A few weeks ago I revealed our new white kitchen, and since then I’ve been posting about the different elements that went into our kitchen renovation (you’ll find a list of these posts at the bottom of the page). Today’s topic is our kitchen cabinet upgrade – what we did to fill the empty space above the kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen Cabinet Upgrade
I don’t know about you, but I have never really liked having that empty space above our kitchen cabinets. It’s a great place for dust and kitchen grease to collect, but not an easy place to clean. (So it doesn’t get cleaned very often, at least at our house!)
I’ve tried displaying things in the space above the cabinets. Which looks nice for a while, but then just creates more work cleaning the dusty and greasy items on display!
I knew that replacing all of the old cabinets for ones that were taller would be very expensive. Besides, the old cabinets were still in very good shape, so it seemed like a waste to replace them. I was not a fan of the oak, but knew that I could paint the cabinets white to solve that issue. So, I tried to think of another way to fill that area.
A couple of years ago, I read a post written by one of my favorite bloggers – Melissa from The Inspired Room. The title of the post was Filling In That Awkward Space Above The Kitchen Cabinets. Ahhh! The perfect solution for our dilemma.
I thought about trying to do this project myself, but I knew it was beyond my carpenter skills. We have two corner cabinets that I knew would be tricky.
So, I hired a carpenter to make the new “soffit” for us. The first thing he did was take down the crown molding that was at the top of the cabinets. We were going to try to re-use the crown molding, but it was damaged from taking it down.
The next step was to build a frame to hold the front boards. I say boards, but we used MDF for the face of the soffit. Our guy built a frame on the ceiling, and on the back edge of the top of the cabinets. He used 1 x 3’s for the framing. This way he would have something to attach the front boards to.
Here we have some of the front MDF installed.
Here’s how he handled the end cabinets.
The boards in place waiting for trim and paint. Our carpenter also suggested that we add a very thin layer of plywood to the end of the cabinets. That built them out even with the front edge, and also made it easier for me to paint, since the ends of the cabinets were laminate.
While I waited for him to come back and put the trim up, I decided to go ahead and get the boxes painted. Here you can see where the quarter round trim will go to cover up the cracks and where the crown molding will go at the ceiling.
Next he applied a quarter round trim where the bottom of the new boards meet the top of the cabinets. He also installed the new crown molding at the ceiling. Somehow I didn’t get a picture of this step.
After the trim went up, I finished painted the boxes and the new trim.
Here’s the finished “soffit”. I love how it turned out. The story of how we ended up painting the cabinet doors will be coming soon!
Here’s what we changed in the kitchen (and the posts with further details):
Our White Kitchen Reveal
Painted Cabinets Update
Roman Shade Valance
I’m joining these parties!