kitchen under construction - need opinions

elapie1879October 4, 2013

My kitchen is undergoing remodeling and they started putting up my upper cabinets. The kitchen window is new - it is 6 foot window. I am not sure how I like the space above the window between the cabinets. my contractor told me that this is the way everyone has it. The crown molding will wrap around the top of the cabinets but I thought maybe I should extend a valence from one end to the other end (I'll show an example)

the picture is my kitchen and the way the cabinets look like now. the second picture(i'm having a hard time uploading) is one that I found off the internet of something I had in mind. What are you opinions? Which way looks nicer?


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this is the picture I found on the internet of what I was thinking of adding above my window - any thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 6:58AM
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I don't think it is an apples to apples comparison. Your cabinets go all the way to the ceiling while the other kitchen cabinets do not.
It is still kind of early in your install. I think when things are done you will be happy with the way it looks.
And yes, your contractor is right--that is how most people have the window. But that doesn't mean you have to have it that way.....

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:23AM
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I agree the picture doesn't show an option that would work for you b/c of the ceiling height.

Yes, most people have that opening. One thing that may make you like the space better ultimately is a structured window valance, maybe with a fabric shade underneath.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:20AM
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I think it will look a lot different once the base cabinets are in place, and the walls are painted.

It looks like it's going to be a fabulous kitchen!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:42AM
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elapie, I used to have a valance and now don't. I like it better without, especially now that my new light fixture is installed. Once you have a light fixture hanging there and your sink and base cabinets it will look totally different.

I attached a picture of mine

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 9:28AM
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my cabinets do not reach the ceilings. I think there is about 4 inches of a void, either way the manufacture of my cabinets do not make a valence that large so it seems like I will not have anything between the cabinets. I will begin to look for light fixture to fit in there.

thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:18PM
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I think it will probably be fine as it it. I think it's a little too soon to know for sure. I'm not wild about that major valance in the photo.

I don't have any uppers on my window (sink) wall. The window is trimless. After my kitchen was done, I needed something in fabric to soften the space. I made a fabric valance (my sewing ability is from junior high) and hung it high enough so it really didn't block any light. It gave my window an eyebrow and I love it.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Kristen Hallock

Well are you going to have crown molding going to the ceiling? Or will there be just 4" of empty space on top?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Elapie, it just happens that those connecting valances are out of style now, which affects how people view them and usually has an effect on the sort of advice given. It's unfortunate that current styles typically describe design details as either must-have or must-never-have at different points instead of evaluating what they can do for a particular room at any particular time. The higher one goes in the design hierarchy, the more free of this nonsense design is, in part because owners and designers often have to work with fine old homes and a collection of family treasures that don't allow swinging to extremes.

No collection of family treasures here, but I guess I'm immune to the "that's mom's look sydrome" anyway because a window just dropped between runs of cabinets, with no architectural relationship established between them, often looks lacking to me, and sometimes rather awful if the elements actually clash (which is fairly common for remodels) such as when shape, size, trim, quality, or style of windows are really different from their new surroundings.

In your particular case, you also have a lovely view that deserves being played up by careful framing that enhances and focuses attention to it -- and doesn't let it wander up to bare wall.

Notably, your need to enjoy your view calls for very different design treatments than those needed by the many who are trying to screen much of what is outside their windows and/or to gain precious privacy.

Note that one additional effect of a valance or other treatment would be to strengthen the depth of distance between inside and out, giving a bit more sheltered feeling to inside than is already there. It would block some natural light to the ceiling area. This is a plus or minus, depending. (For instance on climate. Does yours try to kill you every winter? I can see you're relatively safe in summer.)

In any case, although I'm among those who enjoy having a strong relation with the outdoors and put in tons of windows, the exterior wall depth of most modern houses is usually undesirably shallow visually, and design devices that add a feeling of greater transition depth can often make a big difference. For instance, we set our windows to the outside of the wall and did nice deep sills inside, which really does give our standard stick-built house a feeling of greater substance from where we view it most.

Very wordy, but short version: Do what's right for you.

You might start looking for lots of ideas for finishing this area, cloth and/or wood, so that it meets the design standards of the rest of the kitchen. If your trim carpenter is older, he might just have some good ones. Also, get some graph paper and start drawing out possibilities. Take out older books and magazines from the library for fun and a much broader range of ideas than current media offer.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Could your space handle a bigger crown and go all the way to the ceiling? We built up the cabinet company crown by adding two pieces of unpainted trim. Our painter did a great job matching it to the cabinets.
Our crown continues into the family room so it was too expensive to purchase it from the cabinet company. I was worried about the paint color & finish matching the cabinets. I can't distinguish a difference between the cabinets & the painted crown.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:31PM
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That is very attractive, Romy. There are a number of ways to integrate a sink gap, and frame a view, and this is a nice illustration.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:56PM
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My kitchen is in the deconstruct stage now. My KD is extending the simple wood trim across sink area. Nothing fancy like your picture. My view is of my pool area, so neither great nor awful. If the foot of space between trim and window looks silly, I could add small valance or a nice light. I think we both have to wait to see what it looks like.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Hi elapie1879,

I know that my photo quality is poor but here's what I did in my kitchen. Our cabinets go to the ceiling and I chose a valance. Choose what feels best to you.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Bookroom-that pool view looks great to me!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:36PM
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romy718 - may I ask -- how wide is your window (all 3)? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 12:30PM
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My window is 72x36 pella window - it is only one piece.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:37PM
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My window is 76" x 52", including the trim/casing.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 7:42PM
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