Is Anyone Here NOT Taking New Cabinets To The Ceiling?

amck2April 5, 2014

And doing so not because of cost, but because of scale and/or aesthetics?

Met with a KD this morning who wasn't certain to the ceiling was the best choice for my kitchen. She's working up separate layouts for both heights.

It was our first meeting and I was impressed that while she was on top of all the trends, she seemed to analyze my kitchen more as it related to the rest of the house than with what is popular now.

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We are not. We are doing a newly built house with old farmhouse feel. We are utilizing old cabinets sanded and painted. Working with old cabinets they will be raised on the wall to match the window height and will have open shelves below.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:58PM
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We didn't. I had custom built cabinets and I felt that, given the size and shape of the room it would look overwhelming.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:07PM
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We did not. I do not like the heavy look created by massive uppers. And our kitchen is big enough that we didn't need the extra storage.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:09PM
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We did not take ours to the ceiling because we have a vaulted ceiling. we also do not have many upper only three.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:28PM
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I didn't; it wasn't really practical with my 12' ceiling.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:47AM
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We are. Our house is so tiny we need the storage. We put in toe kick drawers too - we need every inch of space we can get. Our architect used some glass doors to break up the expanse of cabinets.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:23AM
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We are not. We have beams that make it impractical. That said we could have done it in some spots but I think with a small kitchen it would just engulf it. That is the same reason we stuck to a 30" range and 30" fridge - that would just look proportionally out of place. Also, I knew I would not use the space. I NEVER use the space above the fridge that I can't reach without a step stool. That problem will the solved with the remodel but I can't do that will all the cabinets so we chose not to go all the way to the ceiling.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:30AM
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I didn't, because my house is an inverted V. Still, the new cabs are at least 6" higher than the old ones.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 7:54AM
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We only have uppers in one area (around a pass through) and are not going to the ceiling because it just didn't look right to us -- too top heavy. You might see if you can do a quick massing study on Sketchup or some other free modeling program, just to help you visualize what your space would look like.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Amck, when you talked with KD about taking cabinets to the ceiling, was it a taller cabinet & taller crown or double stacked cabinets?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:40AM
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I didn't. I wasn't starting from scratch though - I used some of what was already here, moved things around, painted them, etc. I also only have a few uppers. Really only two and then the over the fridge cabinet. They were custom made for the space and rather wide and in all the mock ups I made (I even built a model to put up there) it just seemed to imposing for my room. I don't have a huge kitchen and would have appreciated more space but I felt I had to just embrace the horizontal nature of my kitchen and not add a stacked cabinet.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:47AM
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I think it will look fine to go to the ceiling. You'll have basically one wall of tall cabinets, and they're on a long wall with a hood, which gives some relief to the height. You're not enclosed inside a U or a long narrow kitchen. You have a good line of sight from your LR into your kitchen, which gives a wide open feeling.

Think of putting in a pair of built-in to-the- ceiling cabinets and bookcases in another room. You probably wouldn't have any qualms about that, but in the kitchen, you're used to seeing the cabs stop short of the ceiling.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 11:36AM
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romy718, we discussed so many possibilities - tall w/ crown, stacked, stacked w/ lit glass on top - even staggered. DH, who is not as conservative as I am with spending, wanted to explore all the options, including inset cabs which I'd already nixed from my thoughts.

I want what works best for this particular house and that's so hard for me to see objectively. So I appreciated the KD's candor when she walked around the entire space and sized up the furnishings and trim in the adjacent rooms then asked if I was set on going to the ceiling. I deliberately hadn't broached if I should or shouldn't go up. It had been her understanding from talking with our GC that our plan was to take them to ceiling height.

She's not at all against it, but wants to see how to-the-ceiling will play in some layout plans.

may_flowers, that is a good point regarding other built-ins. I'm also thinking about Deedles' recent post about looming cabinets and thinking in many cases it's mostly a matter of what your eye is accustomed to seeing. However, some who responded to this post seem to have made good choices for their particular spaces.

I can't wait to see the proposed layouts.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:08PM
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no, we created a built in look. we have slab cabinets though- and modern. most designers and architects that saw our space wanted open tops (trend). I couldn't visualize it with varied ceiling height. Dh didn't want the extra cleaning to dust off the tops. I'm happy with my decision. we still have 39" upper cabinets plenty high.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:29PM
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I didn't because my cabinets are painted a color and it worried me to have a wall of color. If I had done all white/stained, I would have. I have 9 ft. ceilings. If I had 8 ft. I would have. Mine are staggered with hood and valance over sink going to ceiling.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:28PM
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We did not, we have 10ft ceilings and to me it just looked weird with cabs that tall. I also like the space between tops and ceiling generally.

really does depend so much on the entire space. that is what matters.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Was this suggestion based solely on the idea of maintaining a look throughout the house, or also considering the size/shape of your house?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:21PM
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I might have if I could have done glass with lights inside at top. Had to run vent for hood through uppers, so that and cost stopped me. I also like overcabinet lighting, so thats what we did. Its hard to avoid a hard line (shadow) when you are close to the ceiling though, have to play with light placement.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Mine don't go to the ceiling, never did. I kept my old cabinet boxes and redid the doors and painted everything. My ceilings are 9 ft. and I have a small kitchen (10x10) in a G shape with uppers on two walls. It might look a little loomy if they went to the ceiling. I have enough storage.

There's a commonly held belief in this forum that the space above cabinets becomes filthy with grease and dust. I have lived with the above-cabinet space for 15 years and I'm just not seeing it. I run a course of paper towels over the tops, just the right width and invisible from ground level. Two or three times a year I wipe down all my cabs from stem to stern and replace the paper towels. Easy peasy. Plus, they're still surprisingly white. Even though I have a cat who likes to lounge up on top. I do not live on a farm with a lot of dirt tracked in, but I can assure you I have plenty of dust elsewhere in my house.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 5:46PM
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DesignInMind, my sense was that she saw shorter cabinets being more in line with our furnishings and trim. I don't have bookcases or built-ins to the ceiling in my other rooms. I don't have crown moulding throughout the house. My upright piano, in LR and china cabinet,in DR, which are both visible from the kitchen, are the tallest items on the main floor, so I think it's a concern that the kitchen might look off balance.

But it depends on the layout, door style and color choices, as some have mentioned. My home is a 3-story New Englander, a size & style that works with either. And my ceilings are 8 ft throughout, so not an issue there to make cabs to the ceiling work.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 5:47PM
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In our current house, the 1938 original kitchen had double cabs that went to the 8'4" ceiling, with modest crown capping the cabs off but none elsewhere in the house. Our previous 1906 house had the same arrangement, in a house with ceilings 1' higher. In neither kitchen did the cabinets "loom" because they had windows providing light from more than one direction (and you may remember I object to KD designs with oppressive cabinets). Also, neither kitchen had soffits.

When we added on to this 1938 house and created a new kitchen with 9'4" ceilings (similar to our previous 1906 house), we took the few wall cabs to the ceiling and ran the crown around the entire room (including the family area). Some of the upper cabinets actually provide little storage, but conceal the HVAC soffit necessary for the floor above. The cohesive visual effect is worth every penny.

Try to visit some kitchens with cabs to the ceiling and no soffits before you decide. Also look at real kitchens with windows on two different walls. If I had to choose, I think I would put in the extra window wall over the tall uppers.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 8:20PM
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I don't but I will. We reno'd our kitchen when we moved in, and I relied on our KD to give us the best look for our kitchen. Storage wasn't really a consideration since I'd always "made do" with whatever I had. Now, 11 years later, we are looking at redoing our kitchen again for a couple of reasons. One being I am not happy with the compromises that I made and the other being I am more interested in an "aging in place" kind of kitchen. I digress. We have an old house, and we have various ceiling heights. For whatever reason, our KD thought that creating yet another height was the appropriate answer. Our next reno will be cabinets to the ceiling. Not only will they properly accommodate our stemware, but it will be the right thing to do for our space.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:09PM
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It has never occurred to me to do otherwise. The ceilings are 7'7". There is one wall of uppers (I think maybe original to the 1940s house, never had doors) that go all the way to the ceiling already, and the other uppers that were added during the late 1970s renovation also go all the way to the ceiling already.

They don't match and are weird. The 40s uppers have many layers of paint and contact paper. The 70s ones are different and the lowers of those especially are in rough shape. I am going to take them all out and put new ones that go all the way to the ceiling too.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:12AM
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With 8 ft ceilings, I prefer cabinets to the ceiling, which is what we did in our last house. With 9 or 10 ft ceilings, I think either look can work. We now have high, vaulted ceilings, and our cabinets stop at 8'-3".

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 3:12PM
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