Lay out your dream kitchen with Visio

Applies to
Microsoft Office Visio® 2003 (Professional only)

Man sawing a piece of lumber: (c) Corbis

Do you dream of a new kitchen? Have you been clipping pictures of kitchens from magazines? Do you visit kitchen showrooms just to get ideas? If so, you’re probably ready to plan your dream kitchen with the help of the kitchen layout templates available on Microsoft Office Online.

 Note   These templates require Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

Whether you’re building a new kitchen or remodeling an existing one, Visio can help you get ready for that all-important meeting with a kitchen designer or planner. And if you're among the intrepid few who can design and construct a new kitchen yourself, carefully laying out the kitchen plan is a crucial early step.

Of course, there’s more to designing a great kitchen than choosing its floorplan. You also need to decide on a color and design scheme, choose fixtures and materials, and plan the electrical and plumbing systems. For these tasks, you’ll probably want the help of a professional. Still, you can do a lot of the designing yourself and have fun while you're at it. With some time, money, and Visio Professional, your dream kitchen can soon become a reality.

Choose a basic kitchen layout

Even though there are as many kitchen designs as there are kitchen designers, most kitchens follow one of six basic layouts. To get started quickly, first choose the layout that suits your space and preferences. See the figures below for a quick look at each basic layout. Each one matches a template you can download from Microsoft Office Online.

An Island kitchen layout is best suited to large spaces. Island kitchen
A Peninsula kitchen layout is similar to an island kitchen, but it doesn't require as much floor space. Peninsula kitchen
A U-shaped kitchen layout minimizes the flow of traffic through the work zone. U-shaped kitchen
An L-shaped kitchen layout usually uses space more efficiently than a U-shaped kitchen. L-shaped kitchen
A Galley (or corridor) kitchen layout is ideal for smaller spaces. Galley kitchen
A 1-wall kitchen layout requires the least amount of floor space. 1-wall kitchen

With Visio 2003, starting with a basic layout is quick and easy. Just download a basic kitchen layout template from Microsoft Office Online by following the links in the See Also section of this article. Then, once you have the basic layout, you can add additional walls, windows, and openings as required.

For instructions on using these templates, click Using this template in the Template Help pane that automatically opens with the template.

 Note   If you’ve turned off the online links to Microsoft Office Online, the Template Help pane does not automatically open. To turn the links back on, do the following:

  1. On the Help menu, click Microsoft Office Visio Help.
  2. Under See also in the Visio Help task pane, click Online Content Settings.
  3. In the Service Options dialog box, select the Show content and links from Microsoft Office Online check box, if it’s not already selected, and then select the Show Template Help automatically when available check box.
  4. Click OK.
  5. On the File menu, click Exit, and then reopen Visio.

To add walls

  1. From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag Wall shapes onto the drawing page.
  2. Resize walls by dragging an endpoint.
  3. Drag an endpoint of one wall to another wall.

The endpoints turn red when the walls are glued. Intersections between two walls are cleaned up automatically.

 Note   For walls to join properly, Glue to Shape geometry must be selected in the Snap & Glue dialog box.

To add windows and openings

  • From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag Window and Opening shapes onto walls.

Window and Opening shapes automatically rotate to align with the wall and glue to the wall. They also acquire the wall's thickness and move with walls when you reposition them.

Map out your work centers

At the heart of every great kitchen is the work triangle. Ever since the early 1900s, kitchens have been designed so that the three primary kitchen work centers—the sink, refrigerator, and cook top—form a triangle. For maximum efficiency, each side of the work triangle should be between 4 feet and 9 feet long, and the perimeter (the total of all three sides added together) should be between 12 feet and 26 feet long.

After you’ve chosen your basic layout, you can add or move appliances and cabinets to create your work triangle.

To add appliances and cabinets

  1. From the Appliances and Cabinets stencils, drag appliance and cabinet shapes onto the drawing page.
  2. To resize a shape precisely, on the View menu, click Size & Position Window. Select the shape you want to resize, and then type the width and height values you want in the Size & Position window.
  3. To place one shape above or below another, right-click the shape, point to Shape, and click Bring to Front or Send to Back.
  4. To rotate a shape, select the shape and then move the pointer over the rotation handle until your pointer becomes a circle. Drag the handle to the rotation you want.
  5. To nudge a shape into place, select it, and then press an arrow key.

 Note   Sizing guidelines for appliances and cabinets are available from a variety of sources. Here are a few minimum sizes to help get you started:

  • 18 inches of counter space on each side of a cooktop, at a minimum.
  • 15 inches of counter space on the handle side of a refrigerator, at a minimum.
  • One 36-inch preparation center close to a water source.

To measure each side of the work triangle

  1. From the Dimensioning - Architectural stencil, drag a dimension line shape onto the drawing page.
  2. Glue the dimension line endpoints to selection handles on the shapes that you are measuring.

 Note   If your dimension lines don't glue to the shape handles, click Snap & Glue on the Tools menu, and then select the Shape handles check box under Glue to.

Check clearances

When you’re done mapping out your work centers, it’s time to check clearances.

To check clearances

  1. From the Dimensioning - Architectural stencil, drag a dimension line shape onto the drawing page.
  2. Glue the dimension line endpoints to selection handles on the shapes that you are measuring.

 Note   If your dimension lines don't glue to the shape handles, click Snap & Glue on the Tools menu, and then select the Shape handles check box under Glue to.

Clearance guidelines for appliances and cabinets are available from a variety of sources. Here are a few minimum clearances to help get you started:

  • 36 inches of clearance between cabinets, at a minimum.
  • 40 inches of clearance between counters, at a minimum.
  • 48 inches of clearance between appliances, at a minimum.
 
 
Applies to:
Visio 2003