The first step to designing the your kitchen is measuring your space. This is not as scary as it sounds. Follow these simple directions and remember - measure twice, order once.
Start by grabbing some grid paper and sketching out the shape of your room, think about the topography of the room, where walls jut in or out. Mark all doors and windows. This will be a relatively rough sketch, the goal is to get a starting point and a basic layout.
Get out your measuring tape and get to work. Measure each section of wall and mark it on your sketch in inches. Measure your windows and door openings too. Then start measuring heights; floor to ceiling and floor to windows. include your window sill thickness and trim measurements. Also measure from the top of the window to the ceiling. Folllow the same procedure with your doors.
Make a note of everything; great design is in the details. Are there beams in your room? A chimney? Look at the space carefully and note (and measure) everything that can't be moved. On your floor plan mark out all your incoming services - gas, electric. Also mark all the incoming water pipes that can't be moved and make a note of their dimensions.
It's time to translate your rough sketch into a readable, legible plan. Use grid paper and a ruler and draw your room to scale. Now is the time to double check final dimensions and make sure your measurements add up by taking full length wall measurements. Not every room is perfectly square so don't worry too much about every wall - just the ones you plan to put cabinets on.
Now you're ready to design your kitchen.