These Stand-Alone Cabinets Make It Possible to Pass on a Custom Kitchen

Kitchen cabinets come in all colors (from green to gray) and styles (from Shaker to farmhouse), but when theyre handcrafted for your space and permanently attached to the walls, they fall into one category: expensive. And IKEA will only get you so far when youre designing your space from scratch. Thats where stand-alone kitchen cabinets swoop in: They not only increase your storage, they beat paying for custom millwork by a long shot.

Not all stand-alone kitchen cabinets work for every spaceit really comes down to how much square footage you have to spare and the amount of stuff you have. Some cupboards are completely open (great for displaying), while others feature fluted glass panels (better for hiding). And there are those that are meant to double as islands or even feature special niches for vino. Fly solo with these nine options:

If Youre Lacking a Hardworking Pantry

Avoid a snack labyrinth with this decked-out piece that boasts four roll-out drawers on one side and adjustable shelves, back-of-door storage, and vertical compartments for skinnier items like wine bottles on the other. Walk-ins have nothing on this.

If the Rest of Your Cabinets Are Drab

From the arched shape to the emerald green hue, this cupboard can cure any boring white kitchen. The highest shelves are ideal for displaying china, but there are also gliding wood drawers at the bottom where you can stow away cooking tools and small appliances.

If There Are Always Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Switch up your floor plan in a flash with a stand-alone kitchen cabinet that doubles as an islandand a mobile buffet. Just move the furniture aside when guests arrive.

If Youre in a Studio

The teeniest galley is no match for this piece, which offers both additional storage and prep space. The top cabinet is illuminated by LED lightsa prime spot for prized glasswarewhile below the Carrara marble countertop is a full-on bar: The wire mesh doors disguise wineglass racks and adjustable shelves that can flip over and hold four bottles in each nook.

If Youre Seeking Vintage Vibes

Psst: Those little blocks arent ceramic tiles. The squares are made of elm (the designer, Piet Hein Eek, chose the wood variety for its structure and varying tones). When all the doors are closed, the piece takes on a new life as a sculpture.

If Your Dinnerware Is a Mashup

Were all for open shelves, but sometimes a little mystery is a good thing. This freestanding option features opaque wired glass doors, leaving a little more leeway for clashing dishes.

If Youve Got Plenty of Uppers

Find yourself constantly whipping out the step stool? Keep your everyday cookware in an easier-to-reach spotone thats at your level (well, a little lower). This IKEA cabinet is made out of powder-coated galvanized steel, so it can take a beating from pots and pans.

If Youre Missing an Island

Oversize islands have the tendency to soak up a lot of floor space without giving much back in return. But this white lacquered one comes with all sorts of nooks and cubbies for appliances and serveware; you can even pull up a counter-height chair on the side with an overhang.

If Your Heart Is Set on Custom

Brooklyn-based designer Shengning Zhang of Studio Snng made this pair of cabinets (and a matching fireplace door) for a brownstone parlor, but the walnut-framed, solid-surface pieces would look right at home next to a refrigerator or pantry. Buh-bye, built-ins.

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