Planning Post Part 2: Making the Cabinets Fit

Now we’re on to the part that’s (maybe) fun to plan. Fitting in the things that actually make it a kitchen.

kitchen rendering

The big question cabinet wise is whether or not I really want that peninsula facing the living room. This is why it’s good to live in your house before making changes – you can’t know everything in advance. I did the next best thing, and set up a full size mockup of the room and walked around in it. It was fun!

kitchen mockup

Yep, I even found imaginary milk. That’s the jug I used to hold blue paint out back. I found that not only does the peninsula not crowd the room (with the armoire pulled out with its face 30 inches from the wall) but it makes the room look better as I can unload from the fridge to the peninsula. The stack of 2×10’s on that tube is going to be a glass fronted cabinet for dish storage. It’s also a nice serving area that is outside of the cooking area. Because the cooking area is for me.

Next concern to obsess over is how to bring the wall cabinets to the ceiling. I want them as tall as possible to take advantage of my 9 foot ceilings. My soup terrine and roasting pans can go up top. But usually when people run the cabinets to the ceiling they do it like this:


See, even my parents have a little crookedness going on. Anyways, I’m leaving exposed beams in my ceiling, so there will be no crown molding. And really I wanted my cabinets really plain anyway. I could leave a gap up top, but this would be dusty. Especially if it’s really small. and has rough sawn beams running through it So instead I’m doing drywall soffits. They’ll probably be like 5 inches at the high corner and 2 at the low one, the same size as the molding on the cabinet above. And I’ll have a chase around the pipes in one corner of the room to the right of the kitchen sink. I don’t particularly like them, but if the chase meets the soffit like this it’ll at least look deliberate.

kitchen soffit sketch

Anyways, let me know what you think. Soon I’ll be starting to put this together and I probably won’t be ripping out and redoing drywall after the fact.


8 thoughts on “Planning Post Part 2: Making the Cabinets Fit

  1. infinitequery

    It may be the only workable solution for what you want to achieve-and if you need to run any utilities its a great place to do that.


  2. Mary Elizabeth

    Chad, I think the soffits will look nice, and you can dust them off with a long-handled Swiffer. I agree crown molding doesn’t go with the exposed beam thing. However, have you thought of building the cabinets to the ceiling and using simple cove molding at the top instead of fussy crown molding? My whole house has low ceilings (7 1/2-foot) and was built with 2 1/2 inch cove molding. Don’t forget to use a tall enough face frame and leave enough clearance at the top for the doors to open. I had a built-in cabinet in my old house that had a small glass door at the top–that way you can display decorative or infrequently used things like majolica tureens shaped like pumpkins, ships in bottles, rooster figurines, cow-shaped cream pitchers, 1950s glass casseroles or whatever floats your boat, and you will never have to dust or wash the things, just clean off the glass doors with Windex every so often. Oh, and I really think you need the little peninsula to separate the kitchen from the living room, to provide storage, and to keep the downstairs from looking like a tunnel. Will the display cabinet be built into the peninsula?


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Running the cabinets all the way to the ceiling won’t work because of the exposed beams and because the ceiling is nowhere close to level. I plan to make the cabinets as high as possible, so the soffit might be only 2 inches high at one end. The only other thing I could do is use the cove molding like you suggest but with a wooden soffit that matches the cabinets. I think I like drywall better because it will tie into the pipe chase and make that look like part of the room instead of what it really is, a box I had to carve out of the room to hide my utilities.


    2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      And yes, the display cabinet on the dining room side would be part of the peninsula. It would look like a bar, but I think display cabinets are more useful than stools. If the table is set, I can eat standing up. The rest of the time I can use the table. And for glass doors on the uppers, I might be able to do that with some of them at least.


  3. infinitequery

    There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile
    He found a crooked six pence upon a crooked style
    He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse
    And they all lived together in a (Charming) little House. Hope you enjoy this little English Nursery Rhyme, It pops into my head whenever you are explaining the idiosyncrasies of your House I am so happy for you that you are seeing so much hard work come together in a visible effect



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