Are ceiling height cabinets too much for this space?

SweetFishMay 9, 2013

Kitchen Experts,
What do you think about using ceiling height cabinets in this kitchen? We love the look but are worried about them being too overpowering in this space. FYI..this is not our kitchen but we are building this same layout.

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chinchette

I would prefer to the ceiling rather than the gap in this kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:31PM
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breezygirl

Not too overpowering. It look better, IMHO, than your photo. Plus, you won't have to worry about a thick layer of gross dust building up on top of the cabs.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:32PM
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tulip55

I think cabinets to the ceiling will look great. The eye will travel upward and not be stopped by the top of a too short cabinet. We decided to go to the ceiling and love the result. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Holly- Kay

Ceiling height cabinets would look much better than the height shown. The kitchen is pretty but the height of those cabinets would drive me nutso!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:45PM
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eleena

What PP's said. Also, it might be better to stack them instead of very tall ones. You can have glass doors on some to 'break' the 'monotonicity'.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:46PM
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SweetFish

Wow..it seems to be unanimous.
Eleena...thats exactly what we were thinking..stacked cabinets with glass doors on top.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:49PM
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kiko

I agree, that space would look better with to the ceiling cabinets. If possible, I would also consider changing the hood; opening it up instead of the boxed across wood. I think it would nicely balance out the detail over the sink.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:16PM
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torontotim

Definitely go to the ceiling. Our small 10x14 kitchen has 9 foot ceilings and going all the way up makes the room feel larger than it is.





    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:21PM
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deedles

Up to the ceiling! Stacked (or stacked look done with the doors being partial glass/solid) is nice.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:22PM
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lascatx

You don't seem to have any controversy here, but just in case you need one more -- I think it would look much cleaner to go to the ceiling. If you didn't want stacked, you could do a stacked crown treatment to give the visual lift and clean finish without actually adding more cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:42PM
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gpraceman55

We considered taking our cabinets up to our 9ft ceiling for our upcoming reno but decided against it. The cost was the biggest issue but I also think that it would have been too heavy of a look for the space.

We are going with staggered heights, as we like the look better than the tops being a straight line. The tall cabinets are 96" high and the shorter uppers are 36" high. We were already getting much more cabinet space than we have currently, which was the main goal of the reno.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Thu, May 9, 13 at 23:09

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:00PM
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attofarad

My new kitchen, and my wife's old one, go to the 8' ceiling, which is my first choice.

My pre-tearout kitchen had a 1' soffit. so the cabinets went to 7'. Less storage space, but I could reach all of it without a stool.

I like the staggered look okay if the ceilings are high.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:56PM
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ali80ca

I like cabinets that go right to the ceiling with no gap. The dust that sits on top of the cabinets when there is a gap is amazing and pretty difficult to clean.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 4:03PM
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ck_squared

What do people do who have 10 ft ceilings? Seems cost prohibitive to go to the ceiling then, right? And also seems like that would be too much cabinetry.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:29PM
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nyse2502

I have 8.5' ceilings and am using standard uppers with a flat panel of trim and then the crown moulding to the ceiling. I feel it is a better look in a kitchen with low ceilings. No dirt above and the tall cabinets just belong in a house with higher ceilings. Anyway you can't reach the top shelf without a stool so what is the point.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:45PM
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rosie

Sweetfish, there are design and functional benefits to both. A long era of open "shadow spaces" above cabinets followed a long era of building the walls out to fill in. Now the current trendy look is solidly to the ceiling, those who still choose stopping short independents who march to their own drummer and, of course, developers saving money. They all look good.

In any case, to-the-ceiling in 9' kitchens is now such a common look that it would look perfectly normal to most.

CK, depends on the scale of the space, storage needs, and pocket book, right?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:54PM
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mpagmom

Ck_squared, I have 10-foot ceilings, and this is what I did. I decided against stacked cabinets because I'd have to get on a stool to open the upper doors. With mine I can see everything by opening one door. I really like TorontoTim's stacked look.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:08PM
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fsteph

My ceilings are 8'8", we went with 42" uppers and crown molding to the ceiling.. Current builder grade kitchen has 36" cabs and they are so gross on top I can't stand it (and that's with cleaning up there often).. It will be a happy day when they come down!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:01PM
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rosie

CK, I forgot to mention in the "going all the way up" that cabinets look far, far better if the cabinet boxes and doors don't actually do that, if the doors do stop short but the rest of the height is filled in to match the cabinetry. This is why TorontoTim's and Mpagmom's uppers look so fantastic.

This current look, BTW, is not at all new. It is a return an even earlier kitchen era that ended with mass cabinet production in the 1950s. Before that, cabinets tended to be built on site by finish carpenters. They were built in and looked it, as opposed to the factory-produced boxes bolted to the wall of all the later looks until this one came round again.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:18PM
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swirlycat

rosie, what did you mean when you wrote:

"cabinets look far, far better if the cabinet boxes and doors don't actually do that, if the doors do stop short but the rest of the height is filled in to match the cabinetry."

We had planned do have our wall cabinets go to the ceiling, with solid doors for the main part of the cabinet, and windowed lighted doors for the top. We were thinking that they should be separate doors/cabinets - would it look better to do one long door like TorontoTim's?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:57PM
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lascatx

My ceilings are 10 feet and we did a shorter glass front cabinet that is really just display above the main cabinets. Above the oven, it is 24" deep and glass seemed silly there, so we did a solid door and I have a large closed storage space. On the fridge and pantry wall, the upper cabinets are taller and go from the top of the fridge to the crown and we get really nice storage up there for things like canning pots, some catering size trays and even a turkey fryer. It isn't everyday storage but it is wonderful space for us to have.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:58PM
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ck_squared

lascatx, I'd love to see a photo of your kitchen with 10-ft ceilings.
We are planning our remodel and do have a design but it stops short of the ceiling by approx. a foot. We will have 36" uppers topped with 16" glass horizontal tip-up doors (it's a more modern style). Then there will be a 4" linear molding at the top leaving that gap above.

(sorry to keep hijacking your thread, OP)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 1:56PM
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island

I'm guessing rosie means have molding above?

Either way I agree all the way with no opening above looks better.
What color cabs are you getting?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:13PM
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island

I'm guessing rosie means have molding above?

Either way I agree all the way with no opening above looks better.
What color cabs are you getting?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:14PM
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meisocal

we have 9' ceilings and we are planning to go all the way to the ceiling. We don't have many uppers though. I just don't like the dust and grime that gets in the gap.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:07AM
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a2gemini

If you can afford it, go to the ceiling but use a trim board (small crown)
Also, I would recommend drawers instead of doors on many of your lowers,
Good luck

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 5:23AM
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rosie

Swirlycat, every now and then someone installs cabinets with the tops of the boxes literally by the ceiling, or just an inch or two below. Since we were using a to-the-ceiling term, I thought it'd better be clarified that this is usually not done because it tends to look poorly designed (possibility always kept open for any well-done exceptions of course).

If you scan the Finished Kitchens Bog and Houzz kitchens for this issue, you'll develop your own ideas of what looks good to you.

As Island and A2gemini said, if you put in taller uppers and thus had little space left, you could finish with a crown-type molding above.

Mpagmom's kitchen shows what I think I've heard referred to as a "schoolhouse" molding. Whatever the name, a board is used to fill in a greater amount of vertical empty space and then trimmed top and bottom with molding. If your cabinet boxes are shorter and leave 7 to 12 inches or so, that's a nice way to handle it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:23AM
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jillandmatt

I think you should definitely take the cabinets to the ceiling. Our kitchen is less open than yours and our ceiling high cabinets don't overwhelm the space at all. Our ceilings our 10 feet and have similar moldings to mpagmom's that drop them down a bit. I think that really helps. We went with stacked cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:05AM
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gpraceman55

Personally, I am not a fan of taking the cabinets to the ceiling when it is really just filling up a foot or more of a gap with a bunch of moldings. That is just a dressed up soffit.

If you need the storage space, by all means, take them as high as you need, but don't spend all that extra money just to keep from dusting up there once every blue moon.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:00AM
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dckitrem

ck_squared - We have 10 foot ceilings and we are not going to the ceiling because of the cost (it would have been an extra third of what our cabinets cost)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:40AM
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dckitrem

ck_squared - We have 10 foot ceilings and we are not going to the ceiling because of the cost (it would have been an extra third of what our cabinets cost)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:41AM
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sleevendog

Much preferred to carry all the way up using any of the methods presented. I've never understood staggered gaps and floating moldings. Much more integrated to fill the space. I don't use my MIL's dishes everyday but they do display nicely behind glass.
So nice to see quality and timeless ideas returning to kitchen design.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:47AM
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