Posted on: 23.09.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Is a kitchen soffit a thing of the past? This once-functional feature above your cabinets has evolved from covering ventilation and wiring to a decorative element. However, new homeowners may wonder, “Are kitchen soffits outdated?”

Kitchen soffits have fallen out of fashion as fewer people choose to keep or install these structures in their homes. Their outdated appearance often makes a room feel smaller, and when building new kitchens, it’s better to leave that space open for a larger, brighter feel.

In this article, we will discuss kitchen soffits and why they have become outdated. We will also talk about what this space could be used for, along with what you can do if you have them in your home and cannot afford a complete remodel to get rid of them.

Are Kitchen Soffits Outdated?

In the late 60s, 70s, and 80s, kitchen soffits were as popular as can be. For over two decades, every kitchen had a soffit installed above its cabinets, and for a while, it seemed like they would be there forever, much like bell-bottoms and vinyl overalls.

Kitchen soffits are outdated and have been for quite some time. As the 90s ushered in brighter, lighter, and whiter kitchens, it didn’t take long for soffits to be completely replaced. Instead, cabinets were put in the spotlight to showcase dishes, utensils, and fancy china.

Furthermore, there were more innovative ways to hide cables, pipes, and ductwork in a kitchen. So now, there was just a soffit standing in the way of creating prime space between the ceiling and the cabinet.

What Is a Soffit Used For?

Initially, they served a purpose: to cover or hide kitchen wiring, air ducts, ventilation openings, and sometimes even plumbing pipes.

But over time, the wiring and ductwork could be effectively incorporated into the cabinetry, and soffits were no longer necessary. Instead, they became an optional decorative element.

Another reason you have so much space in your kitchen is that cabinets are usually standardized unless you have custom-built ones made to fit your space. Your ceiling height, on the other hand, is not.

Why Have Kitchen Soffits Fallen Out of Fashion?

Soffits do little more for a kitchen but give it a dated and closed-in feel.

The boxy, protruding walls make the kitchen appear smaller than it actually is, and you have an awkward wall extending across the entire length of your kitchen directly above your cabinets. This takes up a lot of space and does little for the room.

Why You Should Remove Your Kitchen Soffits

Did you know that soffits are also called “dust catchers”? If that isn’t telling, then I don’t know what is.

The desire to get rid of your kitchen soffit may have something to do with needing more storage space, or perhaps you simply hate the look and feel that they can leave you with.

What do you gain by getting rid of your soffits? Let’s take a look:

  • Create Additional Space: By completely removing your soffits, you’ll have a nice piece of space between your ceiling and the top of your cabinets. This can be easily used for decorations like indoor plants or as additional storage space as described below.
  • Provide Additional Storage: Use this gap to store larger pots and pans or even display knick-knacks and decor. For example, if you’re trying to be more eco-friendly and want to store your dry goods like noodles and rice in airtight containers, they’ll look lovely above the counters.
  • Extend Cabinets Upwards: This additional space isn’t necessarily accessible, and cleaning the top of your cabinets can be cumbersome. Plus, you’re practically asking for dust to settle in that cozy gap. Why not instead add a row of shorter cabinets with shelves and doors?

Your kitchen will appear more open and taller without a partition above your cabinets. Not to mention that extra storage space!

But before you tear out your kitchen soffits, you need to consider what the process would entail. After all, they were once installed for a reason, and the last thing you need is exposed wires and hoses.

Removing Your Kitchen Soffits

If you decide to get rid of your soffits, you will likely also need to dismantle your cabinets. Otherwise, they will likely get damaged during the aforementioned work. Not to mention, they will get in the way of the work, making the job much more difficult than it needs to be.

Your ceiling will also require significant work to repair it. If you’re prepared for that, then you can proceed.

Check for any wiring or cables housed by the soffit

Obtain a copy of the blueprints for your home and check if the soffit is concealing any wiring and cables or if it’s simply a decorative detail. Since that was its original purpose, you need to know if removing the soffits is worth it in the end. If there are cables or wires present, they will need to be removed and relocated, which can get expensive.

Hire a Professional

Most of the time, you can’t really tear down your kitchen without having to redo your entire kitchen wiring, installation, and ventilation. This is best done by professionals to avoid further damages. This may involve hiring an electrician, contractor, and plumber.

How Can I Make My Kitchen Soffits Look Better?

If hiring a professional is beyond your budget, it is not recommended to attempt such renovations on your own. Unfortunately, this often means that you are stuck with your kitchen soffits.

The good news is that there are several ways to upgrade the area to make it more appealing.

Let’s take a look.

Tile the Soffits

If there is a way to make your soffit look like it belongs there, it would be to embrace it and divert attention from it. In this regard, consider tiling your soffit to match your backsplash or tile accent.<

ear in mind that you may need to match and source the same tiles or consider using a self-adhesive wallpaper instead. It’s cost-effective and easy to install, making it a breeze to turn your unsightly soffits into a feature.

I love this STICKGOO Peel and Stick Sky Marble Herringbone or perhaps something bolder like FANTASTIX Tile Decals European Blue, both from

Cover Soffits with Art and Decor

If you don’t want to go too bold, consider painting the area and using it to display photos or artwork.

First, paint over your soffit, so you have a smooth, blank canvas. You may need to clean it beforehand as it may have accumulated kitchen grease.

Then, find some decorative frames so you can showcase your decor. A simple white background with classic black frames would look very effective.

Add Some Trim

Trim is always a great way to finish off a kitchen. White trim is as classic as it gets and a great way to bring your kitchen into the 21st century.

Consider adding trim along the top of your cabinets where the soffits are located. Additionally, you can thicken the trim to make it look more elegant and sophisticated.

If your soffit is large, consider using picture frame molding to build “frames” around it.

Add Faux Cabinets

To blend your soffits into the rest of your kitchen, try purchasing extra cabinet doors that match the same height as the soffit and glue the doors in place.


Make sure to align them with your existing cabinets and secure them with something sturdy like this Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive from

These will give the appearance of additional storage space above your existing cabinets without costly renovations.


Strategically placed lighting can work wonders in showcasing your kitchen, and instead of diverting attention from the soffits, you can use them to your advantage.

Recessed lights installed into the underside of the soffit are a great way to highlight your shiny cabinets and workspaces.

Alternatively, you can use string lights along the ceiling or along the inside of the soffit. It provides accent lighting to your kitchen.

Final Thoughts

Kitchen soffits were once a necessary evil to hide unsightly wires and hoses in the space above your cabinets. However, most people now find them bulky and outdated.

In most cases, they protrude above the kitchen, making the space appear dark and much smaller than it actually is.

If you decide to remove your kitchen soffits, you will likely need to hire a team of professionals to ensure that everything is moved and replaced properly and safely. Alternatively, can you try to spruce up your existing soffits with tiles or artwork to save time and money?

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