How to Design a Kitchen Using SketchUp

The kitchen sits right at the heart of every home, and it’s really important to get the design absolutely right. If you’re researching how to design a kitchen with Sketchup, this article reveals everything you need to know about Sketchup kitchen design. It’s amazing what Sketchup for kitchen design can achieve in a short time, making the creative process a real pleasure as well as simple and intuitive. Read on for insight into Sketchup kitchen cabinet creation, kitchen render expertise and more.

Is Sketchup Good for Kitchen Design?

Let’s look into Sketchup for kitchen design. Plenty of kitchen designers use specialised kitchen design software to create their designs. The main benefit of this is you get access to extensive catalogues of essential kitchen elements. But Sketchup is an unusually powerful interior design tool that can be easily used to create wonderful kitchen designs of every type, including the chance to use a vast range of materials and finishes, astonishingly real lighting, and a truly vast library of resources available from the 3D warehouse. There’s also a huge choice of simple-to-follow Sketchup kitchen design tutorial resources as well as a number of very cool Sketchup kitchen plugins specifically for kitchen design.

Sketchup Kitchen Design Plugins

Sketchup extensions that can be used for kitchen design include EasySketch, Cabmaker32, and SketchThis. EasySketch is perfect for creating professional kitchens quickly, and it’s simple to learn and use. It’s popular with kitchen designers and architects, interior designers and home remodelers. Cabmaker32 offers metric and imperial cabinet templates, working with Sketchup to create fully 3D cabinet layouts and ideal for frameless and face frame construction. SketchThis is a popular kitchen design plugin that you pay for, costing $6.95 per week or $9.99 a month. All these extensions make kitchen design in Sketchup easy and fun, which means you can relax, enjoy the process, and be your creative best.

How to Design a Kitchen in Sketchup

So how do you make a kitchen design in Sketchup using the SketchThis extension? SketchThis comes with access to a number of different dynamic cabinet options. All you do is open up your SketchThis window, choose the cabinet you want and bring it into your model. You make changes to Sketchup kitchen units using the brilliant dynamic components option inside Sketchup, where you can change a lot of essential attributes including your kitchen dimensions, kitchen drawers and doors, the toe kick detailing, and a great deal more. The changes are made dynamically so you enjoy a smooth, efficient workflow as well as exciting instant results.  


Take the doors section. It lets you choose from a wide range of door types and door details. You can replace all the doors in your model at the same time, which makes choosing the overall look of your doors really simple and fast. There are masses of kitchen door moulding options to choose from and a large number of different kitchen sinks. And you’re never short of materials, with exciting choices to make around wood materials, countertop materials, and kitchen flooring materials, all easy to apply with beautiful, realistic results.


Who knew kitchen pulls could be so exciting? There’s a variety of kitchen cabinet handles too, which you can either swap all at once to get a crystal clear idea of the overall effect or customise individually.  The same goes for other essential kitchen design elements, for example dynamic wall tiles. All these popular facilities make kitchen design in Sketchup fast and efficient as well as enjoyable and endlessly creative.

Sketchup Kitchen Rendering

Now you’ve created a superb Sketchup kitchen model, Sketchup kitchen render is what’s needed to take you from the drawings stage to beautiful photo-realistic images. To render in Sketchup, you’ll need a suitable rendering extension. There are plenty of them available, all excellent, and it is well worth exploring their potential. Take IRender nXt, a powerful extension for quickly, easily making attractive photorealistic renderings. It comes with all sorts of goodies including lighting channels, panoramas and animations, and it renders on the cloud to save you time and hassle. There’s a 30 day free trial available.

ArielVision is just as easy to use and the settings are nice and simple, allowing you to create stunning designs with confidence. It also comes with a 30 day free trial. And Raylectron is a fully-featured SketchUp renderer designed to easily make hyper-realistic images, fast as well as powerful. It’s also affordable.

ShaderLight is an interactive, photorealistic rendering extension that lets you create top quality images either on your desktop or in the cloud, with a choice of great rendering modes and intuitive tools. Designed to help you optimise your workflow, it brings your kitchen designs to vivid life. Thea comes with  state-of-the-art biased, unbiased and interactive render modes for rendering either inside or outside Sketchup. It also offers exciting things like interactive region rendering, advanced material editing, proxy creation from FBX, fog and cloud presets, and stereoscopic rendering – and that’s just for a start.

There are lots more, each with a list of inspiring features, and all of them let you create stunningly good kitchen design renderings from within Sketchup. When your clients are demanding, time is short and quality is absolutely essential from start to finish, Sketchup kitchen design gets you where you want to be quickly, seamlessly, and creatively.

sketchup education overview

Get Started with SketchUp

Now you can see how using Sketchup plus your choice of superb extensions lets you Sketchup kitchen designs like a pro, render them perfectly, inspire your clients, and achieve dazzlingly good results in no time, every time. Did you know you can download a free version of Sketchup pro to play with? Or check out the differences between Sketchup free and Pro with ease? You might also like to explore the many exciting resources and tutorials designed to help you make the most of Sketchup, including Sketchup kitchen design tutorial insight and much more. This might just be the start of something truly amazing!

About Elmtec

Elmtec have been the UK distribution partner for SketchUp since 2010, and service a network of UK and Irish resellers. We have over 22 years’ experience within the digital design community.

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