After tearing out the existing drop ceiling new drywall had to be installed. Below is one corner of roughed in sheetrock.
Unfortunately, the dimensions of the kitchen were bit larger than 8 feet in both directions. Drywall comes in sheets larger than 4x8, but an 8 foot length was all I could carry up three flights of stairs. This necessitated at least two seams, one of which had to be a butt joint.
For an ambient lighting solution I opted for 6 foot T5 fluorescent lights mounted atop the wall cabinets. The glow is visible in the top photo. To hide my lack of mudding and taping experience I located the above joints as far from the light as possible, i.e. the center of the room. For those not up on their fluorescent bulb standards, T5's are about the thickness of a street vendor hot dog, sans bun. Typical bulbs in commercial installs are T8's. They're about the size of a knockwurst.