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How to Disguise Your Kitchen Soffit

Does your soffit make your kitchen look dated? Do your cabinets look low because of the soffit? Soffits are practically nonexistent in newly constructed homes, but they were once a staple in kitchen design. If you want to update your kitchen without removing the soffit, these disguise tips may do the trick.

What Is a Kitchen Soffit?

A kitchen soffit is a box that sits above your cabinets to hide construction elements you may not want to see. They were once a popular choice for home design, but most modern kitchens do not have soffits. A soffit can be used to house:

  • Wiring
  • Ducting
  • Pipes
  • Cabinet supports
  • Ventilation
  • …and more

These items can be housed or rerouted elsewhere, but that’s not always easy to do with an existing home. Rather than removing your soffit, you may try to disguise it.

Why It Pays to Disguise Your Kitchen Soffit

If you like the look of your soffit, keep it. The fact that you landed on this blog post shows you probably don’t like the way it looks.

The fact is that most soffits make a kitchen look outdated and small. The soffit makes the ceiling line shorter than it actually is, and it stunts the appearance of the cabinets. By disguising the soffit, you can make your home look newer and feel bigger without any change to the square footage. If you’re planning to sell your home in the future, this will make it appeal to a much wider pool of buyers.

Run the Cabinet Trim to the Ceiling

One of the easiest ways to disguise a soffit is to make it look like part of your cabinetry. You can do this by running the cabinet trim to the ceiling. If you have wood cabinets, you may need a thin sheet of color-matched wood to run along the face of the soffit. If you have smooth drywall, you could trim it out and paint it to be the same color as the cabinets.

This will draw the eye upward when you look at your kitchen, making the ceilings feel taller and the cabinets feel more substantial.

Turn Your Soffit into Cabinetry

Depending on what’s inside your soffits, you may be able to convert them into usable storage. Most soffits are a basic frame with drywall on top. Remove the drywall and you have the foundational structure of a cabinet. You could leave this as open shelving or add doors to create cabinets. Just be aware of how the shapes and sizes of the doors are going to look on top of your existing cabinet doors.

Paint Your Soffit the Same Color as Your Cabinets

Even if you don’t trim out the soffit to look like your cabinets, you could paint them the same color of your cabinets. This will slightly camouflage the soffit so it’s not noticeable at first glance. This won’t work for all kitchen designs, but it’s worth testing out.

Install Backsplash Tile on Your Soffit

Running backsplash tile all the way to the ceiling has become a popular choice in modern kitchens. This creates a flow from the countertop all the way up, which helps the kitchen feel larger.

You could install your kitchen backsplash over your soffit to create a similar effect. This works best for light backsplashes or backsplashes that are similar to the cabinet colors. If you have a sharp contrast between your backsplash and cabinet color, the tile may emphasize the soffit instead of hiding it.

Get New Kitchen Cabinets That Incorporate or Eliminate Your Soffit

If it’s time to replace your kitchen cabinets, you could incorporate the soffit into the new kitchen design. Better still, you could remove the soffit altogether, depending on what lurks below. If the cost of relocating the items inside the soffit was too high, you could find a cabinet design that will hide the soffit contents.

The experts at O’Hanlon Kitchens can help you find the right design for your home. Contact us at 443-285-0558 to plan your kitchen remodel.


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