Please review my cabinet design options and soffit or no soffit?

momto3kiddosNovember 30, 2012

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):

Butler's Pantry:

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I prefer simpler, cleaner lines, so mostly like the 2nd styles in each drawing.

I especially like the area next to the pantry to have more counter and not have the long doors down to the counter.

Also, in the first picture, that area next to the oven and pantry looks like it's trying to be a furniture piece, but everything on that wall looks like separate things all shoved together. I'm not sure how to explain that better, and less offensively! I just think there is a lot going on and, like I said, all lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder, doesn't work for me.

How do you do soffits with the cabinets changing height at the top? Or would you do away with that?

If you drop the ceiling in the butler's pantry, might you want to do cabinets to 9 ft and have the ceiling where the cabinets end? Or do you want to store serveware or have lighting above?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Sherrie Moore

In our area of the country. Everyone is trying to get rid of soffits, so I can not imagine a new build with soffits. I am starting a remodel of my 25 year old home and each room I do I make sure to remove the soffits if possible!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:03PM
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I was thinking of changing the hood to one that tapers towards the top, but I can't run it all the way to the ceiling because of the ceiling beam that abuts there. I though if I run we soffit, I could have somewhere to end the hood without interfering with the beam. I did some some pics of a tapered hood that ended below the ceiling, which is what I am considering now. D you think a tapered hood would look strange if it ended below the ceiling? In my example. I would take it to around 120". I have a picture from houzz with the shape of the hood but I cannot figure out for the life of me how to add it from my iPad.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:50PM
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I vote for no soffit since it is becoming outdated.
Your kitchen plans with the beautiful cabinets and more drawers is very nice!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:32AM
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I think the ubiquitous, surround the kitchen soffits with no use to the design but to lower the ceiling and hang cabinets from is outdated... but carefully considered soffit as design element can be a nice, clean look. There was a thread with pics awhile back of recent kitchens with soffits. For instance, framing in over a fridge is a use of soffit similar to what you're proposing for your stove area since it's framed on the ends. It would help create an alcove look... plus helping you with how to terminate the beams and not have them interfere with you cabinet wall. And I could truly prefer soffit to open, dust catching area above the cabinets.

It may not be the answer you choose but I don't think your suggested idea is on par with the old soffits so many are eliminating. With your tall ceilings and the beams, they could help you out.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 5:16AM
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I looked through the finished kitchen blog for a while thinking about this for myself. I thought that my preferences would be:
1. Cabinets fitted to ceiling with crown molding (no gap)
2. Cabinets nearly to ceiling with crown molding (small gap)
3. Cabinets with soffits

To my surprise, it turned out that 1 and 2 were a tie. There were many kitchens with a gap between the top molding edge of the cabinets and the ceiling that I liked a lot.

But soffits stayed a distant third. I live in a victorian house and I like Peacock kitchens. Looking at your kitchen design, i'd say our tastes aren't too far apart. Look at a lot of pictures objectively of kitchens with and without (in your copious spare time with house building deadlines--right). I bet you ditch the soffits. They don't look like they're your style.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:51AM
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I do agree with Slateberry51 that the soffit look I was talking about is, perhaps, a bit contemporary compared to the style shown in the drawings you've posted.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 2:38PM
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