The overhang of kitchen soffits can make modern kitchens feel claustrophobic or outdated, but when considering a kitchen remodel, removing them might put you over budget. Soffits are usually designed to hide piping or wiring, so removing the protrusion can also require electric and plumbing work (in addition to refinishing and molding around the wall). Cha ching.
If you crave more cabinet space and have budget to spare, talk to your contractor about what internal systems need moved or rerouted to eliminate the soffits. This may not be a huge undertaking, but it could be a pain point if you don’t discuss the specifics of the update before beginning your renovation.
If you are more concerned with the aesthetics of the soffits, there are plenty of unique solutions that might just make you glad you kept them. Here are our favorite ways to disguise, hide, and breathe life into your kitchen soffits that won’t require a complete kitchen makeover.
1. Fake It ‘Til You Make It:
Never underestimate a good facade. If you’d prefer kitchen cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling, but don’t mind compromising a little space to avoid rewiring your kitchen, see if you can install the cabinets into the soffit. Depending on where key wring or pipes fall, you may be able to build cabinets around the soffits and use your cabinet doors to hide the overhang.
2. If You’ve Got ‘Em, Flaunt ‘Em:
Add shallow display shelves around the soffits to show off curios, serve as extra storage for serving dishes and trays, or cluster picture frames and artwork. Turing your soffits into a focal point can add personality to your kitchen or give you space to communicate a theme (think: coral and ropes for the nautical enthusiast or baskets and antique cooking tools for a more rustic feel).
3. Set the Mood (Lighting):
Remove any molding around the soffits and add light strips above your cabinetry to give the kitchen a more modern feel. Using ready-to-use light tracks (such as Philips Hue) can save money on rewiring costs and give you the same effect as professional light installations. If your kitchen has a demure or neutral color palette and plain cabinets, adding a soft glow or colored lights to your soffits can create a dramatic, industrial effect.
4. Embrace a Different Era:
Use the natural structure of the soffits to fake French gilding or an antique tintype ceiling. You can purchase wallpaper designed to look like tintype or ornate molding at most home renovation stores. Instead of refinishing your walls, paper your ceiling and add decorative elements that extend downward along the soffits. This cost effective update can be complemented with DIY molding or gold leafing to complete this luxurious throwback.
Ever wish you had an industrial, exposed brick wall in your galley? How about a glossy mosaic? Think some stonework would add an air of elegance to your kitchen? No problem. You can secure flat tiles, stones, and even external siding to your soffits to emulate various finishes. If you really want to make a statement, hire a local artist to create the same effect with paint. This is especially lifelike (and economic) if you’d like a marbled or brick finish.
At Home Outlet, we've helped hundreds of homeowners plan and survive kitchen remodels, from minor “tweaks” to major overhauls. If you need help making decisions about your remodel, we're here to help. Come in and talk with one of our partners, take advantage of our Free Kitchen Planning Service and start enjoying that kitchen of your dreams.
About The Author
Whitney K. has a Bachelors degree in English Literature and French Linguistics as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), giving her a broad depth of knowledge in both academic and business writing. Her style is direct and cogent, with subtle undertones of humor when appropriate, and fueled by a lifetime of passion for the written word.
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