How would you redesign my kitchen? Removing the soffits is not an option.

treasurethedayJanuary 31, 2013
This is a 22 year old kitchen with stock cabinets and laminate counters. We're not expanding the room or significantly changing the layout but want to maximize functionality and storage. Due to HVAC and plumbing that absolutely can not be relocated, it is not possible to remove the soffits to take the cabinets to the ceiling. I really feel that the huge soffit is overpowering the room so what do I do? Thanks for any suggestions you may have!
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I should add that we plan on changing cabinets, counters, flooring, lighting and (hopefully) some or all appliances. The planning desk area is outdated and needs to be repurposed. In order to start putting together a budget, I'd love to get some input on whether we should consider any other changes. Thanks!
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Your desk area can be floor to ceiling cabinets. You might want to put your microwave in that space and put a regular hood over your stove as long as you can vent it. The light over your sink can probably be recessed for a more current look. You have a beautiful French door and nice eating area.
I always start with my cabinets, style, wood, color etc. and then pick counter tops and flooring. Back splash is usually last. I would suggest getting a Kitchen designer that reps different cabinet lines.Some charge by the hour and will discount their fee if you buy cabinets from them. You will save money if you have some ideas already in place. A good designer will present new ideas and should save money and grief in the end. Good Luck!
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:00PM
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See if you can incorporate the soffit into the cabinetry. You may be able to make the soffit less deep, or build up the wall so the cabinets would be flush with the soffit. You may be able to put false doors along the soffit so it looks like there is a standard cabinet and a shorter cabinet stacked on top. You may be able to just put in white cabinetry and paint the soffit the same color as the cabinets build up the crown moulding. Check out divine kitchens, john kraemer and sons, and jennifer worts design "city home". I saw some ideas that may interest you! Have fun!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:01PM
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I would just paint the cabinets white, add some crown moulding to the top for a more finished look. Get granite countertops, update the lighting over the sink and perhaps add a light over the island.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:21PM
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You don't say if you have been in the house 22 years or if you just purchased the house with a 22 year-old kitchen. I hope this does not offend... You have a nice builder's-style kitchen lacking color or personalization. I like the woodwork and the ceiling lights. Are you planning on staying or selling?

If staying, consider putting pops of color into the backsplash and upgrading the countertops. Invest in quartz or granite. Get away from the beige on the walls and go into something more interesting, something that reflects you. Replace the light vinyl flooring with something more interesting, such as a slate look or one of the new, large format flooring tiles.

If planning on selling, then keep the muted background colors on the wall and upgrade your countertops, adding a beautiful neutral backsplash. Consider upgrading your appliances.

Your soffit really is not a problem. Your kitchen is very closed off from the rest of the house. Perhaps your focus on the soffit is due to being generally unhappy with being closed off from the rest of the house? You are asking for more storage, but it looks like you have a pantry to the left of the refrig and an under-used desk area?

The island looks usable but has no seating? Put a new countertop on with a circular overhang at one end of the island (near table) for casual seating. Pop your garbage into an undercounter cabinet slideout, either on the island or under the sink. What if you removed the desk area completely and opened the kitchen to the front of the house? That could create a nice 10-12 foot opening I imagine. Put a couple of 12" deep, glass display cases on either side of the opening for displaying pretty dishes and serveware. Then install some small downlights into the soffit (opening) for interest, and connect with the glass cabinets on a switch.

From your pictures you have a view to the backyard but no interaction with the rest of the house. Where do people gather? Your formal dining room and living room appear to be behind the stove wall. Your casual dining and family room are at the opposite far end of the kitchen.

Your dark wood cabinetry is a stark contrast to the wall and soffit color, have you thought of lightening the look of the upper cabinets and blending the color up onto the soffit? Consider building white cabinetry around the window area with open display space above the window and glass door cabinetry on the sides of the window.

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2 Likes    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:38PM
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I had a kitchen with white soffit and dark cabinets, too. Drove me crazy. It felt like the ceiling was "too heavy."

I like the idea of adding false cabinet doors to the soffit. If the false doors and upper cabinets were a lighter color, I believe it would help lighten the visual load of the top half of the kitchen.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Your cabinets are not bad at all, change your floors to a light brown stone color and some mosaic tile back splash, take all the clutter off the counter top and add clear canister filled with pasta etc.. I would add a big decorative bowl on the island filled with red apples. Change your handles they are too dark for dark cabinets. You have a nice kitchen, just need to add decors, flooring and back splash. Change your counter tops also but overall your cabinets are great, you just have to know how to put your decors together.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Search on this site for "hide soffits" and you will get many great ideas.

DOG- I love who is "guarding" the fridge. Don't forget to include a space for dog bowls as a part of the floor to ceiling cabinets that will go where the desk currently is.

CABINETS- I concur, paint the upper cabinets white, soffit white, use of white molding to minimize the soffit. I might do a grey cabinet color on the lower ones and the island to help draw the eye down. Or maybe just gray cabinets on the island.

COUNTER- Slab granite or gneiss will definitely draw the eye down. Personally, I like the gneiss ones! Any color you love here.

BACKSPLASH- I like something really easy to clean and neutral like back painted glass or stainless but subway tiles seem to rule nowadays.

LIGHTS- Since you cannot put a can light over the sink; tack molding to the soffit over the sink, and hide low profile LED lights behind it, that will fix the bewb light over the sink, and give great light to the sink work area. Add more can lights around the kitchen ceiling and resist the urge to put a light over the island. IMHO it will draw the eye up again, and there is already a lot going on in there. Low profile LED lights ...another thought on the soffits, you could go the other direction and play them up and add rope lights to the inside of the molding for mood lighting. LOL...

STOVE/VENT/MICROWAVE- I am totally OCD about this and would consider a real vent hood but you will have to put the venting inside the upper part of the cabinets which would cut down on cabinet space. You could move the stove but that is a major remod to vent it.

FLOORING- Do you have hardwood floors? If yes I would just continue them into the kitchen. If no i would probably go with engineered wood floors.

APPLIANCES- I would do white. I know I know everyone is doing stainless but I think in smaller kitchens white appliances look cleaner and stop the eye less with white cabinets.

Have fun with your remodel it is already a great space and the soffit is really not too bad. D
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:48PM
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