10 Ways to Disguise a Kitchen Soffit

Kitchen Design

Soffits can be tricky things to deal with in a kitchen. You often can't remove them, so the question becomes how do you best cover them up or help them blend into the rest of the kitchen? Here, we've rounded up 10 ways to disguise a soffit.

What's a Soffit?

A kitchen soffit is usually a boxy structure built to hide wiring, pipes, or other mechanicals, or to fill the space between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling. Depending on the age of your home they may be very large and perhaps even extend out past the cabinets.

Soffits can make a kitchen feel dated and closed-in. A typical reaction from a modern home-owner came from reader CatherineJop in our Reader Request post. She said:

I would love inspiration for ways to disguise/blend/deal with GIANT kitchen soffits. Removing or reducing the soffit is not an option — we're trying to do a budget redo. These soffits are easily 4 or 5 feet, filling the massive space between the low cabinets and the high ceiling on an interior wall(one of the many design flaws in our kitchen!). We're planning to paint the soffit the same sagey-green color as the cabinets to make a visual blended column (and paint the remaining walls a neutral elmira white), but I would love some other options. Slapping on thick molding won't begin to cover it.

Here are a few ways to open up your kitchen by disguising or blending your soffits a little better.

10 Ways to Disguise a Kitchen Soffit

  1. Add moulding. This is a great option even for a large, deep soffit, as it uses moulding in a way that covers a wide expanse.
  2. Thicken the soffit as a border around the kitchen.
  3. Lower the entire kitchen ceiling to soffit height.
  4. Paint the ceiling. The soffit will blend with the cabinetry in contrast.
  5. Get rid of it altogether as seen from an Apartment Therapy reader.
  6. Go monotone with the walls, cabinets, and soffits.
  7. Opt for built-in shelf niches.
  8. Make the soffit look like a beam.
  9. Display artwork in a linear gallery. This example is in a breakfast nook, but would work well in a kitchen soffit application.
  10. Make the soffit a continuation of a sidewall to create a nook within the kitchen.

It's Reader Request Week at The Kitchn!
This post was requested by CatherineJop.

(Image credits: Benjamin Dhong Interiors; Feinmann Inc.; Northwood Construction; Tara Seawright; Apartment Therapy; Katie Logan; Archival Designs; Raleigh Cary Home Improvement; Better Homes and Gardens; This Old House)