Look UP: Decorating the top of a cabinet

Grab that step ladder. Take a look at the tops of your kitchen cabinets… it’s time to take it all down (yes, all of it).

I know it is fun to accessories, but there is a time and a place for it. Rarely are the tops of your cabinets the place, and it if you disagree it will transport you back to another time (circa 1990’s).

Before you decide to display something up high, take a moment to evaluate why.

Just because you have a shelf, does not mean there needs to be something on top of it.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these finished kitchens in which the home owner resisted the urge to over accessorize:

TIP: Here the use of color and texture(s) provide the desired accents to the seemingly awkward space created above the cabinets.

Lighting Above the Island... The wood, the combination make it so fresh and modern:

As a general rule, if you have 2′ of space above kitchen cabinetry, please don’t decorate that space.

TIP: Above cabinet lighting will create depth to the space.


Had we placed objects up there, do you see how they would have distracted the eye from the island and the statement light fixtures?

It’s easy to fall guilty to this trend, but when my clients have just completed a very expensive remodel, I want to encourage their guests to focus on the beautiful tile work, cabinetry, and fixtures that were just installed. Not be distracted by a random accessory hung to fill in negative space.

Decorating above cabinets....some ideas...maybe a wine theme? Keep it simple and when in doubt EDIT!:

No. Just no.

I used her ideas for on top of my kitchen cabinets.: Fall home tour with a ton of easy and beautiful fall decorating ideas.:

Amy's 900 Square Foot Cottage Packed With Character — House Call - baskets and art above cabinets.:

Organization Inspiration: Tidy Kitchens. Color hides inside the cupboards. Wire baskets corral long-term storage items above the low-hung cupboards.:

And if you ever feel possessed to put some fake greenery up there… call me, I’ll talk you down from that ladder (literally).


So what are you to do with that space if you tried color or texture or even lighting and it still did not give you the finished look you desire?

If it is close enough to the ceiling… Fill it in!

7 Things to Do with That Awkward Space Above the Cabinets:

A dramatic crown molding adds a lot of character to any space.

Add additional cabinetry in areas that seem problematic.

white blue marble kitchen:

What to do if it is such a low cabinet (or furniture piece) that it really warrants an additional piece of decor?

Break up the space with a floating shelf. You don’t have to place a large piece or too many baskets into a high opening. Keep scale in mind and also what you may want to display.

This country meets contemporary kitchen: | 13 Cozy Kitchens That Will Make You Want To Be A Better Cook:

 Keep it simple, and applicable to the surrounding space.

Add interesting architectural structure to your kitchen cabinets to create beautiful forms with fine-tuned function.:

Layer. layer, layer… stagger and overlap, mix and match heights.

On top of cabinets put a rope light on a timer so it goes on at dusk. And milk glass.:

Be mindful of what you are displaying. Keep color pallets warm and neutral.

corner sink, raised counter behind sink, shelf above window, school house light (she DIY'd it!)...love it all!:

Having decor items on top of a cabinet that blend with the wall can give you the storage and display space you desire, and they won’t dominate the scene or make everything seem top-heavy.


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