kitchen crown moulding problem - long

Had kitchen installers out today, to get firm measurements before we order cabinets from Lowes. Installer and designer are two seperate entities. We planned to have tall cabinets at the ends/corners of the kitchen, with lower height cabinets in between. We like the varying height as our kitchen will be a long U shape almost 18 ft long and almost 9 ft wide, and want to break up the tunnel look a little. These are the cabinets we are getting. http://community.webshots.com/user/melnphil Click on Kitchen. We are probably going with the darkest countertop, not that it matters right now. You can also see the moulding style and buildup we chose. The current layout is there too, but for a couple of other changes we know need to be made due to my original measuring errors, which I've marked on there. The drawings aren't exact, but give a pretty good representation. Over to the left of the stove, off the picture is a tall wall cabinet at the end of that row.
The problem apparently comes from my wanting lower height wall cabinets in the middles of the rows, you can see this in the photo, but not choosing increased or decreased depth cabinets, and the way crown moulding would work because of that. According to the installer, if I have two cabinets of the same depth, but different heights, butted up to one another, and both with crown moulding, the crown moulding on the lower height cabinet will not go flush up against the side of the taller height cabinet. That crown moulding, because of the way it's tilted out, would end up showing the side of the moulding instead of returning back on itself, because it wouldn't have anything to return to, since the neighboring cabinet is the same depth. So it would look like a shelf sticking out on some places, rather than looking like it's just the crown. I can picture this, but don't know what to do about it. He suggests changing the depth of some of the cabinets, either 2 inches in on the middles or 2 inches out on the end/tall cabinets. The two pantry cabinets aren't affected, as they are already countertop depth.
So, the question is, is there some resolve that can be suggested other than decreasing or increasing the depth of any of the cabinets, and without having them all be the same height. The cost is already pushing our budget, increasing or decreasing depth makes the cabinets more expensive. I'm sticking with the big box due to fears of being burned by independent contractor. My dad has lost a good bit of money twice going with independent contractors. So I just won't go there. We'll change whatever we need to on the cabinets, I'm just hoping there is some other option without greatly increasing the cost. Thanks for any ideas.
Melissa
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<snip>
put some soffit in above the shorter height cabinets to the height of the rest of them. Then run the crown as usual. You might consider some sort of decorative rosette or something (2 or them) to decorate the soffit, i.e. make it look like it was planned... :P
good luck ml
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Melissa wrote:

Correct.
You *can* have a regular miter at the ends, it's just a *real* short piece of crown. I don't know what you call it when you do that, but it's just like the apron under a window sill. Returns at each end that don't extend beyond the plane that the crown is mounted on.

That would be my suggestion also, just my opinion though.

Should be no problem to do as I suggested above, just make sure you like the look of that as opposed to the varying depth of the cabinets.
Ken
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I see a solution.
Do a return, but make it short. You cut it the same length of the short cabinets with a 45 degree angle, and fill in the space behind it with a short piece fitted in. this will leave a small opening under the angle formed by the crown moulding return. You back this with a piece of matching cabinet material to fill the space.

in
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Eric Tonks wrote:

Only problem with that, beside the look, is the fact that it will limit the amount you can open the doors. Eventually, you'll get little wear spots.
To the OP - I think you need to retool some of your ideas. Lowe's may not be the best place to go for a design - those computer drawings were sketchy at best.
Having the cabinets jump up and down doesn't really add anything. Higher cabinets add space and make the crown simple to do, lower cabinets same money and make the crown simple to do. The top of the cabinets jumping around looks busy and doesn't add much. Having a very dark countertop and dark wood cabinets in what is already a tight space is going to make it feel more claustrophic.
I'm not trying to tell you what to do in your own house, just that those decisions are pretty much the opposite of the things that are done to give a tight kitchen more visual space.
As far as your father's experiences with contractors, that's a shame. It happens. It almost always happens because the homework wasn't done, the right type of homework wasn't done, or because someone is trying to get something that is beyond their budget. They'll talk themselves into believing that the guy with the lower price can do an equal job.
There are good and bad contractors just as there are good and bad people - and in about the same proportions. Maybe you should do a Google search for Lowe's and check up on some of their history. Call the BBB, etc. The big boxes use expendable contractors. If one installer causes a problem, they throw them away. If something goes wrong with your kitchen, don't bet on the same guys coming back to fix it unless it's just a few weeks down the road. They use the lowest price contractors to do their work since the big boxes are all about margins.
Good luck with it.
R
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. We decided to go ahead and increase the depth of the cabinets that needed it to make the crown work. We fudged together a little mock up based on the descriptions here and I did decide I didn't like the way it would look to have it have the very small return. The price didn't change as much as we feared in the end. R, I appreciate your comments about the design style, made me think a little harder, but I'm sticking with what we have. ;) I like the look of the varying heights, and will likely put some rope lighting up on top of the lower ones to provide some indirect lighting, and maybe some ferns or something. I hadn't considered that my kitchen would be thought of as tight, but Hubby agreed with you. Ah well, those are the colors I want, so I just have to hope it all works out in the end. And I completely agree with you about the big box, and doing homework, but this is just where I need to be right now. I really appreciate your time!
Melissa
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