I am interested in removing the soffit in my kitchen. My first step was to drill a hole to look inside w/a flashlight, but when I tried to do this, I realized that the entire soffit is encased in solid wood w/drywall over it. Do you have any suggestions for removing it or design suggestions where I could use the existing soffit and turn it into storage. Thanks for your help!
A common way of constructing soffits is to build a simple wooden frame and nail a plywood or OSB board over the frame and then attach this assembly to the wall and ceiling to create a soffit. What you discovered is most likely the plywood or OSB they nailed over the framing. It’s no big deal to remove the frame and covering, including the plywood and drywall if you want to eliminate the soffit. Don’t let this wood keep you from pursuing your dreams. What you still might find behind the soffits are some heat ducts, pipes and wires. To inspect for these items, you will have to cut a hole large enough to stick your head in and take a look around.
I cannot recall ever converting soffits into storage space. I don’t feel the time and cost to do this is worth the effort. Matching cabinets will look much better.
Have fun with your remodeling. Send me some photos, before and after, of your finished project and I’ll post them on my blog.