Design Guide

Download Our Design Plan


We know any design project can be exciting and intimidating. Whether you are remodeling an existing space or starting from scratch, we can show you what to do and where to start. Use this simple step-by-step planning guide to start designing your perfect space. When you are finished, bring your plan to one of our Kitchen Design Professionals, and soon you will be on your way to the space you’ve always dreamed of.


o complete this step, you will need:

  • 25″ Retractable Steel Tape Measure
  • Pencil (Preferably Colored)
  • Eraser
  • Note Pad and Clipboard
  • Small Step Ladder (If Possible)

A good kitchen design begins with having accurate measurements. You will first want to decide what you need, what you want, and what existing items you would like to incorporate into your new kitchen. By drawing a preliminary room outline and floor plan, you will help others understand your ideas. Don’t worry, your drawings don’t have to be works of art – just clear, simple sketches.


  • 1: Walls
  • 2: Windows & Doors
  • 3: Ceiling & Soffits
  • 4: Measuring Guide

Start in one corner and measure along the wall approximately 36 inches from the floor. Measure the wall until you reach a stopping point, whether it is from a break in the wall, an obstruction, or an opening. If it is a window or a door, you want to measure all the way across the window or door, from outside of trim to outside of trim. You also want to measure the width of the trim and note it on your drawing.

Continue on to the next break, obstruction or opening. If there is none, continue to the corner. Continue this process all the way around the room. After you have measured the individual spaces on each wall, take a wall-to-wall measurement. This helps verify your measurements.

After you have measured the walls, get additional information for the doors and windows. Measure the overall door height, including trim, as well as the door swing. Also measure the overall window height, including trim, and the distance from floor to window sill. It often is helpful to make a chart and label each window “A,” “B,” “C,” as well as each door. You can record your measurements in the chart.

The next step is measuring ceiling height. Take the measurement in a few different areas to judge how level your floor is. If your kitchen has soffits, measure those, too. Measure the height and the distance they jut-out from the wall.

Our Measuring Guide is designed to help you scope the project. It also helps us provide you with a preliminary estimate. Choice Cabinet Chicago always professionally measures your space before finalizing any design and ordering cabinetry; so remember, the Measuring Guide is for estimate purposes only.

If you’re feeling creative, use our Printable Grid Paper to draw out your floor plan before coming in. It will help your Design Professional with the preliminary estimate!


U-Shaped Kitchen

While working in a kitchen, a cook naturally moves between three places where different tasks are performed. The path that you make when moving from the refrigerator to the sink to the cooktop or oven is the Work Triangle. This triangle is the heart of your kitchen design.

In the next step, you will be selecting a kitchen layout. Carefully review the five different layouts to identify which is most-similar to your current kitchen. Focus on the Work Triangle while looking at each layout, as you may find a floor plan you prefer over your own.

Also keep in mind you will need a place for food preparation. The most-efficient place 

for it is within your Work Triangle – whether it’s on a countertop, an island or between the

 cooking and food-storage zones.

Whatever layout you choose, we recommend working with one of our Kitchen Design 

Professionals to help select the appropriate cabinetry and create a kitchen that meets all of your needs.U-Shaped Kitchen


Once you have measured and drawn out your floor plan, you can start to layout your ideal floor plan for your new kitchen. Your first step in doing this is to understand the work triangle. Your basic work triangle is an imaginary line drawn between your kitchens three primary work areas: food storage (refrigerator), food preparation (stove), and clean-up (sink). Try to keep your work triangle to a size of 26″ or less, which is the sum of the three legs of the work triangle.

L-shaped Kitchen


The L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular styles because it is very flexible. Its work triangle is uninterrupted by traffic and there is ample room for appliances. It is ideal for adding a dining area or an island.

U-Shaped Kitchen Design Guide Layout


A U-shaped kitchen surrounds you on all three sides, with storage, countertops, and appliances. This kitchen is a very popular layout because of the compact work triangle it creates. It often contains generous counter space and helps provide an efficient work flow.



The G-shaped kitchen is similar to the U-shaped kitchen in that you still have the same amount of countertop space and storage options that surround the cook on three sides. What the G-shape layout adds is a peninsula or partial fourth wall of additional cabinets.



The galley kitchen is ideal for small kitchens and is incredibly efficient. People walking through the kitchen can get in the cooks way, however, as well as, counters and storage being limited.



The single wall kitchen is ideal for apartments. It provides an open and airy layout with all three work areas being located on one wall.


You’ve taken the time to develop this important plan. Let’s finish it together! Call us right now to schedule an appointment with our qualified, expert designers, and we’ll get you to the end!