Is Kitchen Cabinet Design Online Possible
The short answer is, sort of. Kitchen cabinet design online is relatively possible, but it's nothing like having someone with design software at their fingertips creating a cabinet plan for you. Here are some tips to help with kitchen cabinet design online.
I want something that will help out people who are nervous about stepping into a cabinet showroom and want to do their own planning ahead of time. So quite a few times I've gone perusing the internet for stuff like online kitchen design tool, kitchen design online, and other related keyword phrases.
What I've landed on sometimes makes me wonder if search engines algorithms are intoxicated (the sites have absolutely NOTHING to do with what I wanted) but there are a few tools I've run across that might prove helpful. Dupont's room designer seems more of a color chooser, not a real design application. If your room is going to be laid out exactly like the few sample rooms they have, you're in luck. Actually, if one of your rooms is laid out exactly like their samples, start playing the lottery; that's simply too uncanny to ignore.
Lots of sites I went to were like the place I work (TheCabinetFolks.com, no longer in operation — long story). There's some sort of design and/or measuring guide, but then you have to fax or email your drawing in for a real quote. That does keep you out of a showroom, and keeps contact with pushy salepeople to a minimum, but it's still not full-fledged kitchen cabinet design online, and doesn't offer any kind of rendering; you only get a floor plan.
I went to one of the bigger cabinet retailers in the country (rhymes with Mome Sleepo) and tried kitchen cabinet design online with them. The results weren't good. I stuck my microwave/range setup on the wrong wall, and I guess it can't be moved. That's not good. I thought maybe I could delete it and just go grab another one, but it's either not possible or the process isn't evident to a new user. NEXT!
Next I decided to mosy over to Merillat's online design tool. This is fairly new actually; I think it came out either over the winter or maybe this spring. I must say I have reservations right off the bat; it doesn't seem to work in Linux, and I'm a Linux user. The only time I use Windows is at work to design kitchens, or to visit some website I absolutely have to that only works in Windows or IE. The tool itself is easy enough to use. With some added functionality, Merillat's rig could make kitchen cabinet design online a reality for many people. Alas, there are problems.
Someone completely new to kitchens and cabinets would be very disappointed once they got a design finished. While Merillat may be a custom cabinet line, I think they're in the semi custom category ( read about semi custom cabinets here ). This means that cabinets are generally available in 3" increments, and the online design tool allows you to stick in cabinets that are any dimension in half inch increments. While I suppose you can make up the difference in real life with filler strips, it'd be better if you could just grab stuff out of their catalog to begin with and plop it in the floorplan. I will say that rotating cabinets is a breeze, and that was a feature sorely lacking in another tool I assessed.
So I was getting depressed, hunting around for some way to accomplish kitchen cabinet design online with no good (and free) results, when I happened upon a site. Oddly enough, it's name says it all. free-kitchen-design-software-online.com offers a free, downloadable, java application that you can use to rough out a kitchen. It's metric (since the company's from Australia) but works, and would be enough for you to give to a designer. It makes a list for you, it lets you wander about the room to see how things look after throwing some cabinets around, gosh it even gives you prices were you to buy cabinets from SmartPak.
Give this one a whirl. Here's a shot of what I was able to do within a couple of minutes of installing the program.