Purpose of space above kitchen cabinets
In tearing apart our kitchen, it seems that the roughly one-foot space between our kitchen cabinets and ceiling serves no real purpose. Yes, there are a few wires running up from the wall which then enter the ceiling for the light fixtures, but the space needed to conceal those is only a matter of a few inches. There's no other vents, wiring, or anything up there.
The wife would like to either replace the cabinets we have with taller cabinets, and have more cabinet space, or else get new cabinets the same size as the old ones, and maybe use the space above for storage of rarely-used (and short!) kitchen pots, pans, etc.
Is there any particular reason this space is there, other than to make the cabinets lower? Is there any downside to getting bigger cabinets (such as cost)? Has anybody else done anything creative with that space that I'm unaware of? Any opinions pro or con are more than welcome, since I have a few weeks before I'll need an answer. Thanks!