Your thoughts...cabinets to ceiling in remodel?

amck2February 18, 2014

My broken range replacement is turning into a remodel (sound familiar?) and I am torn about how far to go. We've decided to replace the 14 yr old fridge that's had "issues" and the OTR micro w/ a good venting hood.

My cabinets are in great shape. They have Shaker style solid Maple doors, with a natural stain. As GW'ers know, they've become suntanned over time and are now nearly the same shade as my Oak floors. When we remove the micro and cab above for hood installation it will expose the sides which likely won't match the rest. Because of that, and that I'm thinking of retrofitting my big pantry cab doors so I can house a new microwave in there, I'm considering painting my cabinets and island.

If I do that, should I try to find a way to bring the cabinets to the ceiling - either by adding a custom cab piece to their tops or with trim and moulding? It's a look I prefer, but I wonder if it's worth the cost & effort just for the look. I'm 5'2" & cannot even access anything in my current top shelves w/out a step stool. My ceilings are 8ft. My kitchen is part of an open floor plan and there's no crown around the other rooms. Do you think the heavy crown trim will look top heavy?

A week ago I was leaning toward just getting new perimeter cabs, but we installed granite countertops (which I still like) 12 yrs. ago, and the layout, while not perfect, (I'd prefer drawers to cabs w/ shelves) has functioned well enough for me.

I'm inclined to just refresh my cabinets with paint, install the hood and backsplash, but I haven't seen any current kitchens where the cabinets don't go to the ceiling. Will I regret not taking that extra step in light of all the other work the "minor remodel" will entail?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you post a picture? Wouldn't the lighter wood eventually 'catch up' to the darkened wood tone?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How much space do you currently have between the cabinets and the ceiling?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Deedles, I know how helpful a picture would be to help assess my space. I still haven't figured out how to post them, but will try again.

Since the cabinets are 14 yrs. I think it would take a while for the new components to catch up, but we might be able to apply stain to mimic the aging. I realize (since posting) that my micro & the cab that tops it attach all the way down the adjacent cabinets. There doesn't seem to be a finish face piece on those cabinets. We'll have to address that somehow.

Majra, there is currently just shy of 12" between the top of my cabinet crown and the ceiling. The current crown is 3 inches.

These cabinets are mid range (KraftMaid), not custom. The one thing I have never liked about them is the lower corner lazy Susan cab. It's the type with the doors attached to the revolving shelves and there's always been a gap between the doors and the base where it's installed. I would love to replace it with type of unit in my island corner cab which has doors separate from the lazy Susan, is hinged & opens out.

A recent post from someone who had Maple cabs who was considering painting them had many responses saying she should not. That has given me pause. Maybe my cabinets are actually nicer than I think they are. They came w/ the house and were nearly new so we worked with them.

It seems it would be easier to make the tweaks I'd like if we paint them, which brings me back to the subject of this post, which is should one of the tweaks be bringing them to the ceiling?

I appreciate any help. It helps me process to write out my questions but I know how helpful pics would be. I'll try to get some to you.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think trying to add cabinets above existing cabinets would be an effort in frustration - getting doors to match, getting colors to match, getting the old crown off without destroying the cabinets - just for starters. When you take off the crown molding, the wood beneath it will not match the rest, just like behind your MW. The existing uppers will have to come down to install short cabinets above.

Could you replace just the upper cabinets? Then you could go to the ceiling, and matching uppers to lowers would not have to be as perfectly perfect as adjacent wood. I have 8 foot ceilings with cabinets all the way up, and I love them! Sure, I need a stool to access them, but my stool is conveniently tucked under the sink. I also added extra shelves, so I vastly increased my storage space.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My next door neighbors removed the crown on their cabinets and finished off the space above it to look like a bookcase or open shelf and then it was painted to match. Not a lot of cost involved in that and they got the look of to the ceiling cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

annkh, I couldn't agree more with your comments if the plan was to keep the cabinets as is. The changes I am contemplating would only be done if we were to paint all the cabinets. I keep going back/forth on that. But the more I examine my options, unless I keep the OTR micro and just slide in the new range and fridge, I'm going to run into problems w/ matching the stained Maple.

lascatx, that is the idea DH proposed if we paint. Rather than having a lot of heavy moulding that might end up looking too contrived & not matching the rest of the house, he suggested an open shelf idea with crown to the ceiling. Currently I have my collection of stoneware mixing bowls (my first was my grandmother 's ) displayed over 3 of my cabinets. He thought they'd look nice up there. I was initially going for a very clean look, so I dismissed the idea. But I'm having second thoughts...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:51PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Honed Vermont Danby marble countertop owners... Love it or leave it???
I am hoping to understand people's experience who have...
Reviews for 'Steel' Ascot freestanding ovens
Hi, does anyone have the above Italian made range in...
Gap between backsplash and over-the-range microwave?
Hi, all. Does anyone have an over-the-range microwave...
Week 45: He'p me!
He'p me! I have no idea what to ask about this week,...
Liebherr cs2062 door badly scratched
Hi everyone, I am considering the purchase of a "scratch...
Chris Treadwell
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™