Kitchen Planning (A step by step guide)

Step 1: Take Accurate Measurements

  1. Make a freehand drawing of your room and write your measurements on it, in inches. Include all dimensions, including windows, doors and obstructions.
  2. Make your drawing as if the room had no cabinets in it. Measure to the actual drywall and do not include baseboard or existing cabinets. (Existing islands or peninsulas that define the shape of the room should be included.)
  3. Measure all the walls, even walls that do not contain cabinets. Getting all of the dimensions of a room allows the designer the full scope of possibilities for the plan.
  4. Double check your measurements. The overall length of a wall should equal the sum of its parts.
  5. The ceiling height should be noted on your draft. This measurement is from the finished floor to the finished ceiling.
  6. The width and height of windows and doors should be measured to the outside of the trim. Door dimensions should include the measurement from the outside of the trim to the corner of the room. Window dimensions should include the distance from the finished floor, as well as the measurement from the center line to the corner of the room.


Be sure to mark the exact location of sink, drains, gas hook up, light fixtures, electrical outlets and switches.

Note the distance from the floor for electrical outlets, electrical switches and wall mounted light fixtures.

Mark the dimensions of all ducts, vents or radiators.

Indicate the direction of the door swing.

Step 2: Plan Your Kitchen Cabinet Layout

  1. Once your drawing is complete, you can experiment with different cabinet layouts by using the planning guide form.
  2. Begin your cabinet layout using a standard depth of 24" for base cabinets and 12" for wall cabinets. (Other cabinet depths are available as accents or special situations.)
  3. For your new layout to be safe and comfortable, it is critical to allow adequate clearances:
  • 28" - 34" minimum doorway width
  • 42" in front of appliance doors (e.g., refrigerator, oven, dishwasher) - be sure doors do not conflict with cabinet doors or other appliance doors
  • 42" between cabinets and island
  • 36" behind seating


When designing your wall cabinet layout, think about using different height cabinets to achieve a creative visual appearance.


Make sure all cabinet doors and drawers open without interference.

Keep work areas out of main traffic pattern.

Locate sink and other major appliances close to the original location, when possible.

Experiment with alternate configurations of corner cabinets.

Consider annexing space from adjacent rooms


Step 3: Select Your Door Style

Continental Cabinets is proud to offer a great selection of door styles and finishes. Choose your favorite when you are at your local home improvement store.