Design Decisions, New House

Vaulted Ceilings in the Kitchen: Pros and Cons


Photo credit: Dixon Kirby Homes

We’ve officially found an architect to design our new house, which we’ll be talking about more in an upcoming article. In our initial chat with them, we discussed what we have in mind for the exterior and interior. One thing that is a must for me is vaulted ceilings in the main living area. I want it to run all the way through from the great room into the kitchen. Henry is on board for it in the great room, but not not so much in the kitchen. To help us come to a decision, we thought it would be a good idea to lay out some pros and cons.

Pros

Here are my pros for having vaulted ceilings in the kitchen:

Makes the Kitchen Seem Bigger

Everybody wants a bigger kitchen, right? So if we add vaulted ceilings in our new kitchen it will feel much larger and spacious. It will also add an element of grandeur.

Beams Will Look Even Better

Beams are something we are most likely going to do, but anytime you add beams, it visually lowers the ceiling. However, if you have vaulted ceilings, this is not an issue because the extra height. And visually, beams that run at an angle up to a peak are more interesting than beams that simply run straight across.


Photo credit: New Rosslyn Construction

More Light

Having vaulted ceilings in the kitchen will allow us to add extra or bigger windows, thus letting in more light. The more light you have in the kitchen, the better!

More Visual Interest

In my opinion, a vaulted ceiling makes a room more visually interesting. A plain white flat ceiling isn’t going to draw anyone’s eyes upward, but a tall vaulted ceiling most certainly will. It will be another added element in our kitchen that will give it character.


Photo credit: Rufty Homes

Cons

Here are some cons that Henry came up with. While they are valid points, I don’t like any of them.

Extra Maintenance

Since the tops of the cabinets will not have a ceiling to run into, they will be open and exposed and a great place for dust to settle, which does mean extra cleaning.

In our previous house, we had very tall vaulted ceilings in the kitchen. Henry had to use a super long pole with a suction cup on the end to change the recessed light bulbs. I remember it didn’t always go so smoothly, but I don’t think a few broken light bulbs is that big of a deal, right?

Too Much Visual Interest

While one of my pros was added visual interest, a con might be that a kitchen already has enough things going on. After all, in the kitchen we will have a nice vent hood as a focal point, along with open shelving, tile back splash, island, lighting, and all of the appliances. Henry’s argument is that there are so many interesting things already in the kitchen, adding something else might be too much.

Nowhere for the Vent Hood to End

Our vent hood will be in the end wall, where the ceiling is the highest. This means that the vent hood will have to awkwardly end half way up the wall, as opposed to running into the ceiling. This is probably Henry’s biggest con.

Extra Heating Costs

Hot air rises, or at least that is what I’m told. So with a higher ceiling, we will be spending more money to heat the space above our heads.

Conclusion

Those are all of the pros and cons we’ve come up with so far. Are there any we are missing? Hopefully we can come to a decision soon on this so we don’t slow down the process.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Kate

    Love the look of a vaulted ceiling! My parents have finished an extension of their kitchen last year which included a new roofline and vaulted ceilings for the kitchen – I would add to ‘extra heating cost’ that generally it’s just more difficult to regulate temperature whether hot or cold (especially if skylights are present!)!

    December 19, 2018 at 1:51 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Kate. I bet their kitchen looks amazing. And that is a very good point about regulating temperature.

      December 19, 2018 at 3:20 am
  • Reply Amy

    Pro: since heat rises your kitchen and the rest of the house won’t get as hot when you’re cooking.

    December 19, 2018 at 2:26 am
    • Reply Brooke

      That’s another good point! I’ve heard that from a couple of other people, and it wasn’t something I even thought of.

      December 19, 2018 at 3:21 am
  • Reply Molly

    Thoughts to make the cons less of a burden:

    Don’t use recessed lighting, but instead extend the fixtures down on poles.

    Consider ceiling fan(s) and run them clockwise or counterclockwise according to the season to help with that hot air issue. I have two fans in my kitchen and they are a complete win.

    Could you have a faux vent hood that runs to the top? The actual vent hood ending where it needs to, but it could appear to run to the ceiling?

    Happy building!

    December 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks for the ideas! For the hood, I think we have another solution. Our range and oven will be inset in the wall. That way the hood above will be able to run into the ceiling in the inset. We should have some sketches soon to show.

      December 20, 2018 at 3:24 am
  • Reply Tatiane

    Very interesting pros and cons. Beautiful pictures. I personally don’t like high ceiling for my home. It doesn’t sound cozy to me, but I love the look of it. And Henry is so right about the cost of heating or cooling the space. Our rental house bills are killing us right now. Can’t wait to see your choice 😊

    December 28, 2018 at 2:40 am
  • Reply stephanie chew

    oh yeah, i agree with extra maintenance ad heating issues.. but the pros this have could overcome all these with some additional settings to compensate.

    don’t they?

    January 5, 2019 at 10:00 am
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