Extending Cabinets

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Often, the upper cabinetry stops at about 84 inches high, resulting in an odd gap or wasted space, but look to that area as untapped potential. For example, you have ways to make a large, open space more functional or make a tight overhead gap more attractive. If a soffit closes off usable space, there are options for that, too. But don’t stop there; expanding your kitchen’s cupboards includes taking them outward as well as upward. Choose from various solutions to make the most of every inch of storage space, in a newer or older home alike.

Things You'll Need

  • Trim
  • Stain or paint
  • Drywall
  • Crown molding
  • Fill a 1-foot or more open space above your cabinets with matching cabinetry. Finish the adjoining seam with trim. If you can’t perfectly match the new cupboards to the original woodwork, stain everything a darker shade, paint all of the cabinetry or hire a cabinetmaker to make the added cupboards look like they’ve always been there.

  • Remove the drywall return or soffit to open up closed space above your cabinets. Finish the upper surrounding walls with drywall, moldings and paint that match the room. Run a galley rail or a trim lip along the top front and side edges of your cupboards. Use the additional space for things such as silk plants, ornamental dishes or decorative kitchen-related antiques. Alternatively, remove the soffit and fill the space with matching cabinetry.

  • Finish a 6-inch or less gap with crown molding. Crown molding acts as a decorative feature that can increase a home’s value, make a kitchen look more formal or modern and visually stretch the room, making it appear taller and more spacious.

  • Hang cabinetry over an island. Check your local building codes for bracing the weight; you may be required to add two-by-six braces between the ceiling joists that sit directly above. Suspend the additional cupboards from stable ceiling joists.

  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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