Please review my cabinet design options and soffit or no soffit?
Framing on our new home will start Monday, so I need to decide whether to soffit an area of the kitchen or not. I would also like feedback as to which cabinet design you prefer. I have included the layout of the kitchen in respect to the family room, breakfast nook, pantry and mudroom. I am considering a soffit on the range wall because the cabinets are already somewhat recessed into the wall and we are doing large beams at the ceiling across the family room and into kitchen as shown by grey bars in floorplan. The ceiling height in the kitchen and family room is 12' and the height in the breakfast nook drops to 10'.
The first plan has glass-topped stacked cabinets and a "hidden pantry" beside the oven stack. The second plan (hand-drawn) has no stacked cabinets in kitchen with traditional pantry door and a more defined hutch area.
There is also cabinetry in the butlers pantry area on both sides going from kitchen to dining. I am planning to drop ceiling in here to 10' because of the small space. The designs for this area still need to be tweaked a bit. Even though there are stacks here, I doubt I will do stacks. Do I take these cabinets up to 8' or 9'? The doors and cased openings will all be 8' tall.
The perimeter cabinets will be a medium to dark cherry in a fairly simple raised panel that looks more contemporary than most. The island will be a taupy/grey color with light countertops... if I can find my dreamy splendor delicatus in the right shade and with dramatic movement.
I doublt I will change my mind with the layout of appliances. I would like to keep my primary work area in the galley and not in the walkway to the mudroom, hence the refrigerator and clean up sink placement. But, I am open to any ideas you may have. Thanks in advance for your help!!!
Cabinet design #1:
Cabient design #2 (2 photos):