We are adding a hood as part of our kitchen remodel. The contractor originally thought that he would need to run the vent through a soffit, so the plans for the kitchen included a soffit on top of the cabinets on one side, with the cabinets on the other side going all the way to the ceiling. Now it turns out that there is enough room in the ceiling to run the vent, so a soffit is not necessary. If we eliminate the soffit entirely, the cabinets on one side will have 8+ inches of open space on top. We can't run the cabinets on that side all the way to the ceiling because of a staircase (it would prevent the cabinet doors from opening fully). So the question is should we leave open space on top of the two cabinets, or should we have a partial soffit built on top of those two cabinets? I kind of like the idea of a partial soffit--I think it will be more symmetrical with the facing cabinets and I don't want to have to clean on top of cabinets. But I wanted to see what the experts here have to say before we make a final decision. Thanks!