Most efficient way to learn how to model a kitchen


I’m a do-it-yourselfer interested in learning sketchup to model a kitchen design, and if that goes well, other projects down the road. I’ve watched the 4 excellent videos on this page: I wish there were more in that series. My question is what would be the next step towards learning how to model a kitchen? I’ve searched the web and found many tutorials and books, but am hoping I can save some time by getting recommendations from people on this forum.

Here’s more background in case it’s useful:
We’ve just bought a home and are about to start gutting the kitchens and bathrooms. We may bump out the exterior kitchen wall 5 feet, or remove an existing wall, which currently divides the dining room and kitchen to gain more kitchen space. I’m interested in mocking up some designs. I may build the cabinets myself or buy them - haven’t decided on that yet.

Thanks for your help,


I think the best and most efficient way to learn to model a kitchen is first to forget the kitchen. Use something simpler as the basis for learning SketchUp. Maybe just use a simple base cabinet. Once you are familiar and comfortable with SketchUp’s tools, you can expand to a more complex project such as the entire kitchen. Once you know how to draw basic things in SketchUp, you can easily move on to more complicated models.

Part of learning how to do the modeling is learning how to get only the information you need for the job. If you are going to buy cabinets, there’s no point in drawing each part of each cabinet. Simple boxes will be adequate and you might find what you need in the 3D Warehouse. If you’re going to make structural modifications to the house, you might want to detail the walls with studs and plates. But if you’re contracting that out, you probably won’t need to draw those details. It is tempting to draw every last detail because it can be done but it doesn’t always make sense to do that. Think about the return on your investment of time.


Thanks so much for your reply Dave - makes perfect sense. The 4 videos referenced in my initial post would be excellent, I think, in going the route you’ve suggested. They illustrate the fundamental concepts one might need to create a cabinet, for example.

This is probably a very basic question, but if I were to create, say, one base cabinet is there a mechanism for saving it into a library, such that I could ‘grab’ it again later, perhaps copy-and-pasting many of these along a wall?

Thanks again,


You can save components into a library either locally on your computer or in the 3D Warehouse and reuse those components in other models. You can also copy an existing component in the model space using Move/Copy. If the component needs to be changed relative to the original, you can use Make Unique to break its relationship and then make changes to it.

Here’s something I did a hundred years ago showing a way to make a bunch of kitchen cabinets. It’s oriented toward developing a parts or cutting list for someone who would be building the cabinets themselves.


Thanks very much Dave. I’ll start practicing with the fundamentals now.