There are two main kitchen styles you need to know about; fitted, and free standing. Fitted or built-in kitchens are those that have all the furniture (cupboards, appliances, sink, cooker etc.) fixed against the wall to give the impression that they are built-in to the room. Free standing kitchens have separate units that are not attached to the walls and can be moved independent of each other.
Anyone looking to utilise a small space should opt for a fitted kitchen as all units are integrated with each other and fixed to the wall giving the look and feel of more space. As they are also a lot cheaper than free standing kitchens they also offer great value for money. Many people assume that being so much cheaper, fitted kitchens will be of an inferior quality. Although there may be some that are not up to scratch, in general, that is not the case. These days, the carcasses of fitted kitchens are almost identical to free-standing ones.
The main drawback of the fitted kitchen styles is the difficulty when it comes to fixing the appliances within. If a fitted appliance needs fixing it can be hard to access and you may need to take half the kitchen apart to reach it. Of course in the modern age this is becoming less and less of a problem, especially when dealing with quality German hardware!
Free Standing Kitchens
Often seen as the more luxurious option for kitchens; the free standing option is usually more expensive. The main advantage of free standing kitchens is the fact you can move pieces around as you require making it easy to change the layout of you kitchen. Plus, any broken appliances can be easily accessed without having to dismantle the rest of the kitchen! The most recognisable version of this design is old fashioned country kitchens; usually incorporating the traditional Welsh dresser.
One disadvantage to free-standing kitchens is it is more difficult to create a unified look; something automatically achieved with fitted kitchens. Units placed here and there can make kitchens look a little cluttered and mismatched. However, those with an eclectic taste may prefer kitchens with a mixture of styles which can have a certain charm if done correctly. One last thing to mention is that these types of kitchens are not always easy to clean as food often disappears underneath free standing units.
Combination kitchens mean you can have the best of both kitchen styles. Why not go for groups of fitted units and wall cabinets but with free standing appliances. This works especially well for those who have oversized appliances such as American-style fridge freezers or cooking ranges which you may not have space for in a standard fitted kitchen.
As mentioned, most kitchens are made from similar carcasses so for anyone on a budget the best bet is to purchase a cheap carcass. That way you can save up for more luxurious worktops, unit doors and kitchen accessories.