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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not a fan of wasted space. I currently have a soffit in my kitchen above my cabinets. See this image http://reliableamerican.us/KitchenProject/before cabinets2.JPG
My first idea was to buy taller cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, but I am having a hard time finding these at a reasonable cost. Any recomendations on cabinet brands?

My second thought was to move the cabinets up, but I quickly dismissed this idea since everything would look and feel weird.

My third thought was to leave the existing soffits intact, which I really don't want to do.

I also thought about some kind of lighting system above the cabinets in the soffit, or in place of the soffit.

See these 3 images for prototype designs of the kitchen.
http://reliableamerican.us/KitchenProject/prototype.jpg
http://reliableamerican.us/KitchenProject/prototype2.jpg
http://reliableamerican.us/KitchenProject/prototype3.jpg
 

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How about building a light cove into the existing soffit Grumpy. Face it down ward to get the most use of the light and accent the cabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's one of my thoughts, however since I live in a condo I was hoping to maximize my storage with taller cabinets which would be my first choice.

If no extra tall cabinets can be purchased at a reasonable cost then I shall be left only with the recessed/canned light option, I think.

Any pics of what you'd recommend?
 

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Grumpy, your kitchen looks nearly identicle to mine and I have been asking myself the same questions.
I think that I am going all the way up and hang the cost, having seen the cost of hardwood cabinets, I intend to build them myself anyway. The more that I think about having a shelf over the cabinets, the more that I am certain that the wife would have to fill the space with dust collectors (silk flowers and baskets). Best to use the space for the items that don't see regular use.
Let's see some pics of the completed project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I *could* probably do it myself since in highschool I had built a few cabinets but the time it would take me would be unbearable. As you all know I'm more of an office guy than hands on.

I'm not going for hardwood either. I like the white finish so I am going for laminate, but a quality laminate.
 

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Grumpy, what is the hight of the existing soffit? I would tear out the soffit and go with tall cabinets. If you can get within 2" of the ceiling, use crown moulding to finish it out.
 

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I would rip out the box along the top and run them too the ceiling too, I built my own and ran a small crown along the top to finish. Its great to have the extra space for storage and seems to make the kitchen appear taller. You might want to make sure they are not using the box to conceal duct work or as a chase for wiring etc. first. This is my kitchen....
 

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Gurmpy, The question about the height of the soffit?? I've used standard 30" box cabinets and placed standard 18" boxs on top of that to get a 48" tall cabinet, without paying for custom built. Just a thought.
 

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If that kitchen was here the trends would make me want to get a taller corner cabinet, keeping the bottom even with the bottoms of the other cabinets so the top extends up over the other cabinets, the shelf look isn't popular here, but the variable cabinets are. I would also think about changing out the face of at least one of the cabinets with a glass one, most likely that same corner cabinet. I would have crown at the top no matter if they were going to the ceiling or at the height you have in your picture. If there were a fluorescent light I would remove it and add 6-8 cans. I would add low voltage under cabinet lighting (the kind with a transformer) and an inexpensive rope light on the tops of the cabinets set back to the wall. The rope lights above the cabinets and the under cabinet lighting would be electrically connected so they come on at the same time. People like to leave the under and over cabinet lights on with the main lights off at night as night lighting. Even though your counter space is limited, I would try to fit in an appliance garage, either in the corner with a door facing each wing of the counter or one by the fridge.

Just my ramblings. No matter what you do those designs you posted are really much nicer than what is there now. It is going to look great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had the variable cabinets on an online design program but I didn't like the look. IMO variable heights looks half assed and unprofessional.

Canned lights are out of the question due to electical heat running through the ceiling, of all places. I was thinking of an undercabinet rope light like you suggested.

Appliance garage?!
 

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The different height cabinets are personal preference, out here everybody wants them, they go along with the current trend of turning kitchen and bathroom cabinets into that furniture look, bumping out and recessing different depths of cabinets is also really in demand. I understand it might not be your cup of tea, but I would never associate the word 'half assed' with these design trends, just different tastes and use of space.

Appliance garage you can get an idea here: http://www.rockler.com/findit.cfm?page=6002&sid=AF998

But if you don't like the idea of variable height cabinets, I'm pretty sure you won't like those either. :cheesygri

I caution you to think twice about putting rope lights under the cabinets, they don't work very good as task lighting, (not enough light coming out of them usually), they are pretty much just adequate for accent lighting - looks pretty, but doesn't do anything for you. That's why I would suggest them on the tops, but use low voltage lights underneath.

What does that mean "electrical heat" running through the ceiling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LOL nope I dislike those things.

The rope lighting will be for ambience. I plan to put some form of direct lighting over the work spaces (sink and stove).


Ummm I can think of no better way to describe it. I have my radiant heating in the ceiling.
 
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