I’m a home expert – why your kitchen cabinets don’t quite reach the ceiling and what to consider before you extend them

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I’m a home expert – why your kitchen cabinets don’t quite reach the ceiling and what to consider before you extend them

IF the empty area between your kitchen cabinets and ceiling drives you mad, you aren’t alone. Plenty of people are frustrated by the “w

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IF the empty area between your kitchen cabinets and ceiling drives you mad, you aren’t alone. Plenty of people are frustrated by the “wasted space” in those gaps.

But before you hire a contractor to extend them, or take on the job yourself, learn why so many homes sport the unused space and how to make the most of it.

There are plenty of reasons to leave space above your kitchen cabinets, experts said
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Interior experts at House Digest confirmed that kitchen storage is a point of frustration for many homeowners, but there are reasons cabinets are constructed a certain way.

If you love having a large, open kitchen, you can probably thank the space above your cabinets for emphasizing the size.

“Some people think that too many cabinets can make a space look overly crowded or cluttered,” the experts explained.

When you have a smaller kitchen, this becomes doubly important. Some open, unused space makes the room feel bigger than it is.

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“Leaving a space between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets can make a kitchen feel more clean and airy,” the experts said.

In addition to that, the experts said older homes, custom builds, or houses with unique details all benefit from the cabinet layout.

“Ceilings with a beam or coffered details may not look cohesive with ceiling cabinets,” the experts explained.

And extended cabinets are especially hard to install and use if your ceiling is vaulted or sloped.


Depending on the architecture of your house, extending your cabinets all the way to the ceiling can obscure unique features.

The cabinets can also look “overwhelming” on high ceilings, or make the room feel like it’s more of a pantry or storage room than a workspace.

There’s a budget factor, too, of course. The taller your ceilings are, the harder and more expensive cabinets are to install, and the more work they’ll take to look luxe.

The experts said there are plenty of good reasons to leave your cabinets as-is, and stick to keeping them empty or decorated with seldom-touched items.

If you choose to extend them, “things could fall out of the cabinets and break since the items would fall from a taller height,” they warned.

It’s also more difficult to reach taller cabinets, which presents a safety risk and a costly installation.

Finally, extending your kitchen cabinets limits future designs, whether it’s an alteration you might what to make or a renovation from the next buyer.

“Tall kitchen cabinets won’t allow you to add decorative elements like crown molding to your kitchen later without lowering your cabinets,” the experts wrote.

If you’re going to live in your home for a long time, you might want to leave your cabinets alone, in case a different design idea comes to mind later.

“Leaving space between the cabinets and the ceiling will give you more options if you decide to change the appearance of your kitchen later,” the pros advised.

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