Understanding Kitchen Terminology

Understanding Kitchen Terminology

Buying a kitchen isn’t something many people do very often, and it won’t take too long before your google searches leave you confused. We spend our day talking about undermounted sinks and integrated dishwashers, so it’s easy to forget that unless you’ve done a lot of homework, or you’ve remodelled your kitchen before, that not everyone has heard of these things. Here we thought we’d break down some of our terminology to make it easier for you to understand:


Everything excluding the fixtures and fittings would be designed in house then built in our own workshop. Usually chosen due to an awkward space or non-standard requirements.

Built In

Appliances which are built into a unit, rather than freestanding. Usually ovens, steam ovens, coffee machines, fridges and dishwashers.

Built Under

Appliances which are built into cabinetry underneath the worktop. Typically dishwashers, wine coolers and fridges.


The interior of the cupboard. These come in different materials and you may have to choose the material or colour you would like. Normally either melamine faced chipboard (MFC) or real veneer.


Also referred to as ‘designer’ or ‘modern’. A contemporary kitchen focuses on clean sharp lines, with less detail than a traditional kitchen. There is often an emphasis on high tech appliances in a contemporary kitchen.


Sinks, hobs and taps all require holes in the worktop, these are referred to as ‘cut-outs’. Your designer will notify the worktop supplier of any cut outs required.

Drawer Inserts

Dividers or organisers placed within drawers to enhance organisation and storage for utensils, cutlery, and other kitchen items.

Fitted furniture

Furniture which cannot be moved and in the event of moving house, will be part of the fixtures and fittings when sold.

Freestanding undercounter

An appliance, such as a dishwasher or fridge, which sits underneath the counter but is not built in, and the fascia is seen.

Glass-fronted Cabinets

Cabinets with glass panels on the front doors, allowing for the display of dishes or decorative items.

Hand Painted

A type of finish. As the name implies, the doors are painted by hand, on site to your own colour choice.


The absence of knobs and handles on cabinet doors. This creates a very clean minimalist appearance.


Appliances which are hidden behind an attached door. Usually dishwashers and fridges. Dishwashers can also be ‘semi-integrated’ with the top fascia panel exposed.

Island Pendant Lights

Hanging light fixtures specifically designed to illuminate kitchen islands or breakfast bars.

Kitchen Island

A standalone central unit, typically featuring additional countertop space and storage, serving multiple purposes from meal preparation to casual dining.

Open Shelving

A design approach where shelves are mounted without doors or barriers, allowing easy access to kitchenware and creating an open, airy ambiance.


A dedicated space for storing food, often equipped with shelves, drawers, or cabinets, facilitating efficient organization and easy access to essentials.


A peninsula forms a connected extension to the main kitchen layout, providing additional workspace or a casual dining area. It’s a versatile design element enhancing both functionality and aesthetics.

Plinth, skiting, kickplate

The panel which runs along the very bottom of the cabinet, to hide the legs. Plinth/Kickplate are one of the same and are set back, whilst a skirting is set on the fascia so sits forward.

Shaker style

Shaker style doors typically feature straight edges with an inset panel.

Smart Technology

Integration of innovative technology within the kitchen setup, enabling enhanced functionality and connectivity for appliances and systems.


Mechanism integrated into drawers or cabinets that slows down and prevents slamming, ensuring a gentle, quiet closing.


A splashback is a length of material which runs behind cooking areas or sinks to stop splashes. It is often taller than an upstand.


This is required when specialist worktops are used, typically granite, slate, glass or timber.


Also referred to as ‘country’ or ‘farmhouse’ kitchens. This style aims for a more rustic rural look, with tongue and groove panelling being very popular.

Under-Cabinet Lighting

Light fixtures installed beneath cabinets, providing illumination to countertops and workspace, enhancing visibility and ambiance.


This applies to the fitting of sinks, rather than being laid on top of a hole in the worktop, undermounted sinks are set into the worksurface.


A narrow continuation of the worktop, often 50mm to 100mm high which runs around the wall to create a clean join between the worktop and wall. Typical upstands are a continuation of the worksurface, tiles or glass.

Wine Fridge

A refrigeration unit designed specifically for storing wine, often slim and chic in appearance.

Work Triangle

The concept of an efficient layout between the cooker, fridge, and sink, minimising unnecessary movement when cooking.

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