Cabinet Height in Kitchen with 11-Foot Ceilings?

Good Questions

Q: We just bought a Victorian house that's been badly neglected and subjected to questionable renovations and general bad taste for many years. The ceilings in many rooms, including the kitchen, have been lowered to eight feet. Underneath the ugly false ceilings are lovely 11-foot ceilings, waiting to be exposed. This leads to me to a design conundrum in the small kitchen…

We're about to redo it in an L-shaped configuration to accommodate various doorways and a dining area. The true Victorian style of the house is long gone, and we're leaning towards a cottage look for this small house, which is set among gardens. How high would you put wall cabinets? Would you leave a space above them, build a soffit, or run them all the way to the ceiling?

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.