- Articles

What is a Soffit and Do I Need It?

by Patricia Hughes

Posted on March 28, 2018 07:00:00 AM

The soffit is the box-shaped structure that is often found above the kitchen cabinets. The soffit does have a purpose in kitchen design. You may have always wondered if there was some kind of purpose for this area or if it was just a matter of personal preference. In this article, we find out the different reasons to install this box-shaped structure above your cabinets.


A large soffit is placed atop these cabinets


The structure is built to hide unsightly pipes, wiring, and other plumbing and electrical components. In some situations, you can eliminate the soffit, but this is not always possible. When the soffit must stay, there are a few things you can do to disguise it.

The size of the soffit varies depending on the age of the home. In some homes, the soffit is not very big, so it doesn’t interfere with the overall design of the space. Older homes generally have larger soffits and some are quite large. Due to space, they take up, these can be overpowering and make the kitchen seem even smaller than it is.


The soffit above these cabinets is small and doesn't distract from the overall look of this kitchen


Eliminating the Soffit

To determine whether it is possible to eliminate the soffit, you need to know what’s in the back of it. In some homes, the soffit is empty, having been installed to fill the space above the cabinets. These are easier to remove than soffits with wires and plumbing. In some cases, it is possible to relocate the plumbing and electrical. However, this will require a plumber and electrician, which will increase the cost of your kitchen remodeling project.

Soffits are not present in every home. When there is no soffit, or you choose to eliminate it, space is created above the kitchen cabinets. You can do a few things with this space, including decorative and storage ideas. The cabinet to ceiling look is popular and allows you to install larger cabinets for more cabinet space. This additional cabinet space helps to reduce clutter on the kitchen countertops.

You can also use the space above the cabinets for storage or display larger decorative objects, vases, or green plants to enhance the décor. Some storage ideas include using decorative baskets, containers, or canisters to store needed kitchen items. You can create a pretty display and hide your kitchen supplies at the same time.

Enhancing the Soffit

You can do a few things to help the soffit blend with the rest of your kitchen design. A large or deep soffit can be improved by adding a decorative molding to the soffit. The soffit can be made to blend in with the cabinets by creating a monochrome color scheme. Paint the soffit and walls in the same color as your cabinets. The soffit will be far less noticeable when it blends with the cabinets.

Use a large soffit to create an art gallery in your kitchen. You can create a linear artwork display by hanging prints or framed photos. In order to create a unified look and avoid overwhelming the space, select art with one theme or similar color palettes. Consider the design of your kitchen and overall design style of your home when choosing art to display on the soffit.

When choosing artwork to display on a soffit, consider the style and color of your kitchen, including paint colors, kitchen cabinets, and countertops. If you have neutral colored granite or quartzite countertops, such as Super White quartzite or Ubatuba granite, you have more options for artwork without disrupting the color scheme of the room.

If you are unhappy with the look of the soffits in your kitchen, you have a few options. Start by determining whether you can eliminate the soffit or if it needs to stay. If the soffit must remain, you can help use it to enhance your kitchen design style by adding molding, creating a monochrome color scheme, or displaying your favorite art. Don’t let this structure deter you from creating your own style in your kitchen.