Youssef Fahmane

Are you ready to start your kitchen remodel?  This is the question on everyone’s mind:

Should my kitchen cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling?

As with most remodeling projects – there are pros and cons to either option, and the choice is all yours.  But don’t worry, we’re not leaving you hanging – read on!  We’ve broken down the do’s and don’ts of taking your kitchen cabinets sky high, so you can make the right choice for your kitchen and your lifestyle.

We can all agree that there are definitely times when taller is better.  If you’re a professional basketball player, for example, or if you need to hide your stash of chocolate on a really high shelf.  But is it really the best choice to have your cabinets all the way up to your ceiling?  There are certainly advantages, but every kitchen is unique and it might not be the best choice for your remodel.  We don’t want you to create more problems than you solve, so let’s run through the good and bad.

Three main factors should go into your decision about whether your cabinets should go all the way up to the ceiling: your style, your budget, and the ceiling height and design of your kitchen.

Your Style

Gorgeous Cabinets to ceiling

It all comes down the aesthetics, right?  Yes and no…You love the look of cabinets that go up to the ceiling – but going for it just because it looks great on that Instagram post doesn’t mean it’s going to work in your space. 

Most of the time, if you have standard 8’ or 9’ ceilings, taking the cabinetry to the top is going to be a great choice.  There are a wide range of cabinet heights to suit the exact height of your ceilings, and if you need those couple extra inches, crown molding can fill that gap. 

Stacked cabinets have become extremely popular in recent years, due to providing extra storage space, dust-free display space, and a more finished look.  (Personally we LOVE the look of stacked cabinetry, and would tell you to go for it if you have the option!)

Extra Storage Space: let’s be honest, there are very few of us that are actually tall enough to reach a second row of cabinets.  Even if you’re not vertically challenged, it’s just not practical to store frequently used items in such a high location.  But, putting your seasonal items or less frequently used small appliances up high is a convenient way to keep them close, but not in the way.  (Also a great spot to hide your chocolate stash from the kids.)  If space allows, what about adding a beautiful rolling library ladder with a rail to add gorgeous style and accessibility?

Dust-Free Display Space: Glass front stacked cabinets are not only on-trend and visually pleasing, they also offer a beautiful way to display decorative items without worrying about keeping those items dust-free.  And kitchen dust is not like the dry dust that accumulates in the rest of the house – kitchen dust is sticky, oily, and grimy.  Stacked cabinets relieve you of that painful chore and that in itself may be worth the extra investment!

Creating a more Finished Look: Elevating your cabinetry to the ceiling can also elevate the look of the entire space – taller cabinets can make a kitchen look more customized, cohesive, and luxurious.  Even standard stock or RTA cabinetmakers typically offer a stacked or taller height wall cabinetry option, so often you can create a higher-end look on a more moderate budget.

(If you do choose to leave a space between your cabinetry and your ceilings, we caution against the urge to put decorative items or plants on the cabinet tops.  This can look pretty dated and it’s sooo hard to keep clean!)

Your Budget

Magnificent cabinets to ceiling

As we discussed in our earlier blog post, cabinetry is typically the biggest chunk of your investment in your kitchen remodel.  So it would make sense then, that taller cabinets mean a higher cost.  You are likely looking at around a 15% increase in cabinet cost to add a row of stacked cabinets to your design, likely a bit more than that if you opt for glass fronts.

If budget is tight, and you absolutely MUST have the look of ceiling-height cabinetry, consider framing the ceiling down to meet the cabinets, or use finish soffits.  Some homeowners struggle with the look of soffits, there are ways to disguise them to make them more appealing.  Make it a design feature and have it frame your cabinetry, or add lighting or molding to incorporate it into your overall design.

Read more about how to budget for your kitchen remodel in our previous post.

Your Ceiling Height and Design

Beautiful cabinets to ceiling

You fell in love with your new home because of the soaring cathedral ceilings in the kitchen…we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but some ceilings are just not designed to work well with cabinets that reach to the top.  In general, if you have ceilings higher than 10’, vaulted ceilings, beams or coffered ceiling, specialty crown moldings, or cathedral ceilings, you should avoid ceiling-height cabinets. 

Don’t shy away from taller stacked cabinetry though; all the advantages and aesthetics we mentioned already still apply here.  We recently installed some amazing 54” tall slab cabinetry doors in a kitchen with vaulted ceilings that looks drop dead gorgeous.

In the end, as with most remodeling decisions, the choice to bring your cabinets to the ceiling, or not, is all yours.  There are so many options to create your dream kitchen, you’re sure to find something that both works for your space and suits your style. 

If you’re ready to begin the kitchen remodel journey, come on by to visit our design team at InDesign Kitchen and Bath.  Our designers are trained to help you analyze your existing space and guide you to make the best choices for functionality and aesthetics.  Come visit us to get inspired for your kitchen project, and get a complimentary design consultation!

Our brand-new, kitchen and bath flagship showroom is opening in early 2022!  In the meantime, visit our website to schedule a free virtual or in-home design consultation.  We service Johns Creek and all surrounding areas: Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Cumming, Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Duluth, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and more.

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