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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need Help for my Kitchen Cabinets and Built ins

ashleyannejacksonJanuary 2, 2013
Kitchen. Height in kitchen is 11' flat. Adjoining family room is 9' at lowest point above fireplace and slopes up to 15'. (You can see where two rooms meet in right of picture). Fireplace and Sink wall of kitchen are seen as one element even thought ceiling is different. Plans are for 3' wide lighted glass front cabinets on each side of casement windows.

Dilemma 1. Should I take cabinets to ceiling? or what is recommended height? Other side of kitchen is all recessed in at 9' with frig, cooktop, and double ovens respectively. I love the cabinets to ceiling but am afraid it may over power in this situation.

Den. Plans are to have 36" tall bottom cabinets for needed storage on sides of fireplace. Currently plan is to have 3 open recessed spaces symmetrically on each side of fireplace (on right for tv). Bottom openings are slated to be 30" with two 12" openings above for books,etc.

Dilemma 2. I am re-thinking instead of open builtins above to have two upper cabinet doors on each side of fireplace that recess back so I can hide the tv on the right and the left side I can have hidden storage of kids items (I have 3 little ones!).

(I attached a pic of old built-ins and fireplace. Will be using starburst above mantel and mirrored chest with contemporary art in same place)

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Interiors International, Inc.
#1 Cabinets to the ceiling that high are not usable space except for things that are seldom used. You will need a step ladder to get at anything that high. That is not a problem as long as you don't mind. I agree that cabinets to the ceiling look good.
#2 I like the doors on each side it is much more practical and I always need more storage.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Thank you for responding so quickly! I do not mind using a step ladder at all, like you said---I always need more storage. I just don't want it to look off balance. So they will be double stacked to ceiling and that is ok? I posted an inspiration pic but these are in a 9' ceiling. Should I use crown on cabinets or not? As rest of house and kitchen will not have it.

Also posted a pic of what I am thinking for sides of builtins as reference but I won't have a mantel (I can always add it later if I need too). Am I headed in the right direction?
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:26PM
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I did a search on Houzz and found these options with 11 foot ceilings.
Milbank Townhomes · More Info
1910 house with modern family room/kitchen addition · More Info
I really like the one with the crown moulding.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
A crown molding is an option. If you want it to be more contemporary do a light bar or thin soffit. This will look great and give you better task lighting.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 2:38PM
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I would take the cabinets to the ceiling for two reasons. First, it will be dramatic, especially with those fabulous windows you have. Second, the space above the cabinets is always awkward. It's either too bare, or it gets filled with dust-catching tchotchkes, and a soffit is just wasted space. You can use the upper cabinet space for those items you use once a year.

And doors on the built ins is a good idea. Sometimes you just need to hide a mess in a hurry.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Custom Home Planning Center
Los Altos, CA · More Info

I have 10' 1-1/2" ceilings and have planed a similar kitchen. I'm using some of the top cabinets for display cases w/lighting, but the top ones use toy box hardware so they open to the ceiling and stay there until closed.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 4:48PM
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AFC inc
Your cabinets probably needs to go to the ceilings .
Upper cabinets can not be stopped on middle on window because it may look strange.
Because the cabinets doors over 42" tall may look disproportionally tall it make sense to do two levels upper cabinets . The lower parts of upper cabinets could be done from solid wood the upper part on top could be glass doors with lighting .
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 5:14PM
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I have 10' ceilings and understand your concern about proportion - lots of tall cabinets on top and shorter ones on the bottom. We did not go all the way to the ceiling for that reason along with the fact that I have to get a step stool to get to the top ones. We used a sizable crown molding, have a little space between that and ceiling and it doesn't bother me (but then again I don't look for dust:) We intermingled sizes and styles (i.e.glass doors, plate rack, etc.) and I'm pleased with the result. We lit the upper cabinets that had the glass doors and basically they are just for show.

I agree that you want enclosed storage on either side of the fireplace. With three little ones, you can never have too many places to hide things (theirs or yours). Open shelves collect dust and require a knack for filling them so they don't look cluttered.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 5:28PM
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House of Holland - TX
Just a thought - having different heights in your cabinetry creates a bit more visual interest. See photo example. What are you looking at through your kitchen windows?
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:04PM
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So maybe not take them to ceiling but a little higher than the 9'for a different height? I am just concerned about the balance on the other side of the recessed wall. I am looking at ....My neighbor's roof!
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Stamps Design Services
Cabinets to the ceiling would not really be usuable. I would probably not put them over 8'
Many cabinet makers offer consultations, to help you achieve the look you want. I am posting a picture of cabinets with book shelves to help you decide what you want (just please ignore the center section with the television)! I will look to see if I have any more...
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:56PM
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I love the look of cabinets to the ceiling, whether glass front or covered doors. It's beautiful and dramatic, and will be fabulous with those windows. We use a stepladder for our top cabinets and don't mind it a bit.
San Francisco Residence · More Info

Park Place at Silverleaf · More Info
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 2:36AM
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I like feeny's photo with the lighted top cabinets. And it looks like there is crown molding on those cabinets. Are your cabinets white? I would think the other wall, even though it is shorter, has enough going on to balance your window wall if you take the cabinets all the wall up. If it's a dark wood, I don't know. . . .
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 7:46AM
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My cabinets are probably going to be taupe more in line with the color of the island in Feeny's pic to the left but maybe a little lighter. I posted a picture below of the lighted cabinets that are in the plan but raised up and 3' wide. We do not have crown molding in the house but I do want a simple crown on the uppers. I just thought it may look funny with them all the way up to the ceiling and didn't know if I should give a little relief of 6" or so . The marble is posted too and will be the backsplash in entire kitchen and on the range with a stainless hood (like the white kitchen photo)and I also posted my chandelier that will go over the island. So yes, I will have a lot going on. Thanks for all your ideas and comments.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:41AM
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House of Holland - TX
Of the photo examples given here, I think your best solution would be in line with feeny's second picture of the lighted top cabinets that extend to the ceiling with a simple crown. I can see why you love the full lighted cabinets in your inspiration pic as they are absolutely gorgeous, but keep a couple things in mind. First, since you have small children you will always need more cabinet space than you think you do for all the mismatched sippy cups and assorted "treasured" plasticware they will want to keep to make mealtimes fun. I'm sure this will not be what you want on display in your beautiful new glass front cabinets! :) From what I can tell, your cabinet space will be at a premium since your other recessed space will be used for appliances. But the option of having the glass-front cabinets at the very top only will give you the elegance I think you are after. Second, since your beautiful new windows will unfortunately be looking out at your neighbors roof, you may eventually put in a window treatment, at least on the top windows, to downplay this effect. Having the lighted glass fronts at the top will draw your eye away from this somewhat. If you go this route be sure to keep your backsplash neutral in line with the GORGEOUS!!!! marble you are using. Can't wait to see the finished space!
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:29AM
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You will need more than a step ladder to reach cabinets that high. I have a 9 foot fiberglass ladder (the right height to get into cabinets that high) and it weighs about 75 lbs with a footprint about 5 or 6 feet long. It would be impossible to get into the corner cabinets unless you have a library ladder system (which would be cool in your space). Double stacking the cabinets also means double the cost of cabinets.

If you intend to leave open space above cabinets then that space is better for display items if there is no crown molding, but that high up you could leave the space empty and show a wall color. If you add a crown molding where the wall meets the ceiling (in a color that contrasts with wall and ceiling color) then it will make the room look larger and taller as it draws the eye to the corners of the space. I would probably take cabinets up to the height of the windows without a crown molding on the cabinets, and make the (fabulous) windows the focal point. Crown at wall and ceiling junction is optional depending on style and colors that you intend, but would be much easier to install before cabinets.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 12:45PM
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