There is a lot to be said for experience and technology in making your new kitchen a reality.  The Kitchen Design Center can help.  We offer free design and layout tips.  Please print out this design form and complete to assist you with gathering the information you will need to get the kitchen of your dreams.  DESIGN FORM

Here at Kitchen Design Center we will help you get the most for your money. We know the shortcuts to take and which to avoid to help maximize your kitchen's style, beauty and performance.

Some of the first things you will need to know about your room are the dimensions.  If you are building, your builder or architect can provide you with a set of plans.  These plans provide all the information you will need. 

If you are remodeling, measure your space carefully, create a sketch of the room, and note the location of all the appliances, plumbing, electrical outlets, light switches, windows and doors. When measuring, include the outside or finished dimensions of every item in the room. 

How to measure your kitchen
1. Start in one corner of the room.  Select a wall and measure the distance of every item on that wall from the corner.  Write all the measurements on your sketch.
2. Go to the next corner and locate every item on the next wall in relationship to that corner.
3. Continue around the room until everything is located, measured and marked on your sketch.
4. Jot down the overall length of the walls, height of the room and distance of every item from the floor - like outlets, light switches, and ledges or soffits.

Measuring for windows and doors
1. Beginning at the top left corner of your drawing, measure to the first window, door, or wall. Continue clockwise around the room until each wall, window and door has been measured.
Note: When measuring doors and windows, the trim is considered part of the door or window. As shown in the drawing below, measure from the outside of the trim on one side to the outside of the trim on the other side.

window.gif (3293 bytes) window2.gif (3295 bytes)


2. Measure the ceiling height and write it in the center of your drawing. Sometimes, especially with older homes, it is a good idea to take measurements in a few different areas of the kitchen. Ceiling heights, even in the same room, can sometimes vary by as much as a few inches.
3. As shown in the drawing below, measure from the floor to the bottom of each window and also measure the overall window height. If you have printed these instructions, write the measurements in the table provided below.

Window #1 (inches) (inches)
Window #2 (inches) (inches)
Window #3 (inches) (inches)

Measuring everything else
1. Measure any obstructions such as radiators, pipes, etc. that you either cannot or do not want moved.  If the obstruction is close to a wall, measure out from the wall to the edge of the obstruction.
2. Measure from the second closest wall to the edge of the obstruction.
3. If the obstruction does not span the full height of the room, measure the height of the obstruction.

Make sure you write down all the model numbers and dimensions of your appliances.  It is very important to read the installation instructions while planning your kitchen design.  Most appliances have certain reveal and height requirements so read thoroughly!  

Kitchen Design and Layout 

Choosing the right kitchen isn't always a question of taste. Personal preferences sometimes clash with the spatial characteristics of the room. Not only the space available, but the shape of the room can vary a lot, so consider all the possible arrangements.

italian-kitchen-wall.jpg (8423 bytes)Linear arrangement
If the kitchen is very narrow, it would be better to reserve just one wall for the working area of the kitchen. If the furnished area seems not enough you can always increase it vertically using practical wall or suspended units. That way the rest of the room will remain open enough for easy movement.

italian-kitchen-galley.jpg (9499 bytes)"Railroad" arrangement-also known as "Galley"
It's the same principle as the previous example, but with the furniture built up along two parallel walls. This arrangement is recommended when the kitchen is wide but not particularly long: one of the walls will be dedicated to the "working" part of the kitchen (washing and cooking areas), while the other can become a convenient area for preparing meals. The center of the room will stay free to permit easy movement between the two sections (as long as extra people stay out, I grew up in a house w/ a tight galley kitchen and my mom spent a lot of time saying "Get out of the kitchen"--I swore I would never build a house w/ that type kitchen.

italian-kitchen-peninsula.jpg (9146 bytes)Peninsula or Island arrangement
A peninsula might be the ideal choice for anyone who wants to have an area for eating a quick snack or who simply wants an additional place to prepare food. Whether you want it equipped with accessories or not, a peninsula is always modern and captivating and doesn't disrupt a classic corner arrangement: the important thing is to leave enough space for people to pass by easily and to sit down (a passage of 90 to 110 cm).
Availability of space is even more important for an island: located in the center of the room it goes well with a linear arrangement of kitchen and amounts to a modern composition.

italian-kitchen-corner.jpg (9546 bytes)Corner arrangement
Should you decide to place the table in the center of the room, the ideal would be to put the kitchen furniture in the corner. This arrangement is also the best if you have a kitchen which opens without dividing walls onto the dining or living room. The corner where the kitchen furniture will be installed should always be that which is opposite the dining room.

italian-kitchen-horseshoe.jpg (11937 bytes)"Horseshoe" arrangement
If your space is large enough to creatively furnish without worrying about problems of dimensions, you could opt for the three side arrangement: the table stays in the center, food preparation and conservation are distributed to the two parallel sides while washing and cooking share the internal side.