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19 Simple Extending Kitchen Cabinets to the Ceiling Before and After Photos


Are you finding the space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling more of an eyesore than a decorative element?

Maybe you’re frustrated by the dust and clutter gathering on top of the cabinets.

Discover the stunning transformation of extending kitchen cabinets to the ceiling before and after” photos.

This solution not only eliminates dead space but also provides extra storage, enhances aesthetic appeal, and is a great way to boost your home’s value.

Whether your kitchen style is modern, rustic, or traditional, there’s a method to extend your upper cabinets that will seamlessly blend with your existing decor.

Even in older homes with small kitchens and low ceilings, or new-construction homes with soaring 12-foot ceilings.

Ready to revolutionize your kitchen? Stick around!

We will explore the reasons why you should consider extending kitchen cabinets to the ceiling.

Which is the best method for your kitchen, from DIY projects to custom designs.

Then finally all the wonderful styles available including open shelving.

EXTENDING KITCHEN CABINET TO THE CEILING BEFORE AND AFTER

I think back on all the times, that I have offered the option to extend the kitchen cabinets to the ceiling during new home design appointments to buyers.

I’ve seen firsthand the terrific struggle between needs and wants.

In the end, I have formed a very solid opinion on extending kitchen cabinets to the ceiling after years of seeing some homebuyers do and some not.

Stick around I’ll share that story and opinion a bit later. Let’s get into some of the benefits.

3 Reasons Why Extend Your Cabinets to the Ceiling?

Extending your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling offers a range of benefits that can transform your kitchen both aesthetically and functionally.

The advantages of this design choice are truly remarkable. So, let’s explore the wonderful benefits of ceiling-height cabinets and discover how they can elevate your day-to-day kitchen experience.

1. Storage Benefits of Extending Kitchen Cabinets

Extend to ceiling kitchen cabinets

The first benefit that strikes me when considering extending kitchen cabinets to the ceiling is the wealth of additional storage it offers.

Imagine all those ‘once in a blue moon dishes and serving trays tucked neatly out of sight, freeing up more countertops and accessible storage space for everyday kitchen essentials.

2. Make Small Kitchens Appear Larger

small kitchen cabinet extended to ceiling

Here’s one for those of you with a smaller kitchen.

Extended cabinets have a knack for drawing the eye upward, creating a visual illusion of a taller ceiling, and, glass inserts give a larger more open kitchen feel.

As an added bonus, you won’t be tempted to decorate on top of the cabinets.

Your interior designer will certainly thank you, as that design trend has long since passed

3. Kitchen Sell the Home

Traditional kitchen cabinets extended to the ceiling

While extending your upper kitchen cabinets to the ceiling at first glance might seem like merely a cosmetic decision and a potentially epic waste of money, I would argue differently.

The return on investment from this seemingly lavish change can be substantial in many instances.

In a previous post, I wrote about the characteristics of a gourmet kitchen.

One design choice that can swiftly elevate your kitchen from standard to gourmet is the installation of new doors atop your upper cabinets.

I have seen firsthand the positive impact they can have on a home’s resale value – but more on this intriguing topic later.

7 Methods to Extend Kitchen Cabinets to the Ceiling

Let’s dissect the methods to elevate your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling, one cabinet at a time.

1. Add Height with Stock Cabinets

wood upnper kitchen cabinet extension

Using stock cabinets is a cost-effective and great way to incorporate tall kitchen cabinets into your kitchen.

These ready-assembled, versatile units are a great way to fill the dead space. Ensure the right fit with proper measurement, and use crown molding for a custom look.

Don’t forget: reserve extra space for molding when considering your cabinet tops’ height

Pros:

  • Cost-Effective: Stock cabinets are usually less expensive than custom-built extensions, making them a good option for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Availability: They are readily available in home improvement stores, which means you can start your project immediately.
  • Standard Sizes: Stock cabinets come in standard sizes that suit most kitchens, reducing the need for complex measurements and fitting.

Cons:

  • Limited Options: There is less variety in terms of design, size, and finishes when compared to custom-built extensions.
  • Quality Concerns: Stock cabinets may not offer the same level of quality and durability as custom-built or higher-end options.
  • Fit and Aesthetic: They may not perfectly match the existing cabinetry or fit unusually sized or shaped spaces in your kitchen.

2. Use Custom-Built Cabinet Extensions

custom kitchen cabinet extension to the ceiling

Hire a carpenter or cabinet maker to create custom extensions to your existing cabinets. This can be more expensive but will ensure a seamless match with your existing cabinetry.

Pros:

  • Perfect Fit: Since these are custom-made, they can perfectly match the existing cabinets and the specific measurements of your kitchen.
  • Quality and Craftsmanship: Custom cabinets are typically higher in quality and craftsmanship than stock cabinets.
  • Wide Range of Styles: You have the freedom to choose any style, finish, or material that suits your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Cons:

  • Higher Cost: Custom-built extensions are usually more expensive than other options due to the labor and materials involved.
  • Longer Installation Time: As they are made to order, you’ll likely face a longer wait time for manufacturing and installation.
  • Possible Over-Customization: It’s easy to get carried away with the customization process, potentially leading to a design that doesn’t blend well with the rest of your kitchen or home.

3. Install New Ceiling-Height Cabinets

ceiling height cabinets

Another option is to start from scratch with all-new ceiling-height cabinets.

This approach could be suitable for those planning a kitchen renovation, especially if you’re already considering new cabinets or if your current cabinets are unusually short.

While ceiling-height cabinets might be more expensive upfront, they offer the opportunity to fully personalize your kitchen – you can choose the style, color, finish, and layout.

Pros:

  • Increased Storage: Ceiling-height cabinets provide more storage space, making them perfect for small kitchens or for anyone with a large collection of kitchenware.
  • Eliminates Dust Accumulation: The closed-off design prevents the build-up of dust on top of the cabinets, which can happen in older homes with a gap between the cabinets and the ceiling.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: The seamless look from floor to ceiling can create a high-end, custom look in your kitchen.
  • Boosts Home Value: As part of a well-designed kitchen, ceiling-height cabinets can increase the value of your home.

Cons:

  • Higher Cost: Ceiling-height cabinets can be more expensive due to additional materials and labor costs.
  • Difficult Access: Items in the upper shelves might be hard to reach without a step stool or ladder, which could be inconvenient.
  • Limited Display Space: Unlike open cabinets or cabinets with a gap on top, there is no space to display decorative elements.
  • Can Make a Space Look Smaller: In a small kitchen, ceiling-height cabinets may potentially make the space feel more confined if not well-designed.

4. Use Open Shelves

kitchen open shelves extended to ceiling

Open shelving offers an alternative way to extend your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling.

This approach can create a more open feel, as the shelves, devoid of solid panel doors, don’t visually clutter the space.

This opens up opportunities for displaying holiday decor or Grandma’s vintage floral cake stand.

However, this option requires careful consideration. Think about the home’s occupants and lifestyle – do they have the time, resources, physical ability, and energy for regular cleaning and dusting?

If the answer is no, you might want to consider our next method – ‘Crown Molding’

Pros:

  • Increased Storage Space: Open shelving offers additional storage space all the way up to the ceiling.
  • Visibility: Open shelves make it easy to find and display items, from dishes to decor.
  • Cost-Effective: Depending on the materials used, open shelving can be less expensive than traditional cabinetry.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Open shelves can add a modern and spacious feel to your kitchen.

Cons:

  • Dust and Grime: Open shelves are exposed to kitchen grime and dust, requiring more regular cleaning.
  • Less Secure: Items on open shelves are not as secure as those in cabinets, making it less suitable for fragile or valuable items.
  • Clutter: Without the visual barrier of cabinet doors, items on open shelves can contribute to a cluttered look if not neatly arranged.
  • Less Privacy: Unlike cabinets, open shelves reveal everything stored on them, which might not be preferred by some homeowners.

5. DIY Extended Kitchen Cabinets

diy extended kitchen cabinets

For the handier homeowners, you can build and install your own cabinet extensions. This option requires more time and skill but can be a cost-effective way to extend your cabinets.

Pros:

  • Cost-Effective: A DIY project can save you a significant amount of money on labor costs.
  • Customization: You have complete control over every detail of the project, from materials to design.
  • Skill Building: You will learn and hone your carpentry and home improvement skills.
  • Satisfaction: A sense of pride and satisfaction comes from completing a project on your own.

Cons:

  • Time-Consuming: DIY projects can be time-intensive, especially if you’re learning as you go.
  • Complexity: Some parts of the project, like making sure cabinets are level and secure, can be tricky without professional skills.
  • Potential for Mistakes: Without professional experience, there’s a risk of making mistakes that could impact the project’s outcome or even your home’s value.
  • Possible Additional Costs: If mistakes are made, you may end up spending more on corrections or replacements.

6. Add Crown Molding

crown molding upper cabinet extension

If your kitchen cabinets are just short of the ceiling and you’re looking for a simple way to bridge the gap, crown molding could be the right solution.

This is an ideal choice for filling small gaps – and by small, we’re talking no larger than 6″.

Although adding crown molding might seem straightforward, it’s best left to skilled professionals to ensure perfect alignment.

Crown molding comes in various styles, from ornate dental molding suited to traditional kitchens to simple cove crowns for a modern aesthetic.

Pros:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Crown molding adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your kitchen, elevating its overall aesthetic.
  • Increases Home Value: Because of its upscale appeal, crown molding can potentially increase the resale value of your home.
  • Hides Imperfections: Crown molding can effectively cover gaps or unevenness between cabinets and the ceiling, creating a seamless look.

Cons:

  • Installation Difficulty: Crown molding can be challenging to install, particularly on uneven ceilings or in tight corners.
  • Cost: Depending on the material and complexity of the design, crown molding can be expensive.
  • Time-Consuming: Proper installation of crown molding can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re doing it yourself.
  • Maintenance: Molding, especially elaborate designs, can be a magnet for dust and require regular cleaning.

7. Add a Filler Panel and Molding

crown and filler cabinet extension

If the space between your cabinets and ceiling is too substantial for crown molding alone, consider the addition of a filler panel.

Unlike simply adding crown molding, this method extends the visual line of your cabinets, creating a seamless transition up to the ceiling.

The filler panel, typically a material matching your cabinets, is installed between the top of your cabinets and the crown molding, creating an illusion of taller cabinets.

Pros:

  • Uniform Look: Filler panels combined with crown molding extend the visual line of your cabinets, creating a seamless transition up to the ceiling and giving your kitchen a custom look.
  • Conceals Imperfections: This combination can effectively hide any unevenness or gaps between the cabinets and the ceiling.
  • Versatile: You can choose from various filler panels and crown molding styles to match your kitchen decor.

Cons:

  • Complex Installation: Installing a filler panel and crown molding correctly requires precision, making it more complicated than other options.
  • Higher Cost: Depending on the materials used and labor costs, using a filler panel and crown molding can be more expensive.
  • Maintenance: Just like with crown molding, filler panels – particularly if they are ornate – can collect dust and may require regular cleaning.
  • May Reduce Storage Space: Depending on the design, the filler panel might reduce the usable storage space of the topmost cabinet.

Diving Into Styles of Extended Kitchen Cabinet

Now that you’re well-versed in the ways to extend your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling, let’s dive into all the exciting styles that you can use to extend kitchen cabinets.

The style you pick plays a pivotal role in defining the overall aesthetic of your kitchen – be it traditional charm or sleek modernity.

Let’s explore how each unique style can make your kitchen the heart of your home.

Glass-front style

glass cabinet extension

Glass-front cabinets, especially those with new doors and glass inserts, are a dynamic element fitting snugly into any kitchen style, whether integrated into tall cabinets or upper cabinets.

These cabinets offer homeowners a chance to show off valuable china or a beloved assortment of cookbooks within a glass door setting.

Adding textured glass, like reeded or seeded, can enhance your space’s depth and character, particularly when added to the face frame of wall cabinets.

Moreover, glass cabinets can foster an atmosphere of openness, making kitchens, even smaller ones, feel significantly larger.

Solid wood Farmhouse Style

farmhouse cabinet extension

One popular style of solid upper kitchen cabinet extensions is the addition of a stacked cabinet. This involves placing a new cabinet unit on top of the existing cabinets, creating a visually striking look, and adding extra storage space.

If you’re working with old cabinets and on a tight budget, you can still achieve this style by carefully selecting cabinets that fit within your space.

The difference in appearance and functionality can be significant, transforming the entire kitchen and maximizing cabinet space.

Two-tone Upper Cabinet Extension

two tone upper cabinet extension

The two-tone upper cabinet extension style is a trendy and eye-catching choice for kitchen renovations.

This style involves using different colors or finishes for the upper cabinets compared to the lower cabinets, creating a striking contrast and adding visual interest to the space.

It allows you to play with different combinations and express your unique style.

Whether you opt for a bold color contrast or a subtle tone variation, the two-tone upper cabinet extension style can elevate the overall design of your kitchen and create a modern and sophisticated look.

Traditional Upper Kitchen Cabinet Extension

In traditional kitchen design, symmetry plays a significant role in creating a harmonious and balanced space. When extending traditional kitchen cabinets to the ceiling, it’s important to maintain this sense of symmetry.

This can be achieved by adding matching upper cabinets on both sides of the range hood or focal point, creating a visually pleasing and cohesive look.

Incorporating decorative elements such as crown moldings, raised panel doors, and ornate hardware further enhances the traditional aesthetic.

The extended cabinets, with their symmetrical arrangement, bring a sense of elegance and timeless charm to the kitchen, staying true to the principles of traditional design.

Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Extension Idea

shaker kitchen cabinet extension

Shaker-style kitchen cabinets, celebrated for their timeless appeal, are a perfect match for a wide variety of kitchen aesthetics, from traditional to modern.

The design, characterized by clean, minimalist lines and a five-piece door with a recessed center panel, retains its visual consistency even when extended to the ceiling. These cabinets, often crafted from durable hardwood, showcase a versatile style.

When extending Shaker cabinets, it’s vital to maintain this design uniformity for a seamless look.

To add a stylish yet practical element to your tall cabinets, consider implementing a ladder rail system to reach those top shelves with ease.

Aluminum Door Kitchen Cabinet Extension

modern kitchen cabinet extension

For those seeking a more modern, sleek touch to their kitchen, aluminum frame doors present an ideal option.

These doors, often fitted with frosted, textured, or clear glass panels, offer a chic, industrial look that can make your extended cabinets stand out.

Aluminum is also renowned for its durability and low maintenance, standing up well to heavy use without the need for frequent refinishing.

Furthermore, the metallic sheen of aluminum doors pairs well with a range of color palettes and design elements, from stark monochrome to vibrant hues, and from minimalistic designs to eclectic combinations.

Pro Tip– Just remember, this style best suits modern or contemporary kitchens and may look out of place in more traditional settings.

Extending kitchen cabinets into the breakfast nook

kitchen cabinets extended into dining room

Consider extending your kitchen cabinets into the breakfast nook. This innovative approach not only provides you with additional storage space but also helps create a cohesive look that unifies your kitchen and dining areas.

Depending on your kitchen layout and personal style, this could be in the form of floor-to-ceiling cabinets, a built-in buffet, or a serving station with open shelving and countertop space.

This extension can be especially helpful in open-concept floor plans where continuity in design is vital.

Just be mindful of maintaining a balance and not letting the cabinets overwhelm the dining space so that the breakfast nook retains its distinct, welcoming character.

Extending Kitchen Cabinets The Before and After Story

extending kitchen cabinets into breakfast nook

During my time in new home sales, I encountered a remarkable floor plan with a kitchen that had standard 42″ upper cabinets. However, we offered some extraordinary options to take it to the next level.

Picture this: double-stacked upper cabinets with stunning glass doors or elegant solid panels, reaching for the sky. And that’s not all – we also provided the option to extend the cabinets into the breakfast nook, maximizing storage space and creating a seamless flow.

Sure, these upgrades came with a cost – around $7100 for double-stacking and $7300 for extending into the breakfast nook. But here’s the exciting part: homes with these kitchen upgrades could easily fetch over $100,000 more on the resale market.

So, if you’re ready to create a standout kitchen that combines luxury and functionality, don’t shy away from considering these remarkable design options. The upfront investment will be worth it when you see the long-term benefits and increased home value.

Final thoughts and conclusion

In conclusion, extending your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling offers numerous benefits, including increased storage space, enhanced visual appeal, and potentially higher home value.

We’ve explored various methods, from adding stock cabinets to incorporating open shelving or crown molding.

Now it’s your turn to decide which method suits your kitchen and personal style best.

We would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below and let us know which method you plan to use for extending your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling.

Whether you opt for stock cabinets, open shelving, or any other approach, we’re excited to hear about your kitchen transformation journey.

Don’t forget to share your experiences and tips with our community. Happy kitchen remodeling!

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