Learn about cabinet design basics from MasterBrand.

Design Your Room

Cabinetry Design 101

Bringing Your Cabinet Design Ideas to Life

When making cabinetry design plans, you want to create a space that's as beautiful as it is functional. Although you may have an idea of how you want your new space to look, seeking cabinet design help from a professional can be advantageous when it comes to choosing cabinetry that is balanced in proportion and scale. A designer will also describe certain design factors that can impact how those cabinets will look in your new space.

Here's some information that explains how a professional designer will bring your cabinet design ideas to life. Knowing these cabinet and room design basics will help you choose a layout that works for you and your family.

What You Can Expect from Your Cabinetry Designer

In addition to offering cabinet design plans for door style, wood type and color selections, a designer will typically prepare three types of documents for your review, including a floor plan, an elevation drawing of all of the walls that will receive the cabinetry, and a perspective view from one or more vantage points within the space.

Following is an overview of the cabinetry design documents a designer typically provides. Availability of these documents is usually contingent upon making a contractual agreement and/or down payment to your designer.

Floor Plan

A floor plan shows the wall layout and cabinets from above looking down.

A floor plan will show the wall layout from above, and an outline of all the components that will fill the space, such as base cabinets, wall cabinets and tall cabinets. Sometimes lighting and electrical detailing are also shown on the floor plan.

Elevation

An elevation is a flat drawing showing each wall of cabinetry as if you were standing and facing it.

A "flat" drawing will show each wall of cabinetry as if you were standing and facing it. This elevation view is good for seeing the detail of the cabinetry components that aren't visible in the floor plan view. It is also good for establishing the heights of various components within the room.

Perspective

A perspective drawing is a three-dimensional representation.

A perspective drawing is one that is "3-D," or three-dimensional. It shows the room as it would be actually seen from the viewpoint of a person 5 foot, 6 inches tall. Perspective drawings of cabinet design plans provide details such as areas that are increased or reduced in depth, a dimensional quality that goes beyond what is included in the elevation drawings.

Testing Your Cabinet Design Ideas

It is a good idea to test the layout for the proposed cabinetry design in the actual space. If the space is empty, this can easily be accomplished in a couple of different ways as described below.

Tape Measure

It's a good idea to test the layout for the proposed cabinetry design by measuring the actual space.

Refer to the completed floor plan utilizing a tape measure and masking tape to indicate where specific cabinets, appliances or pieces of furniture will be located.

Newspaper

Use folded newspapers to help determine what size cabinets you need.

Fold newspaper pages to the size of various cabinetry pieces, appliances and furniture, and then move the pages around within the space. This is a perfect way to determine just how big a center island would be in your kitchen, or how big a new built-in wall cabinet and bookcases in your family room should be.

If existing cabinetry is already in place, you may have to improvise a bit. Both tape and newspaper can be used to outline new cabinets, appliances or furniture pieces, helping you visualize your new space.

Ready to get started? We have kitchen design ideas and kitchen design layouts to help you cook up your dream kitchen.