Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Design and Install Your Dream Freestanding Kitchen Cabinet

4 minute read

Do you dream of extra kitchen storage and prep space but don’t have room for built-in cabinets? Freestanding kitchen cabinets provide storage solutions without permanent installation, making them perfect for small, awkward, or rental spaces. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of freestanding cabinets, important considerations when choosing one, and tips for seamless installation.

With their easy mobility and affordable prices, freestanding cabinets open up kitchen design flexibility without breaking the bank. Read on to learn how to design and install your ideal freestanding cabinet to maximize your kitchen’s potential.

Benefits of Freestanding Kitchen Cabinets

Extra Storage and Prep Space

freestanding kitchen cabinet with countertop

For galley, small, or awkwardly laid out kitchens, freestanding cabinets provide additional storage without requiring new built-ins. Their independent design means they don’t need attachment to walls or flooring. You can place them wherever you need extra space.

Freestanding cabinets create movable workstations perfect for prep work and organization. Their versatility allows you to reposition them as needed to accommodate changing storage needs or layouts.

Easy Installation

Without needing permanent attachment, installing freestanding cabinets is far simpler than traditional built-ins. Most include instructions for quick DIY assembly. If you ever move, freestanding cabinets can go with you to the next home.

For renters, freestanding cabinets are an ideal upgrade. You can install them without construction or alterations to add storage and value to your space.

Cost Effective

Freestanding cabinet units cost significantly less than custom built-in cabinetry, starting around $300-$500. Prefab options with laminate counters offer an affordable kitchen upgrade on a budget.

While custom designed cabinets with higher end finishes can reach $1000 or beyond, freestanding cabinets provide storage at a fraction of the price of permanent built-ins.

Key Considerations


Standard freestanding cabinet widths range from 36-48 inches. Make sure to measure your existing space carefully, accounting for necessary openings, walkways, and existing appliances and furniture.

Consider how much storage you need. More enclosed cabinets provide greater organization but limit prep space. Optimize your layout by balancing storage and workspace.



For beauty and durability, natural granite makes a superb countertop. Its elegance elevates any kitchen. However, it requires yearly sealing and is one of the more expensive material options.

Butcher Block

Butcher block offers a sturdy surface for food prep and chopping. Regular sealing is required to prevent stains and bacteria. Avoid cutting directly on the counter to prevent deep scratches.


Affordable and low maintenance, laminate counters suit tight budgets. However, laminate is susceptible to scratches, burns, and stains from hot pans over time.

Stainless Steel

Hygienic and ultra-durable, stainless steel provides a sleek, modern look. However, fingerprints show easily. Stainless counters aren’t the best choice for kneading dough or chopping.

Storage Design

Determine your ideal mix of open shelving, enclosed cabinets, drawers, racks, and other storage elements. Closed cabinets keep items concealed and contained. Open shelves provide free access.

Drawers suit utensils while deeper cabinets store bulky pots and pans. Analyze your needs to optimize your freestanding unit’s storage capabilities.

Weight and Mobility

Materials like granite and butcher block make surfaces sturdy yet heavy. Locking wheels allow you to roll the unit where needed. Ensure your flooring can support a freestanding cabinet’s weight.

For a permanent stationary island, sturdy materials without wheels are fine. Prioritize ease of movement if you want the flexibility of repositioning your cabinet.

Installation Process

Planning Space and Layout

First, measure your floor plan and map where appliances, doors, and walkways are located. Sketch ideas for where the freestanding cabinet could be situated.

Look for unused space that can accommodate the cabinet without blocking important openings. Mark the floor with painter’s tape to visualize placement.

Ordering and Delivery

Purchase your preferred freestanding cabinet and compatible countertop. Arrange for delivery if not picking up yourself. Ensure both pieces arrive before starting installation.

Make sure you have the necessary tools and hardware on hand before beginning assembly. Clear sufficient space to unpack and construct.


Assemble the cabinet frame according to the included instructions. Attach the countertop once the base cabinet is built. Include accessories like drawers, shelves, or racks if desired.

Take care to make each step is secure and level. Adjust shelf placement as needed to accommodate your contents.

Leveling and Placement

Use shims underneath to precisely level the freestanding cabinet. Gently nudge it into the ideal position mapped out during planning. Verify no walkways or doors are obstructed.

For mobility, add locking wheels. For permanent islands, the cabinet base should sit flush on the floor.

Costs and Budgeting


Basic prefabricated cabinet units run $300-$800. Custom options with more storage and higher quality materials cost $1000-$2000.


Laminate counters add $100-$300. Butcher block costs $300-$500. Natural granite ranges $800-$1500 installed.


Save money by doing it yourself with proper tools. Hiring professional installation typically costs $200-$500 depending on complexity.

Style and Design Ideas

Small Kitchen Storage

Maximize narrow galley kitchens by placing a slim freestanding cabinet strategically. Gain storage without sacrificing workspace.

Kitchen Islands

Create a kitchen island with seating on one side and storage inside. Enjoy a breakfast bar or extra prep space.

Rental Upgrades

Easily enhance rental kitchens with freestanding cabinets. Add storage without permanent renovations so you can take it with you.

Bar Carts

Use wheels and a small footprint to create a rolling bar cart. Free up kitchen storage while keeping serving ware accessible.

With their versatile design, mobility, and easy installation, freestanding cabinets open up storage possibilities without major built-ins. Carefully measure your space, choose materials and features to suit your needs, and follow installation best practices for a smooth DIY experience. The right freestanding cabinet can maximize storage in any kitchen.