How to Save on Kitchen Design: 11 Recommendations

1. Kitchen Layout

If you have the flexibility to avoid L-shaped kitchens, U-shaped designs, or island layouts, then opt for a straight-line layout. Corner kitchens tend to be pricier due to the necessity of corner modules, intricate hinges, and pull-out systems. Moreover, corner designs demand special countertops and extra components. Straight-line kitchens present a budget-friendly solution. And when it comes to storage, prioritize vertical space over corner depth. Let your kitchen soar!

Straight-line kitchen from project Duplex in Varezhki Residence

2. Facades

When talking kitchens, the facades represent its "face". These are the parts you see on the front of cabinets and drawers. Naturally, the number of facades directly affects your kitchen's cost. Each facade brings its own price tag and functional components.

Example: If you opt for two 30 cm facades, you'll need 4 hinges and 2 handles. But with one 60 cm facade, you'll need just 2 hinges and a single handle.

3. Cabinet Body

Every kitchen cabinet incorporates two side panels, as well as bottom and top boards. Each requires individual treatment and attachment.

Example: Let's say you want two cabinets: one of 60 cm with two facades and another 30 cm. This demands separate cabinet bodies and additional facades, hinges, and handles. Go for a 90 cm cabinet with two 45 cm facades—it's more cost-efficient.

4. How to make ceiling-height Kitchens

In recent years, the concept of floor-to-ceiling kitchens gained traction. This design entails added cabinets at a higher level.

However, this layout permits unified, elongated facades, minimizing costs on additional components. For added savings, integrate faux facades or drywall structures. You won’t compromise on utility, as top-tier cabinets typically store seldom-used items.

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Three-tiered kitchen with faux panel from project Studio Apartment in Samolet Residence

5. Drawers: Maximizing Space

A savvy savings strategy involves using larger drawers with internal compartments rather than numerous smaller ones.

Example: Wanting to fit three separate drawers in a section means each requires its own facade and handle. However, by installing two larger drawers, you'll only need two facades and handles, yet you’ll still have three drawers concealed behind one spacious facade.

6. Wine Racks: Think Beyond

Many claim that a kitchen without a wine rack loses its charm. If you have an extra 15cm, definitely slot in a wine rack!

However, you might want to rethink this strategy. Too narrow fronts can scatter the visual flow of your kitchen space. Additionally, narrow shelves often necessitate vertical handle placements, which can disrupt the aesthetic harmony.

High-quality metal wine baskets can end up being a significant expense. Is it worth paying extra for a small storage space?

If you do decide to integrate a wine rack, opt for one no narrower than 30cm. Otherwise, it's just added expense. As an alternative, consider increasing the size of adjacent compartments or drawers.

7. Standard vs. Custom Sizes

One of the costliest mistakes in kitchen planning is dividing it into equal, symmetrical sections, which often result in non-standard sizes.

Many furniture manufacturers claim there's no price difference between standard and non-standard sizes. However, in practice, standard sizes are cheaper — they just don't always tell you about the price variance.

Aim for standard dimensions wherever feasible. Not only will it save you money, but it will also prevent accessory compatibility issues. Standard sizes typically fall in 15cm increments: so 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90cm for many manufacturers are considered as standard. Always verify the standard sizes with your chosen manufacturer, as there might be slight variations between companies.

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Corner kitchen from the project Apartment in Symbol Residential Complex

8. Hardware – Cabinet Openings

There are a plethora of systems available for cabinet fronts: tilt, slide, fold, swing, and even ones with automatic drives, along with brackets, spring lifts, gas lifts, and even electric servo drives.

They can range from being cheap and unreliable to high-quality but pricey. To avoid unnecessary expenses, settle for tried-and-true hinges for swing fronts. Choose hinges with soft-closers or the smooth-closing ones, another name for them.

While automated mechanisms can look impressive, they often prove less practical in daily use. Soft-close hinges guarantee a gentle and silent door closure, and they are much more affordable than top-tier automated systems.

L-shaped kitchen in the project Artichokes on Begovaya

9. Kitchen Facade Materials: A Detailed Insight

One of the pivotal steps in kitchen planning is choosing the right material for the facades. Laminated Chipboard (LC) and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) in combination with PVC remain among the most budget-friendly options.

There are numerous myths surrounding these materials. Common misconceptions include LC being harmful and fragile, and PVC releasing toxins and eventually peeling off. However, most of these claims are based on experiences with outdated furniture from the 80s and 90s.

Laminated Chipboard (LC): Perfect Price-Quality Ratio
In reality, modern laminated chipboards are robust, affordable, and environmentally-friendly materials with a wide range of decorative finishes. It's worth noting brands like Egger and Kronospan, favored by many reputable manufacturers.

Color Choices for Savings
Kitchen carcasses, even those from high-end Italian and German designs, often utilize LC. A cost-saving tip: white and gray LC tends to be less expensive than their colored counterparts. As a result, many ready-made kitchens are based on a white frame.

Looking to save? If your kitchen doesn’t expose side parts or shelves, and all is concealed by facades, the carcass color remains unseen. Opting for white or light-gray LC will reduce the kitchen's cost.

LC Limitations
While LC offers an outstanding price-to-quality ratio, it has its drawbacks: for instance, you can't craft framed facades from it.

If you’re aiming for a modern kitchen with smooth facades, LC is the way to go. But for framed facades, consider MDF covered in PVC.

Contemporary kitchen with enamel upper facades and wood-like LC lower facades by

MDF+PVC: The Illusion of Framing

At first glance, framed MDF facades seem traditional. Yet, upon closer inspection, one realizes the framing is often simulated through milling. Genuine assembled MDF facades do exist but come at a steeper price.

For those not particular about seeing the frame on the reverse side, MDF coated with PVC is the optimal choice.

Laminated boards can mimic various textures - from wood to stone and even fabric. Boards with a "synchronous pore" (or "feelwood") texture feel and look identical to natural wood. These are often used to craft "wooden" and "stone" facades for luxury kitchen sets.

Kitchen wrapped in PVC featured in Apartment for a Young Lady

Everything You Need to Know About PVC Coatings:

Firstly, contemporary PVC films have come a long way from the ones popular in the last century. They are manufactured using cutting-edge technologies and shouldn't be confused with vinyl films from the construction market.

Secondly, some manufacturers avoid the term "PVC" and instead label the material as "eco-veneer," "synthetic veneer," "plastic," "vinyl," or even "laminate." Don't be misled: the foundation of all these names is PVC.

While MDF facades can be coated not just with PVC, but also with enamel, plastic, or natural veneers, the cost of such coatings is usually higher. What's more, PVC offers a wider array of textures. For instance, patterns imitating black apricot, bleached, vanilla, or rustic oak are exclusively available in PVC films.

10. Handles

Looking to cut costs? The first thing many consider is buying handles independently. However, the expected savings might not be as significant as you'd think: there's a good chance that purchasing handles at retail prices will cost you as much as it would when sourced in bulk by a kitchen manufacturer.

Handles on film-wrapped facades featured in Apartment for a Young Lady

It only makes sense to buy handles separately if:

  1. The kitchen manufacturer doesn't have the specific handles you want in stock.
  2. You dream of uniquely-styled handles, perhaps retro or designer ones.

To genuinely minimize expenses, consider re-evaluating the number of handles you use.

How to Reduce Handle Costs When Ordering a Kitchen?
A simple tip—order the kitchen without them!

But remember: not every handle-less kitchen will necessarily be cheaper. For instance, kitchens with profile handles might cost more than those with traditional handles. However, there's a solution!

Push-to-open mechanisms, known as "tip-ons," allow you to open cabinets with a gentle push. The average price for facades with this mechanism might even be lower than those with high-quality handles.

Another option to consider: opt for facades with an edge, especially suitable for straight-format kitchens. This SEO-adapted translation ensures that terms like "PVC coatings," "MDF facades," and "kitchen handles" are appropriately emphasized, enhancing search visibility.

11. Table tops

Table tops with a right-angle edge are perfect for kitchens with open sides. This edge style offers a neat and polished appearance. However, if your kitchen is flush against walls or other furniture, the choice of edge is up to you. Countertops with classic rounding will be more affordable. Furthermore, chipboard + HPL countertops are more budget-friendly compared to their acrylic or quartz counterparts.


Choosing the ideal kitchen involves more than just style and design—it's also about smart budget planning. Numerous strategies exist to optimize costs without compromising on quality and functionality. From picking the right handles to layout principles, every detail matters.

It's essential to pay attention to elements that might seem minor but can significantly influence the overall project cost. Handles, facades, countertops—by selecting the right materials and designs, substantial savings can be made.

Regarding layouts, straight kitchens are typically more cost-effective. However, it's crucial to remember that every space is unique, and the approach should be tailor-made. In specific scenarios, a corner layout might be the best fit. The key is to carefully analyze both your needs and the space.

Lastly, don't overlook professionals in the design and furniture manufacturing sectors. Consulting with experts can help avoid common pitfalls, ensuring your kitchen is not only aesthetically pleasing and functional but also economical. Before making decisions, always seek advice and heed specialist recommendations. This way, your dream of the perfect kitchen can become a reality without breaking the bank.

For the 6 typical DIY renovation mistakes, read this ARTICLE.

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