. In fact, a few kitchens today are designed as showpieces.
Modern kitchens feature storage units designed to make the most of available space, counter tops at ergonomic heights, and a host of devices and gadgets that make cooking a breeze. Kitchen furniture is a very important part of a modern kitchen. A well-designed kitchen has enough storage space and furniture placed in a manner that allows the cook to use the kitchen effectively with minimal moving around.
Putting a kitchen together can be one of the biggest expenses one faces when building or refitting a home. Affordable kitchen furniture may be purchased from furniture shops, charity shops, and on the online auction website, eBay. Fortunately, it is possible to minimise costs by planning your kitchen well. Before buying affordable kitchen furniture, consumers should know how to assess their space, understand common kitchen arrangements, know the different types of kitchen furniture, and understand the factors that affect the cost of kitchen furniture
What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Search for Kitchen Furniture
It is important to plan your kitchen and decide upon the features that you want it to have before purchasing any furniture or equipment. A good way to begin is to spend some time reading magazines and websites that showcase modern kitchen layouts and designs. There are numerous ways to put a kitchen together today and it is a good idea to know what is possible.
How Is the Kitchen Used?
There are three main tasks performed in a kitchen and most modern kitchen designs are well-equipped to handle them efficiently; they are storage, preparation, and cooking. If, however, you have a larger kitchen and are planning to use it for dining as well, then you have to factor in the cost of a table and chairs to your kitchen furniture budget. If you plan to use the kitchen as a place for your family to gather together and maybe even cook together, then you have to consider additional pieces of furniture to make this a comfortable arrangement.
How Large Is the Kitchen?
Measure your kitchen and find out how much space you have to fill. You may need to modify your plan if you find that you are short on space. Doing this before making any purchases can save you the trouble of ending up with a piece of furniture that cramps your kitchen or is unusable.
What Appliances Are Used?
There are appliances today that make most of the tasks in a kitchen much easier. Make a list of all of them that are used in your kitchen, and incorporate this into the plan for your kitchen. Do you need a stand for your microwave? Where does the toaster sit? Is there enough space for the refrigerator?
Now that you have a solid plan for your kitchen, you can start looking for affordable kitchen furniture that suits your needs. By planning ahead and deciding on what you need before shopping, you are able to cut down on expenses by sticking to your budget.
Common Kitchen Arrangements
Research has found that kitchens are more efficient workspaces when each basic function, such as storage, preparation, and cooking, is given its own area. The areas, and the spaces between them, do not have to be large, they just have to be arranged in such a way that they do not interfere with each other. A triangle formed with the refrigerator, the sink, and the cooker at each point is a natural arrangement. However, there are several other common arrangements that follow this principle.
Single-file kitchen or one-way galley
The sink, cabinets, refrigerator, and cooker are all along one wall, which is not ideal, but may be the only solution in attics or studio apartments where space is limited
Double-file kitchen or two-way galley
The classical work kitchen has two rows of cabinets on opposite walls; the cooker and the sink occupy one side, and the refrigerator the other
The cabinets occupy two adjacent walls; there may be space for an additional table if it does not interfere with the work triangle
Another typical work kitchen arrangement, which features cabinets on three walls with the sink at the base of the U; if cabinet rows are short enough, a table can be added to this arrangement at the fourth wall
Similar to the U-kitchen, but adds a small extension on the fourth wall, which usually has a double-basin sink at the corner of the G; it can support two work triangles; the double-L is a variant of this arrangement
A newer arrangement that is used in open kitchens, which includes an island containing a cooker, or both a cooker and a sink, that is placed where a U- or L-kitchen would have a table, away from the cabinets; the cooker is accessible from all sides, can be used by two persons, and allows contact with guests or family members because the cook is not forced to face a wall
The kitchen furniture in which you invest depends upon how you want to arrange your kitchen. The arrangements mentioned above are tried and tested. Use any one of them depending on the space available and you have an efficient kitchen layout.
The Many Types of Kitchen Furniture
Kitchen furniture essentially consists of storage units or cabinets. Floor or base units sit at floor level, and wall units are mounted onto the walls to provide more storage space. These basic units, however, are available in different styles and in different materials. The type that you choose largely depends on the arrangement you are using for your kitchen.
These are cabinets that are prefabricated and available flat packed. They can easily be assembled at home. Modular kitchen units are usually available with different options for the door panels. These may include single or double doors, different colours, and different materials. Modular floor units may have shelves, drawers, or a combination of both. The main advantage of modular kitchen furniture is that it can be combined in different ways to suit your kitchen.
These kitchen cabinets may be purchased pre-assembled. They are considered more durable than flat packed units, and they are generally of a better quality.
Kitchen Furniture Materials
Kitchen furniture is produced from a wide range of materials. Depending upon the type of kitchen furniture or its use, it may be made of wood, laminate, or stainless steel to name a few.
Wooden kitchen furniture may refer to either solid wood or veneer. Veneer is generally a better option because it is more resistant to heat and water. Wooden cabinets are available in many kinds of finishes, and can be painted in any colour.
Plastic laminates and melamine are the most commonly used materials to make kitchen furniture. The laminate layer is bonded to chipboard, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), or plywood. Laminates can contain practically any design or colour, and are very hard-wearing. They are more affordable than wooden or stainless steel furniture.
Initially popular in restaurant kitchens, stainless steel furniture is making inroads into personal kitchens as well. Kitchen furniture made of this material is the easiest to clean and maintain. It is very durable and hygienic. Stainless steel kitchen furniture can be expensive.
Though wood or laminate are the most common choices, it is possible to use glass doors to introduce some variety to a kitchen. Glass doors may be clear, plain, patterned, or frosted.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Kitchen Furniture
Kitchen furniture can be very expensive. Depending on your budget, you have to make choices regarding the material of the cabinets, construction methods, and styling. You can reduce costs by restricting yourself to a budget that contains exactly the furniture that your kitchen requires. You can further cut costs down by reducing options that you may not need, and by selecting more affordable materials.
Buying affordable furniture does not mean settling for cheap furniture. Take time to find quality furniture that fits your budget. Shoddy workmanship does not last long and you may end up spending more on replacement cabinets sooner than you should.
Wood is generally more expensive than laminates. All woods are not equal, either. Some woods cost much more than others, so find the right material for your budget.
Quality wooden furniture requires strong joints like dovetail joints, which can drive costs up considerably. Consider cabinets made of MDF, which can be joined more easily, and are typically much cheaper.
Any design or finish that requires extra work during manufacturing can raise the cost of the kitchen cabinet. For example, raised-panel doors and glazed finishes require extra work, and therefore, are typically more expensive.
Number of Cabinets
When buying modular furniture, you have the option of purchasing just the number that fits your budget. You can always add more units later if you require additional storage space.
Should You Buy Used Kitchen Furniture?
While it is possible to cut costs dramatically by purchasing used kitchen furniture, it may not be the best idea for acquiring kitchen furniture. Wall cabinets are hard to remove without some damage and the reduced cost may not be worth it. Inspect used furniture with care before committing to a purchase.
Buying Affordable Kitchen Furniture on eBay
When searching for affordable kitchen furniture, you may find that eBay offers a wide range and a convenient shopping experience. Before starting your search, make sure that you know the size of your kitchen, the type of furniture that you need, and your budget.
Begin your search by navigating to any eBay page. If you have something particular in mind, just enter some descriptive keywords into the search field. For example, entering "wooden kitchen cabinets" displays a list of all wooden kitchen cabinets available on eBay. After selecting a category, you are able to narrow down the search by several criteria, including the brand, the main colour, and the condition of the furniture. You can choose sellers who are located closer to you to reduce shipping costs.
Before committing to a purchase, find out about the seller’s return or refund policy. If this information is not readily available on the item page, you may contact the seller directly.
Designing and fitting a kitchen can be one of the most expensive undertakings a homeowner faces. However, with some information about how to best design an effective kitchen, and proper planning, the buyer is able to bring costs down considerably. The planning phase allows the buyer to list exactly which furniture is needed. This helps the buyer to cut down costs by avoiding furniture that is not required for an effective kitchen. Based on the budget, the buyer can then decide upon which material the furniture should be made.
It is important to avoid shoddy kitchen furniture, even if it is cheap. A buyer most likely has to replace shoddy kitchen furniture units sooner than planned, resulting in a higher cost overall.
Kitchen furniture is available at furniture shops and online. A buyer in search of affordable kitchen furniture online finds that the selection on eBay is both vast and diverse.