Paper Kitchen

At this point you can start conceptualizing the design yourself, before consulting an architect or designer. Get some graph paper and, using a scale of 6 inches to the square, draw the outline of the kitchen. Pencil in walls, doors and windows in their current locations. Cut out pieces of paper or cardboard to scale to represent the refrigerator, sink and cook top, and begin arranging them into a work triangle that meets your needs. Locate the rest of the major kitchen elements-counters, cabinets, tables, islands and whatever else you think your kitchen should have. Then place a sheet of tracing paper over the graph and draw the floor plan in bold lines so that you can see it. (You might also try this using kitchen design software.)

Most likely, as you work on this floor plan you'll start to see alternatives. Draw each variation on tracing paper and number them. To help free up your thinking, try developing a radically different floor plan, and explore its variations as you did with your initial floor plan. Frequent This Old House architect Jock Gifford habitually draws three or four plans, the first being the most conservative and the last being the most daring.

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