There are several clever ways to deal with a kitchen soffit, that space above the kitchen cabinets just begging for some decorative attention.
If the space is small, it can be eliminated altogether by adding an attractive molding to completely close in between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Matching the molding to the kitchen cabinets will give the best effect and make your room seem larger and less cluttered.
If your soffit is deeper, or has recessed ceiling lights at the top, then leaving it open and using some decorative technique for making it attractive is the best course of action.
How to decorate a kitchen soffit:
Use a paint that contrasts with the rest of your kitchen walls. Light colors work best to avoid making the kitchen look smaller. If you want a smooth, clean look, but still want to draw the eye upward, painting some clever words across the area is effective. For example, you might paint a scroll of, “Rise and Shine,” and perch a rooster in the corner of the soffit. Another idea is to paint the block letters spelling out “coffee,” “tea” and intersperse a couple of oversized cups and saucers across the soffit.
Wallpapering the kitchen soffit is a good idea, even if the rest of the kitchen is not wallpapered. Make sure the wallpaper is washable, for grease and grime are sure to accumulate over time. Pick a pattern with a whimsical theme to add a touch of humor to your kitchen, or coordinate the wallpaper on the soffit with the kitchen curtains. You might even use a fake, but realistic-looking brick pattern and also cover the wall below for a rustic country kitchen appearance.
If you opt for a conservative painted look, consider adding a few accessories. Ensure they are durable items that will withstand the greasy dirt inevitable in a kitchen. Lining plates against the wall, adding a couple of artifical plants, or maybe ceramic farm animals, like a pig, cow, lamb and chicken, for a country display. A collection of wine bottles, copper pots, baskets or any other collectible you favor would add a touch of interest to that vacant space above the kitchen cabinets.
A word of caution: If your soffit is extra small, too many items will make it appear cluttered. If you have recessed lighting in the ceiling above the soffit, beware of putting items too close, for the lights will give off heat, and you don‘t want to create a fire hazard, or ruin a favorite accessory.
If you already have a decorating theme for your kitchen, extending it to the soffit above the cabinets is the way to go. Or, you can establish a theme on the soffit using fruit, gardening items, antique kitchen ware or any other theme that strikes your fancy.
Despite the inconvenience of having to climb a step ladder to clean a kitchen soffit, and the items on it, every six months, the fun of expressing yourself with decorating strategies to enhance your kitchen might make it worthwhile and fun.