Design Guide



Designing your kitchen can feel like a monumental task, but it is within reach. We have put together some tips from our professional design team to get you rolling. All the specs of each Foundation cabinet can be found on our website, most of our base and upper cabinets have different width options so that you can dial in your design to perfectly fit your space. After you have designed your kitchen you can easily order everything online.  

We are here to help you throughout this process. If you're unsure about getting started contact us to set up a free design consulation. One of our experienced kitchen designers will look at your space and ideas and talk you through the process. They'll give your their pro tips and all the info you need to get started on your design.

After you have figured out your layout and ordered your cabinetry you can send us your plans and we'll review your order and make sure you have everything you need (and nothing you don't). 

Ready to get started? Dig out a pencil and sketch pad (or download our grid paper) and don't be afraid to be creative.



Before you plan your layout, decide on your appliances.

Range or cooktop: Countertop space is very important especially in smaller kitchens, so going with a range will free up some counter space. 

Microwave: Do you use one, do you need one? Can it be small inside a cabinet or do you want a speed oven (combination of oven and microwave). This is an appliance most of us use but it doesn’t get enough attention and if left for the end, it might be plonked on the countertop.  T

Vent hood: Decide if this will be Vented out or a recirculating model. Exposed or inside a cabinet. 

Services: The kind of appliances you choose will determine what services you need installed, i.e. if you are moving from an electric range to a gas model. 

Sizes:  Proportion is important. A smaller kitchen will be overwhelmed by a 48” range. A 30” range in a huge kitchen will look out of place.  The size of your appliances should match the space and lifestyle you have.

Once your decisions have been made, gather the specs of your appliances and sketch them into your floor plan.



Start from the ground up: Work from a set point in the kitchen, this could be your range, sink or even fridge, to plan out your base cabinets. These will be your workhorse cabinets.

Things to keep in mind:

You will want a base cabinet beside the range or cooktop for pots and pans, utensils, and spices. 

Trash pullouts are a staple and should be placed near the sink or between the cooking and cleaning area. 

Base cabinets can be a great spot for dishes and silverware. If they're placed next to the dishwasher, unloading becomes a breeze.

Consider where you want to store things but also think aesthetically and try and balance the sizes of cabinets. Symmetry is pleasing to the eye and should be part of your cabinets sizing selection.




Upper cabinets can be very functional, but try not to add them everywhere. It is good to have negative space. Think about the direction the doors will open and how easy it will be to access what’s inside.

If you have a lot of upper cabinets, consider using different elements like mesh or glass fronts to add another design element and break up the run. 

What about open shelves? If you like to display your goodies, open shelves are a great option.

Selecting upper cabinets is pretty similar to choosing your base cabinets. Think about what you're going to use them for, how you want them to look and if you have balanced the cabinet size



If your floor plan is begging for an island or a peninsula, we can help you with that. The most important part of planning your kitchen Island is the math. Here are a few numbers to remember as you plan your space:

36” - 42” of space around the island for circulation.

12” countertop overhang for seating.

24” width per bar stool for comfortable seating.

Often in a smaller kitchen a peninsula can be a better option if you don’t have the space for an island. It still adds seating, extra storage and counter space.

Both islands and peninsulas can be created and customized to fit your space by choosing base cabinets to fit the size needed and then ordering a back panel for a perfect finished look. If space allows for a large island you can place base cabinets back to back creating a storage Mecca in your kitchen.



Remember the triangle. The kitchen work triangle is a time-tested guideline of kitchen design that helps plan out efficient kitchen work spaces with clear traffic lanes. Imagine a triangle that connected your cooktop, your sink, and the refrigerator. This is the work triangle. According to the guidance of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, each leg of the triangle should measure between 4 and 9 feet. This allows a cook to reach their cooking, cleaning, and food storage areas with ease, while providing enough space between them to avoid crowding.

Walk yourself through the space. Where do you normally enter from, where will you put your groceries, where will you drop your keys and mail.

Try to place the pantry close to the refrigerator to make unloading your groceries easier. It will be easier to take things out for cooking as well. dry goods and wet goods together make for a more efficient space. 

There is no real relationship between the range/cooktop and ovens. Ovens can be placed away from the range. 

Consider planning an area for things like toaster, coffee machine, breakfast/bar area. Those should be in the end of the kitchen or away from the main cooking/cleaning areas. This allows for several people to be in the kitchen and not on top of each other.



Kitchen design is all about creating a space that will look beautiful but also works perfectly. Functionality and aesthetics go hand in hand.

Tools and ingredients need to be close to hand as you need them.

Specific tasks need to have specific work areas in order to work well.  

The balance of doors and drawers is important. Try to use a combination of doors and drawers and avoid a kitchen full of doors or full of just drawers.

Your kitchen is a place you will spend a lot of time, enjoy the journey.