Traditional kitchens typically consisted of base cabinets and wall cabinets with freestanding or integrated appliances, today, however, design preferences have changed with more customers opting for floor to ceiling cabinetry. Taking the cabinets as high to the ceiling as possible allows for the inclusion of additional attractive visual elements to their design, creating additional worktop space, eliminating the dead space that collects dust, or opening up much needed handy storage space especially important in smaller kitchens.

But are they the right choice for you? The decision is more complicated than you might think, to help we have put together a few things to consider, as well as some ideas from JS Geddes recent projects with floor-to-ceiling units in the design layout. The main factors to consider inlude:

Floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet design preferences

If you don’t like wall cabinetry that extends to the ceiling or the visual appearance thereof, it’s not worth digging deeper. Instead, ask yourself the following simple question: Do cabinets that reach the ceiling offer a smooth, consistent look? Do you find larger cabinets appealing on a functional level as well? Shelves provide handy storage space – do you have enough?

For some people, the appearance of a block of wall cabinets with no space above is appealing. Others prefer continuous cabinets because they offer more storage space and eliminate dead space.

Be aware that these shelves aren’t very easily accessible and may not be considered a plus. The highest shelves are generally used for seasonal items, or dishes and accessories that are seldom used.

What is your floor to ceiling height?

Before you make any decisions, measure your ceiling. Keep the numbers written down so that you have them to refer to as you research and make your final decision.

Many luxury kitchen designs have ceilings that are 8ft (96inches) or 9ft (108inches) high. If your kitchen falls within this category, there are a few options for you to choose from if you prefer the look of to-the–ceiling cabinetry.

You can fill the entire space by installing cabinets. Either buy cabinets that fill the space precisely or run two rows of wall cabinets that occupy the entire vertical space.

As a bespoke kitchen design company, we can make cabinets to fit your ceilings if they are unusually high. This is especially useful if you have 10 foot ceilings.

Budgeting for modern floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets

It is important to know that floor-to-the-ceiling cabinets will result in a significantly higher cost. Cabinetry is the most costly component of a kitchen remodel. Adding extra cabinets to your home or adding another row of cabinets will increase your cost. False cabinet panels that extend to the ceiling are a good option if you like the look but find the price prohibitive.

With ceiling details, what's important to you?

Cabinet heights can be further complicated by beams and other architectural details. Ceiling beams can provide structural support or decorative details, but it is best to keep the cabinet tops well below the ceiling. If you plan on installing full-rise cabinets, it is best to have your carpenters remove any decorative beams. They will be awkwardly positioned against the cabinetry.

If your kitchen has elaborate, built-up crown mouldings, you will need to remove them in order to install full-rise wall cabinets. It may also be difficult to reattach them. You should first decide which feature is more appealing to you: the full-rise cabinets, or decorative mouldings

Sleek floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets from Kitchens by JS Geddes

Some of our recently completed floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet ideas for some inspiration

Create a wall of cabinets

Slim and minimal, adding a wall of cabinets, can work in any kitchen because this squares off the space, giving it clear focus. You might either put them in one cupboard or add kitchen appliances like a microwave oven to make this more detailed.

In the Callerton kitchen below, there is a breakfasting area hidden behind a set of doors in the tall bank. Here you can find a home for everything which means no more clutter on the worktops. When you are finished just close the doors to conceal everything. The top row of storage bank has been broken up with glazed units. With the right lighting, this is the perfect way to display your favourite ornaments or crockery. The kitchen island, with quite enough worktop space can then provide the focus when the doors are closed.

Callerton floor to ceiling cabinet doors from Kitchens by JS Geddes

A place for integrated appliances within a streamlined wall of storage

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets are an excellent solution to incorporating integrated appliances into your kitchen design. In this Poggenpohl design below the appliances have been integrated into the floor-to-ceiling units. This creates a stunning, streamlined wall of storage. The Larder fridge and freezer are hidden behind doors and the ovens and larder storage finish off the run. A clever niche has been incorporated too. This is the perfect space to hide your small appliances out of sight when not in use. The units at the top of the run may not be ideal for everyday storage, as they are so high up, but are ideal for items that may only be used once or twice a year like Christmas or special occasions.

Poggenpohl wall to ceiling cabinetry - U shaped kitchen from JS Geddes

Maximise storage with a full block of wall-to-wall cabinets

Some people very much like the look of a full block of continuous floor-to-ceiling cabinets with shelf units, without space above them. For others, the preference is more functional. The Kuhlman kitchen below is ideal when practical worktop space is important but you still want the look of floor to ceiling furniture. The central tall units have been swapped for base and wall cupboards. This has created enough worktop space for a sink and extra prep space.

Kuhlman floor to ceiling cabinets kitchen from JS Geddes

There is no right or wrong when it comes to cabinet heights. It’s all personal preference. The key to making the right decision is to consider the space available, what storage you require, and what storage space lines you want.

Download our brochure for more inspiration or should you require any further information please contact 01563 530838 or alternatively by emailing