Designing and drawing a kitchen layout plan can seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create your very own kitchen layout design plan.  

Planning your kitchen design will help save you time and money and this guide is designed to make the process as easy as possible.  Whether you are doing a kitchen renovation and keeping your current layout, or planning a completely new kitchen, you can learn to create a space that not only reflects who you are but also functions the way a good kitchen should.

However, if you are not comfortable planning your own kitchen layout you should still read this article.

Hiring a kitchen designer or an interior designer can be a great investment, but they will still want to know how you use your kitchen, what space you have available, and what things are working or not working for you now.

You will learn all about kitchen design and what things are really important to your overall plan.  Then you can share what you have learned with your designer for a great starting point.

How to design your own kitchen layout plan pin

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how to draw a kitchen layout with dimensions

How to measure for your drawing

Measuring your kitchen space is the first step, and the most crucial step, in designing your kitchen layout plan. Accurate measurements help you make informed decisions about the size and placement of appliances, furniture, and cabinets. 

Use a tape measure to take horizontal and vertical measurements of the room’s length, width, ceiling height, doorways, and windows, along with their distance from walls.  

Be sure to also include any other structural elements in the space such as stairs, bulkheads, or beams on the walls or on the ceiling. It’s extremely important to have an accurate measurement of the amount of space you have for your kitchen plan.  You would not want to purchase cabinets and appliances and have them not fit.

Next up is marking out plumbing lines such as water pipes or drainpipes that may impact how you arrange the sink, dishwasher, or even your fridge that has ice and water.  You will also want to mark out electrical outlets which may help you decide where you may want more counter space for countertop appliances and of course the placement of your stove.  

It’s important to know that these items can be moved to suit your new layout, but doing so will result in a big increase in your budget. It is costly to hire plumbers and electricians to move existing pipes and wires.

kitchen floor plan for designing your own kitchen layout plan

How to draw a kitchen plan

Now to draw your kitchen sketch your accurate measurements on 1/4″ squared graph paper using a ruler and draw to scale so that every inch corresponds to a particular number of squares on paper.

You can use ready-made kitchen templates to add your cabinets, counters, and appliances. Remember, this template is 1/4″ scale so the measurements of your room must be at the same scale to use these templates. Or you can use an online floor plan program to sketch out your plan. See my suggestions for easy-to-use products near the end of this post. 


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If you’re not confident in measuring and making a floor plan by hand, read my top post “How to draw a floor plan to scale.” to learn how to make kitchen layout drawing easy.

Taking accurate measurements is necessary for designing your basic kitchen layout plan as it allows you to better understand what can fit into the space. Remember to always, always draw up a floor plan of your kitchen to avoid costly mistakes!

Common Kitchen Layout ideas

One of the most important aspects of designing your own kitchen layout is understanding the different types of layouts that are commonly used. A good kitchen layout begins with knowing your available space, understanding how you use your kitchen, and looking at common kitchen layouts for inspiration and guidance.  

Here are some of the most common kitchen layouts and typically where they are used.  

Galley kitchen or One-wall kitchen

The galley kitchen layout is a popular choice for apartments or small spaces. It features two parallel walls with cabinetry, appliances, and countertops running down each side, creating a hallway type of space in between. 

One benefit of a galley kitchen is that it provides ample counter space for cooking and food prep. The two parallel counters create an efficient work triangle between the refrigerator, sink, and stove, making meal prep quick and easy.

Additionally, because everything in a galley kitchen is within reach, there’s no need to constantly walk back and forth across the room to grab utensils or ingredients.

Another advantage of this layout is that it allows for plenty of storage solutions in a small footprint. With both walls lined with cabinets, you’ll have ample space to store all your cookware without sacrificing valuable countertop area.

The one-wall kitchen is just like the name implies…all cabinetry and counters are on one wall only. This is a great option for a small kitchen or even an open-concept kitchen that only has a small area designated for the kitchen.

galley style kitchen

U-shaped kitchen design

The U-shaped kitchen layout is a popular choice for many homeowners because it provides ample storage and counter space. This design consists of three walls with cabinets and appliances, forming the shape of a “U.”

It’s best suited for large kitchens that can accommodate the spacious layout. A U-shaped kitchen is perfect for individuals who love to cook and need plenty of room to prepare meals and is used often in traditional kitchens.

When designing a U-shaped kitchen, it’s essential to consider the workflow. The sink, stove, and refrigerator should be placed in an efficient triangle pattern to make meal prep easier. Additionally, adequate lighting should be installed to brighten up the area as natural light may not reach all corners of the room.

The U-shape design can also work well for open-plan living spaces where the kitchen flows into the dining or living areas.

Overall, when designed correctly with careful consideration given to functionality and traffic flow within your home, a U-shaped kitchen design will make cooking at home more enjoyable and efficient. 

u-shaped kitchen

L-shaped kitchen design

One of the most common kitchen layouts is the L-shaped design, which consists of two adjoining walls that form a perpendicular angle. This type of layout is great for small to medium-sized kitchens as it maximizes the use of space and provides an efficient working area. One wall can be dedicated to storage cabinets and appliances, while the other wall can accommodate a sink, stove, or refrigerator.

The L-shaped design also allows for flexibility in terms of traffic flow as it opens up one end for easy movement within the kitchen. It’s perfect for open-concept living spaces where cooking and entertaining happen simultaneously as well as for small kitchens.

Additionally, this type of layout is versatile when it comes to incorporating an island or peninsula, providing additional counter space and seating options.

However, due to its corner configuration, you may have difficulty accessing items from deep corners without special cabinetry solutions. Therefore, careful consideration should be given when planning where and when to use an L-shaped kitchen layout based on your needs and preferences. 

L shaped kitchen

Peninsula kitchen design

Peninsula kitchens are a layout design that creates an extension of the countertop and cabinets into the living space. This type of design features a connected island or counter, which is attached to one wall and supported by cabinetry on the other side. The “peninsula” term comes from this attachment point, as it resembles a landmass jutting out from a larger body of land.

One advantage of a peninsula kitchen design is that it provides extra counter space for food preparation, cooking, or serving meals. Furthermore, it can be used as a casual dining area with bar stools on one side or as additional storage with cabinets underneath.

Since there are no walls to block views of the kitchen area, it can also make your home feel more spacious.

Overall, if you’re looking for an efficient layout that maximizes functionality while creating an inviting atmosphere for entertaining guests or enjoying family time together, then a peninsula kitchen design may be right for you. 

kitchen with a peninsula

Open floor plans

An open floor plan kitchen that is open to other areas that are used for other purposes such as a living room or dining room.  To design an open floor plan kitchen it is important to use items to help visually separate the spaces because there are no walls to do so.

For this reason, a peninsula kitchen design works great for an open-concept floor plan where there’s enough room for people to move around freely without feeling cramped.  The lower cabinets and countertop act as a visual separation without disrupting your view.

A kitchen with an island also works well for an open-concept room because the island acts as a buffer between the spaces.  For instance, my island separates my kitchen from my dining area.  

Kitchen islands

One popular kitchen layout option is the island kitchen, which includes a central island that can be used for additional prep space or as a gathering spot. 

This type of layout is great for larger kitchens with plenty of open space, as it allows for easy movement and flow between different areas of the room. Additionally, an island can provide extra storage options in the form of cabinets and drawers.

When designing an island kitchen layout, it’s important to consider the size and shape of your space. The island should be proportionate to the overall size of your kitchen and should not impede traffic flow.

It’s also important to consider how you will use the space – if you plan on using your island primarily for cooking or food preparation, you may want to include built-in appliances like a sink or cooktop.

Overall, an island kitchen layout can be a great choice for those who love to entertain or who simply want more workspace in their kitchen.

kitchen with an island

Work Zones and the work triangle

When designing your own kitchen layout plan, it’s important to consider factors such as workflow, storage needs, and personal preferences. Take into account how you use your current kitchen space and what changes you’d like to make to create your dream kitchen.

A clear understanding of your daily kitchen routine is the foundation of a good layout plan. For example, if you are someone who loves to cook and bake frequently, then having ample counter space and storage for all your ingredients and cooking utensils should be a priority.

On the other hand, if you mostly use your kitchen for quick meals or take-out, then designing a compact and efficient layout with minimal appliances can work better.

The kitchen triangle

The kitchen triangle plan is a design concept that has been used in kitchens for decades. It is based on the idea that the three most important areas of the kitchen should be arranged in a triangle shape to create an efficient workspace.

These three areas are the stove, sink, and refrigerator. By placing these items within close proximity of each other, you can reduce unnecessary movement while preparing meals.

kitchen triangle work zone image for designing your own kitchen layout plan

The main benefit of the kitchen triangle plan is that it allows for better flow and accessibility in your kitchen. This makes it easier to move around as you prepare meals or clean up afterward. Additionally, having these three key elements close together helps to minimize foot traffic in other areas of your kitchen. 

When designing your own kitchen layout plan, keep the triangle concept in mind as a starting point. By focusing on creating an efficient and practical workspace with easy access to key areas such as the stove, sink, and refrigerator, you will be able to enjoy cooking more efficiently while also maximizing space within your overall design layout. 

Traffic Flow

Another important function to consider is the flow of movement within the kitchen space. Your design should ensure that you have easy access to everything while minimizing unnecessary steps. This could mean placing the refrigerator near the entrance for easy access when unloading groceries or keeping frequently used items like pots and pans close to the stove.

Cooking zone

A cooking zone is an area in the kitchen where all the appliances and materials necessary for cooking are placed. It typically includes a range or cooktop, an oven, a microwave, and other small appliances like blenders and toasters.

The importance of having a designated cooking zone in your kitchen layout plan is for practicality and convenience. By grouping all the essential tools together, you can reduce unnecessary movements around the kitchen when preparing meals.  See traffic flow above.

When designing your own kitchen, it’s crucial to consider how you want your cooking zone to be laid out. Ideally, it should be located near the sink for easy access to water and cleaning supplies.

Also, make sure there is enough counter space around the cooking zone for prepping and placing hot dishes straight from the stove or oven. Proper ventilation is also important as it helps remove smoke or steam from cooking activities.

By considering these elements during your planning process, you can create an efficient space that not only looks great but also functions well for everyday use. 

Storage needs for your kitchen planning

When it comes to kitchen planning, storage should be one of the top priorities. A well-designed kitchen should have enough space for all your cooking equipment, appliances, utensils, and ingredients. With proper storage, you can keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free.

Before you start drawing up your own kitchen layout plan, take a moment to consider your current storage needs.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all storage solutions are created equal. You need to think carefully about each item you want to store and choose the right kind of storage for it. For example, pots and pans need deep drawers or pull-out shelves while small appliances like blenders or mixers can be stored on a countertop or inside a dedicated cabinet with a lift-up shelf.

Another reason why you need to consider your storage needs when planning your kitchen is that it will impact the overall design of the space. The placement of cabinets and drawers will affect both the flow of traffic and how easy it is for you to work efficiently in the kitchen. 

A good rule of thumb is to place frequently used items within easy reach while storing less frequently used items in harder-to-reach spaces like in high cabinets or low drawers.

Overall, consideration of your storage needs will help ensure that your new kitchen layout plan works as well as possible for you and your family’s everyday use. 

lower cabinets with tons of drawer storage to consider when learning how to design a kitchen layout

Counter Tops

When designing your kitchen layout, it’s essential to consider the amount of counter space needed. The size and shape of your counters will depend on a variety of factors, including how many family members use the kitchen at once, how often you cook, and how much storage space you need.

Before drawing up a plan for your kitchen layout, take note of appliances that require countertop space like microwaves, toasters, or coffee makers.

Take into consideration your cooking habits such as meal prep and baking when determining the size and location of counters in your kitchen layout plan.

Also keep in mind any additional tasks that may require counter space like eating in, homework, or crafting.

One way to ensure you have plenty of counter space is to incorporate an island into your design plan. This not only adds more surface area but can add seating options for family or guests and add a lot of lower storage options. If you don’t have a lot of room for an island, Amazon has a huge assortment of cute ready-made islands ready for delivery. They have many different styles and sizes. We bought one for our RV and it was perfect.

Ultimately, taking time to consider the appropriate amount of counter space required for daily activities is essential when designing an efficient and functional kitchen layout plan. 

Base cabinets

When choosing your kitchen cabinets you will need to determine what kind and how many base cabinets you need in your kitchen.  First of all the size of your kitchen will dictate how many you can have as well as what appliances you need such as a dishwasher, oven (microwave, wall oven and oven/store combo), and your fridge and sink too. I would factor all of these appliances into your plan first then add lower cabinets around them.

lower corner cabinets with pull out storage

Take inventory of the items you need to store near these appliances, then determine if you want drawers or cabinets to store them.  For instance, for the area around your stove, you may want deep drawers for your pots and pans, or drawers for your cooking utensils nearby.  

You’ll definitely want a sink base cabinet for your sink and cleaning supplies, and maybe a bank of drawers next to it for sponges and dishtowels.

Wall cabinets

For your wall cabinets, you will also decide what you need to store in them.  Do you want open storage to display your dishes or closed storage for food?

pretty kitchen with a combo of regular and glass upper cabinets for example of how to design a kitchen layout plan

You will want to again consider where the wall cabinets are in relation to your appliances.  Do you want your dishes and glasses near the sink for ease of putting away the clean ones? Or maybe you want them next to the fridge so you can grab a glass for your milk?  

Think about how you use your kitchen now and what is and isn’t working for you.

What is most important to you for storage in your new kitchen layout?  Extra space, easy access? Getting things off the counters?  Make sure to incorporate everything you need to make your kitchen work for you, not against you.

If you are on a budget you do have the option of purchasing stock or semi-stock cabinets from your local home improvement center. I purchased unfinished stock cabinets for my living room built-ins and I also purchased pre-finished unassembled cabinetry for one of my flips and for my dining room built-ins. Both options worked great for us.

free kitchen design tools

Professional Interior designers are not the only ones that have availability to floor plan software.  There are many free kitchen design tools and simple online kitchen planner programs available that you can use to plan your new kitchen.  Some of them are very easy to use while others have a bit of a learning curve.

Here is a list of free kitchen design tools I recommend for you as a beginner kitchen designer.

  • Floor Planner – Floor Planner is a simple free floor plan design program. It’s easy to learn and they offer a limited amount of projects for free.
  • – They offer a really cool design program. You can either design your kitchen from scratch or use their guided design option. Pick your style, finishes, room shape and size, and layout and they will help you create the kitchen of your dreams. Pretty easy to use and you can order your kitchen with them.
  • – This website offers 2d renderings for free but has some paid options that could meet your needs including a monthly plan for under $10. They also have options for starting from scratch, a wizard, uploading your own plan option, templates, or you can hire a designer.

Making a kitchen floor plan using a design program is not terribly difficult if you understand the basics of building a floor plan.  Find one that you love and stick with it.

If all of this sounds too difficult or you are worried about making costly mistakes in your design, then leave it up to the professional designers.  You can either hire your own interior designer or you can use the kitchen designers at your local kitchen design center.  Either way, they are experienced in working with a client’s kitchen issues as well as their dreams.

With careful planning and thoughtful design choices, you can create a beautiful and functional kitchen space that meets all your needs. 

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