Customizing a Cabinet Using Custom Countertops and End-panels

Reference Number: KB-00945 Last Updated: 10-31-2014 04:13 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I would like to learn more about ways to customize cabinets.  Do you have any suggestions?


Customizing your kitchen in Chief Architect is easy using the custom countertop, end panels, cabinet feet, and filler options.

To create a custom countertop

  1. Select Build> Cabinet> Base Cabinet  and click in plan to place two rows of three cabinets back to back for our kitchen cabinet island.

  2. Using the Select Objects  tool, select the cabinet located near the left front to select it, then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click to select the remaining two front cabinets.

  3. Click on the Open Object  edit button to open the Base Cabinet Specification dialog. On the General panel, set the Height (Including Counter) to 48" and click OK to apply the change and return to floor plan view.

  4. With these three cabinets still selected, click on the Generate Custom Countertop  edit tool to change the automatic countertop created over these cabinets into a single custom countertop.  

To edit the Custom Countertop

  1. Now that we have created a Custom Countertop, select the front edge and click on the Change Line/Arc  edit tool.

    If you initially experience difficulty in selecting the Custom Countertop and are instead selecting an individual Base Cabinet, select Build> Cabinet> Custom Countertop to activate the tool and then click to select the Custom Countertop's front edge.

    • Notice that only the section in front on this base cabinet created an arc because of where the edit handles were created by converting the existing countertop into a custom one.
  2. To eliminate the extra breaks in the front of the cabinet, first select the left diamond on the arced part of the countertop, and then drag it to the left over the corner diamond edit handle until it snaps, eliminating that extra break and moving the arc front across both cabinets

  3. Follow this same procedure to eliminate the extra edit handle on the right.

  4. Now, use the triangular Reshape edit handle to drag the custom countertop out further.

  5. Take a 3D camera view to see the results by selecting 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera , and then click an drag a camera in the direction of the cabinet.

    • Notice that the edges of our custom countertop are square in the camera view. We can instead specify that they be rounded. 
  6. While in the 3D camera view, use the Select Objects  tool to click on the custom countertop and select it, then click the Object Open  edit button to display the Custom Countertop Specification dialog box.

  7. Select the Moldings panel and click on the Add New button to display the Select Library Object dialog box.  

    • Browse to Architectural> Molding> Edge Molding> CA-35 and click on this molding to select it. 


    • Note that the Height and Width are already appropriate for applying to our custom countertop but, if necessary, we could change these values.

  8. Next, select the Materials panel, click on the Custom countertop (polyline) option and choose the  Plan Material button to view the existing materials already used in your plan.

    • Locate and select the material currently in use for your custom countertop, and click OK to apply this change to the molding.  

    • With the edge profile and material specified, click OK to apply the new molding to our custom countertop.
  9. You should still be in your camera view and see the view update with the newly applied rounded molding to the custom countertop.

Now that we have finished making changes to the custom countertop for our kitchen island breakfast bar area, we are ready to apply decorative paneling to the exposed sides of the cabinet.

To create and edit panels on cabinets

  1. Select File> Close to close the camera view and return to floor plan view. 

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, select the left back base cabinet, and click the Open Object edit button to display the Base Cabinet Specification dialog.  


  3. On the Sides/Back panel of the Base Cabinet Specification dialog:  

    • Select Paneled for the right side of the cabinet.

    • Notice that the preview of the cabinet in the right side of the dialog box updates to show the position of the panel. 

    • Either select a Panel Style from the drop-down menu, or click on the Library button to choose a panel using the Select Library Object dialog. 

      For the purposes of this example, we browsed to Architectural> Cabinet Doors, Drawers, & Panels> Arched> Basic Arch> Raised Panel Double-Arch

      Note that in the lower perspective view of the cabinet, you can zoom in and rotate the cabinet to ensure that this is the type of panel that you want to use.  

    • Once you have selected the appropriate panel type, click OK to apply that panel and return to the Base Cabinet Specification dialog box. 

  4. Repeat this same process for the right back cabinet, but set its Left Side as having the panel. 

  5. Now we are ready to add paneling to our 48" in height base cabinets which make up the breakfast bar area.  Use the Select Objects tool to select the left front base cabinet, and click on the Open Object edit button to open its specification dialog.  

    • First we will select the Sides/Back panel, and use the same type of panel for the Left Side.  

    • Next, select the Front panel.  Since the front of these cabinets will not be used for storage, click on the preview of the cabinet drawer to highlight and select it, the click on the Delete button.  


  6. We are left with just a door on this base cabinet.  Click on the door of the cabinet preview to select it, and under the Face Items category, next to Item Type, use the drop-down menu to change this object to a Door Panel.  Notice that this removes the default Hardware that, by default, was applied to the cabinet door.  This door panel did not use the Panel Style that we set on the Sides/Back panel, but instead uses the Door Style specified on the Front panel.

  7. On the Door/Drawer panel, under Door, click on the Library Browser button next to Style and browse to the same Architectural> Cabinet Doors, Drawers, & Panels> Arched> Basic Arch> Raised Panel Double-Arch that we used earlier. 

  8. Now that we have finished making changes in Base Cabinet Specification dialog, click OK to apply them and return to floor plan view. 

  9. For the middle front cabinet of the breakfast bar, follow the same changes made on the Front panel.  There is no need to set panels for the sides as these are not exposed on the plan. 

  10. The right front cabinet will need to have the Right Side set as having a panel, and the Front with the same changes as above. 

    You can place cabinet components such as doors, drawers, end panels, cooktops and sinks independently in your plan from the Library Browser which allows for even more freedom of movement.

    Also, If you know ahead of time that your cabinets will need panels you can set this up in the Cabinet Defaults. 

  11. Take a 3D camera view to see the results by selecting 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera , and then click an drag a camera in the direction of the cabinet. 

    By default, when cabinets are placed, Chief Architect will model a continuous countertop and generate automatic fillers when cabinets of the same height are either touching, or placed within 3" (30mm) of each other. 

    If you would prefer to use the Filler tools manually, and not have fillers automatically created, select Edit> Default Settings> Cabinets> General Cabinet> Edit and uncheck the box next to Create Automatic Fillers. 

    Note that this setting is dynamic, which means that changing it will affect cabinets already present in your plan.