Many many of us are faced with standard builder kitchens , with bulkheads , some can see this problem and rip out a kitchen and drop $40,000.00 and remodel and get a whole new kitchen , lots of us will make due and make affordable up grades to improve the over look and appeal , I am all about making more of what you've got .
Paint outdated wood cabinets , change hardware , upgrade appliances , add a beautiful backsplash , brackets , mouldings , open up cabinets for display , create a focal point with the range hood , add great lighting ,but don't forget your bulkhead.
My white painted kitchen above is a great example of making the most of standard , I don't think my kitchen gives off a standard look at all . Its the little things that make the biggest difference.
One of the things I learned early on in decorating a painted kitchen, was the deal with the bulkhead and not ignore it , it is the biggest mistake , if you ignore it regardless of the color you choose for your cabinets there will be a break between the cabinets and the ceiling , kind of like an eye brow . Look for yourself at the above before and after of my friend Lisa's kitchen , it is a small improvement with a huge result.
No need to rip out the bulk head , they most likely are hiding the mechanics of the house , I say treat them nicely , paint them in the same finish as the cabinets , add mouldings to the bulkhead , a simple piece of crown moulding or trim where the bulkhead meets the ceiling is all you need to extend the visual look of your cabinets , giving the illusion of more height .
Bulkhead is no longer a 4 letter work , heck I added bead board paneling and lots of trim to mine , I love it , go ahead and treat it right , would I steer you wrong?