Customizing a Cabinet Using Custom Countertops and End-panels

Reference Number: KB-00945
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


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, symbols, and filler options.

To create a custom countertop

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


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

  3. 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 create a Custom Rounded 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. 
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Next, select the Materials panel, click on the Custom countertop (polyline) option and choose the  Select Material button and then the Plan Materials panel  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.

  • You should still be in your camera view and see the view update with the newly applied rounded molding to the custom countertop.

  • To create a Chamfered Countertop

    1. Click the Select Objects button, then click on a CAD polyline to select it.  

    2. Double-click the Chamfer Two Lines  edit button.  

    3. In the Fillet / Chamfer dialog, specify the desired Chamfer Distance.   

      • The chamfer distance is the length of the chamfer, or angled corner.   

      • Click OK to close the dialog and finish chamfering a corner of the polyline.  

    4. With the polyline still selected, you can click on an edge adjacent to the one that you clicked on to select it in step 1. The corner at which the two edges join will become chamfered.  

    5. If you prefer to chamfer a different corner, click the Select Objects button to deselect the polyline, then click on the polyline again.  

      • When you click on the polyline, make sure you click on an edge on either side of the corner you wish to chamfer.  

      • Then, click the Chamfer Two Lines  edit button and click on the other edge adjoining the corner.  

      • When you click on the other edge, the corner between them will become chamfered.

      • Select the polyline, click on the Convert Polyline  button and select Countertop in the Convert Polyline dialog. Click ok, and ok.

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

      • 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 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.

    • 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> Rectangular>Framed>Raised Panel EP.

      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.  With the Base Cabinet Specification dialog still open, on the Sides/Back Panel, select the Back Side drop down menu and select paneled.

    • Repeat this same process for the right base cabinet, but set its Left Side as having the panel. Repeat the same process for the middle base cabinet, but setting the back panel only.

  • Now we are ready to add paneling to the front of the 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.  

    • Select the Front panel.  Since the front of these cabinets will not be used for storage, click on 2 drawer to highlight and select it, the click on the Delete button.  


  • We are left with just a door and separations on this base cabinet.  Click on the door of the cabinet preview or on 2 Auto Right Door to select it and delete it. Click on Add New, and on the New Cabinet Face Items dialog, 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.

  • 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> Rectangular>Framed>Raised Panel EP that we used earlier. 

  • On the General panel select the toe kick and set the height to 0".

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

  • For the middle front cabinet of the breakfast bar, use the object eyedropper   tool to copy the style of the first cabinet over to the second and third cabinets.

  • In plan view, we applied a Doric (short) pillar to each side of the cabinet, using the Ctrl key on the keyboard to push it into the front cabinet for a built-in look.

  • In the Library Browser browse to Architectural> Appliances> Cooktops & Rangetops > Large > Extra Large Gas Cooktop and applied that to the top of the cabinet.

  • In plan view, select the custom countertop (polyline) and pull the edit handles out until you are happy with the overlap of the counter top.

  • 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. 

  • Now the cabinet and countertop finish can be chosen by opening a perspective full camera view. Browse in the Core Catalog to Materials> Colors> Distressed Paint> Light Distressed Paint 1. Select it, and paint your cabinets with the materials painter. Browse to Materials> Masonry and Stone> Stone> Marble> Greys> Greystoke-Marble. Select it, and paint your countertop.

    You can place cabinet components such as doors, drawers, end panels, cook tops 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. 

    • 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 counter top 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.