Kitchen cabinet plans

Basic kitchen cabinet plans

There has been a lot written about kitchen floor plans and it all comes down to logical choices. You need enough space in the areas where you actually work. You need somewhere to place a hot dish that comes out of the oven and when taking items out of the fridge.


Here are three kitchen cabinet plans that are most common.

In this kitchen the number of doors is a problem. The new plan uses all the wall space but results in many separate work areas instead of long counter runs. The stove is separate from the sink which means having to constantly go back and forth while cooking. This can be dangerous and messy situation.

Unfortunately some builders just were not thinking about good kitchen floor plans when they created the room that houses the kitchen. The doors and windows can be located so that it makes it very difficult to design a kitchen cabinet plan that works and utilizes the space. That is where you have to get creative when designing a kitchen remodel.

The way we use our kitchen is personal and varies with each person and family. In my case all I need is a fridge and a microwave. Some people love to spend all day trying out recipes and cooking for their family. What ever you value most in your kitchen it is important to incorporate your needs and not just copy a picture in a magazine. When you design your own kitchen floor plan you can get exactly what you need as long as you take the time to figure out exactly what that is. Work in space for food prep, cooking, dishing up food, clean up, snack area and if you need it a message center or computer desk.

Here are some popular kitchen floor plans and my ideas on how to get the most out of them.

Galley kitchens are one of my favorite kitchen designs since there are no corners to waste space. You need at least one counter area of 36 inches or more beside the sink even if that means installing the sink off center. You are only going to work on one side or the other, not both. It does not matter if you have lots of counter space if it is all disconnected and in the wrong place to work at.

With a small galley kitchen you usually have the fridge and stove on one side. Try not to have the stove right against the wall if possible. Even if you can only have a 6 inch piece of counter it is better than having the stove touch the wall. In my last condo I installed a 6” wide box wine rack cabinet along the top and base against the wall. It did not take up much space but it allowed the stove and microwave vent to be away from the wall for a better look. At least a 2 ft wide counter between the stove and fridge is best, more is better.

With this kitchen layout you don’t want to waste valuable counter space for a microwave so an over the range micro/vent is a better choice. Pot drawers are a must for a small galley kitchen as they give you more flexible storage options. If you have the choices also go for higher 36” upper cabinets. Unless you are very tall or have 9 ft ceilings I don’t recommend the 42” high upper cabinets. To me there is something unbalanced about having taller upper cabinets than the base cabinets. Also you never use the top shelf so the extra space is useless.

If you do have a very high ceiling in the kitchen try stacking short cabinets on top of your main upper cabinets. It breaks up the tall thin profile of a very tall single door. Also you can have glass in the small second tier to display seldom used items and break up the wall of cabinets. When designing your own kitchen cabinet plans take the time to get it right.

The best layout for a kitchen plan is an L shape with an island if you have enough room. In this kitchen design you only have one corner to consider and the rest of the cabinets are completely accessible.  However this L shape is not always possible since you must have a minimum of 3 feet walking space between counters. The kitchen would have to be at least 10 feet wide. This gives you 2 ft counter, 2 ft wide island and 3 feet on each side of the island. That would be the minimum spacing for this kitchen floor plan.

Avoid having the stove or sink on the island if possible. This saves on plumbing and wiring and gives you an eating area or buffet area on the island. There is a lot to think about when you start to design your own kitchen. I always recommend having the sink and stove on the same side, or on each side of a corner since the most used workspace is between the sink and stove.

In this kitchen the work triangle is just the right size, although I still prefer the sink and the stove on the same side of the counter. The exact measurements of the work triangle do not matter that much as long as it works for you.You don’t want to have to go right across the kitchen to get to the fridge. If you have more space the ideal island is 3 ft wide and about 6 or 7 ft long.

A small second sink is great on the island if you have more than one cook in the kitchen. If your kitchen is wide enough the ideal would be to have a bank of pantries, maybe the fridge and a message center along the wall behind the island. If you want a breakfast bar with stools on the island make sure you have at enough room for traffic when the stools are pulled out.

If you have no choice but to install a U shaped kitchen there are ways to make the most of your design. I find the U shape kitchen design does have wasted space in the corners so it is my least favorite kitchen floor plan. Also when there are several people working or just visiting the cook they end up stuck in the space. Opt for special corner cabinets that have pull out shelves for complete access to items.

On the peninsula install cabinets or drawers that open on the side instead of a corner cabinet. Make certain your fridge is not too large or you will have insufficient space between the fridge and the corner. If you have this kitchen shape now and want a change consider an L shape with and island. Your kitchen will have to be at least 10 ft wide for a 2 ft wide island. You always need to keep a minimum of 3 ft between cabinets and if you have a busy traffic area try for at least 42” to 45”. Designing a small kitchen is sometimes more difficult so don’t rush the planning process.