SOFFIT HELP! Should we remove it???
amber1960
June 4, 2013
We're redoing the kitchen.

Should we remove the soffit and add higher uppers with crown molding, make it shorter or leave it?

Cabinet designers want to reface the bottom, replace the uppers and remove the soffit.

My concern is that the uppers will look like they are floating in space.

The ceiling is 12 1/2 feet high.

On Houzz when I see people do that, they always have a huge range hood that extends to the ceiling to sort of "ground" the kitchen.
It becomes a great focal point.

I don't even think we have a focal point.

Thanks for you help!
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houssaon
I would remove the soffit.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Amy Stanley
I think if you can remove it- taller uppers with a bulky crown molding would look OK- I have 9ft ceilings and 42 inch cabinets with crown molding, I don't think it would look horrible to have 3.5 feet above them.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:55PM
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amber1960
Ok thank you both. Sorry for the dark picture. I uploaded the wrong one. Here's a brighter version with the ceiling.
    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:58PM
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marshayarbrough
I love the soffit! In fact I think it is the best part of the kitchen! Make your workers come up with cabinetry facing that complements the soffit.
3 Likes    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:00PM
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hparks74
I like the soffit too. I'd darken the cabinets do a flat shaker in expresso perhaps and paint soffit something modern
1 Like    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Sonia Semone Interior Consulting
Remove
1 Like    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:44PM
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judianna20
I really think you could design a knockout kitchen while keeping that soffit. I would do the entire kitchen in white, just different finishes.

I would not, however, try to decorate it.

3 Likes    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:45PM
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amber1960
Judy thank you. This kitchen is Very bright. There are huge windows above the sink, fridge and the ones above the cabinets. I was leaning toward cream cabinets with a coffee glaze and a brown island. One designer feels the cream is way too light and it will be a white out she called it. She suggested a medium brown but I don't know. We are having a darker tile put down starting tomorrow and new paint when we figure out the color.
    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:51PM
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amanyloutfy
I would remove it.
    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:53PM
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groveraxle
I don't love the soffit, but I would leave it because I agree removing it will make your cabinets look like they're floating in space. However, I would remove all the gewgaws up there now and either leave it bare or put one knockout piece of sculpture on it. ONE. Nothing else.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:01PM
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ruthmand
Amber, leave the soffit. I have seen pictures of the rest of your kitchen/family dining area and I think they tie in very well with your soffits, and this from someone who tore her soffits out, but my ceiling was only 8ft.. They give your home a nice architectural interest that not everyone has. And if you go with the dark floor & light cabinets you can paint them a great color that would really make your kitchen look special. Stay with your instincts - you have done very well so far!!
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:05PM
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amber1960
Thank you so much. The only reason it sounded kind of good was taller cabinets and the crown molding seem to be in style now. You are right though. It does go with the rest if the house. I can't believe you remembered. Thank you. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:13PM
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ruthmand
You are welcome. I remembered because you have a very interesting looking kitchen area. Honestly, the south-west look of your home doesn't lend itself to crown molding and who knows when it will go out of style again. Good luck with your project!
1 Like    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:25PM
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amber1960
The exterior and most of the interior is more Mediterranean than southwest. But it's kind if you to remember the post. Thanks!
    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:05PM
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diamondblue
The soffit's make me nervous to look at. Remove them if you have the money.
    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:24PM
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PURE Art and Design
Remove the soffits. They're too heavy and block access to the light coming from the windows.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:51PM
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MAlps
I would remove! Make the windows the focal points
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:50AM
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Melinda Mandell
I would remove them. Something to determine first though is where the exhaust for your appliances (your hood, mainly) exits your home. Most likely the exhaust ducting runs through the soffit. You will need to figure out if you can hide/and relocate the exit point for the exhaust. Good luck!
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:32AM
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Karen Dorris, interior Designs
The soffit provides a separation before the windows and should stay, however, the soffit is too deep and too high. It should be rebuilt to 10 inches high. How deep are your current cabinet uppers? Trend is to increase depth of the uppers to 15" deep and then allow for the crown moulding projection plus one inch and see what that works out to.. Also, if your cabinets are 36" tall, keep an illusion of tall doors by decreasing the width of some of these uppers. When the double upper is wider than it is tall, the doors become more square and squat. Does this make sense? Look to the left of the ovens, for example.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:53AM
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Fred S
The soffit goes with the house crown molding does not. I would give a maybe on the taller upper, but change the proportions without changing the lower cabinets would be hard to pull off. If you go with taller upper, think of something more creative than crown molding. Something with a plainer cleaner look.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 2:35AM
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rossbjts
Here is what the base coat of white looks like. The cabinets are a creamy white, should I match them with the next coat of white paint?
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 4:26AM
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Amy Stanley
Now that i have searched to see the rest of your space I think you should include those other shots with this post as well - anyway I have to agree that you need to leave the soffit it stylistically blends into the rest of your home.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:02AM
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rossbjts
Sorry, my post was not meant for this discussion. I'm new to this app.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:07AM
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celestepet12
I wonder if it would look better if the cabinets were closer to flush with the soffit?

And I would consider removing the two cabinets that sit on the counter... unless you find them very useful. They break up the countertop space too much or something.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:16AM
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celestepet12
(not that you asked about the cabinets! sorry!)
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:17AM
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amber1960
The cabinets are flush with the soffit now. The appliance garages will be moved. I agree they have weird spacing but we like hiding small appliances.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:20AM
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celestepet12
I guess some of them look a little set back in the photo, sorry!

I was thinking they must be nice to hide things, I don't keep much visible on my countertops, either. Maybe they could go on either side of the stove, or all the way to the right (which would be kind of far away from the sink, if one holds a coffee maker).
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:27AM
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amber1960
Oh now ok know what you mean. Yes they are set back. If we cut the soffit back they could be flush to the front. Sorry I thought you meant the cabinets were not flush to the top.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:39AM
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amber1960
Geez typo.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:39AM
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amber1960
For the person that wanted more pictures.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:50AM
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mjolmjol
I'd remove the soffit. Too heavy looking for the cabinets. You could replace with soffit that is smaller in scale and flush with cabinets. Molding , art work could be on top. If affordable, taller cabinets would be best without the soffit.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:51AM
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apple_pie_order
Love the living room camel. Now that I see the kitchen in context, I see why it has soffits. The design goal was to make the kitchen a room rather than a cathedral. You can go with cathedral and add drama by emphasizing the view of the mountains out the window after removing soffits, or you can go with integrated architecture with high impact as you have now. The soffits are an integral part of the archway designs that add character. I don't know if you use the lights in the soffit that are meant to illuminate the cabinets, countertops and kitchen. If you do remove the soffits, you may want to plan new lighting to fill that function.

You can enhance the kitchen drama by adding larger scale art above the soffits, or leaving that area empty but add uplighting. The pewter(?) pieces would be lovely seen up close rather than up high.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:21AM
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judianna20
amber, I am still liking the white, especially after posting the picture from the living room looking into the kitchen. You home has a Mediterranean feel and I just like the flow and the one color.
11th Street Residence
Spanish Style
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:32AM
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Lori
I would remove the soffits and also the arched wall. Clean it all up and open it all up.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:35AM
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amber1960
Lori the arch is to give definition between the family room and the breakfast nook/kitchen. Hard to tell from the photo but the family room is 25 x 20. We didn't want to have it all open since both spaces are big and tons of windows. The arch kind of grounded it. Thanks!
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:44AM
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Lori
I get what you're saying, but I still think the arch is outdated and it would look amazing with all those windows and the tall ceilings if you opened it up. It seems also to me you have done a really good job of grounding certain areas by your rug and furniture placement. I can't wait to see it when you finish it all -- I am sure it will be beautiful.

Also for sure in your situation, get a 3d design done - this will be so much more helpful in making your determination and will be money well spent.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:48AM
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Taylor Carl
I like the soffits. They look great with the other architectural elements in your space. I would consider reducing the depth of your soffits, though. If your wall cabinets are approximately 12" deep, you could reduce your soffit to 15" deep. I cant' quite tell, but it looks like you may have recessed lighting in your soffit - which may pose a problem. A shallower soffit will let even more light in.

I would consider doing the island a bold, jewel toned color. A brick red, an emerald green, or a teal blue would be really pretty.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:48AM
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amber1960
Thank you! Would you do both the island and breakfast bar in the same color? Also what color cabinetry.....cream with a glaze or medium brown wood?
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:00AM
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Taylor Carl
I would match the breakfast bar to the perimeter cabinetry actually. That way your island can be a bold, stand alone piece. I personally think a medium brown wood would fit better into the style of the house (from what I've seen). I also wonder about the quality of a painted finish since you seem to have a lot of troubles with your doors. Sounds like a real horror story. A painted finish is going to show the cracks much easier than a medium toned wood. It's also easier to touch up a stained cabinet than a painted one, I think.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Margo
Upon seeing the photo of the refrigerator area, I think I would relocate it, take out that enclosure, add lower cabinets and counter in that area to open up the view.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:11AM
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amber1960
Taylor Carl you are right. We can't paint. The painter said as the ones that have not been replaced continue to split, he could be filling and touching up. Plus he said it's very difficult to touch up a glaze so it would need to be flat. I think we'll have to reface the bottom and perhaps make the soffit a bit smaller and add taller new cabinets. Thank you!
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:17AM
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amber1960
Margo good idea but we have so many windows we'll probably leave the fridge there.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:18AM
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Margo
Are you in Palm Springs? Just a guess. One more window won't hurt ;)
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Remove it. They were big in the early 90s, but no more. Take cabinets up. Also stain darker. No more whitewash.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:28AM
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amber1960
Travis I'm concerned the cabinets will look like they are floating since there is no big range hood or anything to ground them? What do you think?
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Lori
I agree with Travis -- I think it will look really pretty with all those amazing windows! Also, no whitewash.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:10AM
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amber1960
I agree. No more whitewash and the wooden ceiling will be restained to match the cabinets.
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Matt Patterson Custom Homes
If you take down the soffit I would go woith 42" uppers
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:18AM
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amber1960
Would you make the center cabinets more if a focal point Matt?
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Lori
Aggie dba Aggie Designs - if you go look at this on Houzz and the tag Kitchen Design I think you will see how Aggie started out with one design, but with lots of input from others and lots of consideration on her part, she came up with a fabulous new design. Best of luck -- I think you have a fabulous space and it will be amazing when you finish.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Aggie dba Aggie Designs
Yup, needs a complete redo! :) Out with the old in with the new, open windows, soffit gone, definitely move the fridge away from there. I wouldn't waste money on refacing:( The layout needs work! Save your money for a couple years, this layout doesn't do your space justice, we can't think stock cabinets here 42" or otherwise, this place deserves imagination (not death by Sheetrock boxes).
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:41AM
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MERIT HOMES
If you like a more contemporary look I think it would look nice to remove the soffit. Here is one pic I found on Houzz, lots of others too
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Renaissance Kitchen and Home
Hello Amber,
Thank you for your gracious compliments.
After reading your comments and reviewing the dimensions you have provided me, I would suggest that you remove the soffit and increase the size of the upper cabinets. I would then add a large multi-piece crown molding above the cabinet that would increase the cabinet height to just below your upper windows.
The tricky part would be to incorporate the existing walls that include doorways into the new design.
Also, maybe another option would be to use different height wall cabinets so it will eliminate the dividing line at the top of the cabinets.I also, know your concerns regarding the non-existence of a mantle hood, but I think your tall center cabinet give the room the focal point it needs.

I'm attaching a few photos of different sized soffit/crown combinations for your reference.

Please feel free to tell me your thoughts.

Torry Manzo
Renaissance Kitchen and Home
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:49AM
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1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:49AM
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Fred S
When I look at the left picture from about 5 hours ago, and consider the soffit, a shallow soffit would look kind of spindly. I keep trying to figure out how some sort of purgola effect would look. For one good thing, you could tie those two soffit together so it didn't look like it was just hanging there. It would be open and mostly "air" so it wouldn't block a lot of light. I don't intend to say put a purgola over the whole kitchen, just make it look like it was and leave the middle open. This might give you a place to hide task lighting for the counter space. I'm not sure I have an entirely good image in my head yet, but I thought I would throw it out there. Do it in a light wood like the ceiling, or the lighter eventual cabinet color
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:51AM
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amber1960
Merit I like a more Mediterranean style; however, that kitchen reminds me a lot of my situation with the high ceiling and windows and cabinets without a soffit. How they trimmed the windows is interesting. Maybe we could do something with ours. Thank you for the link. :)
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Ingrid Porter Interiors, LLC
I really think Tony is correct with his design ideas of this kitchen. You have a lovely space there with amazing views and the kitchen is the heart if this home which has not been highlighted. Open up the beautiful space by taking down the sofets, create visual interest by varying the heights of the cabinets by creating a focal point and enjoy the view.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:00AM
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amber1960
Thank you Ingrid. :)
    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:06AM
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amber1960
Torry I like your ideas too. I think you are right about incorporating the doorways, walls etc. in to the new design. If any ideas come to mind please let me know.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:09AM
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