5 Ways to Take Advantage of the Space Above the Cabinets

Let’s talk ways to take advantage of the space above the cabinets.

Styling your kitchen is an essential part of making your home feel warm and welcoming, not to mention visually appealing. The kitchen is the busiest room in the house, and it helps to include personal objects that inspire you to create delicious and healthy meals time and again. But don’t clutter up the countertops with knick-knacks and mementos. Look up, to the space above the cupboards, for the ideal location for myriad decorations that add personality and value to the space without limiting its function. Here is a quick round up of ideas that will show you how to decorate above your cabinets for a designer look that’s totally customized.

Faux Flora

Why not add a touch of the outdoors to your kitchen, by adding some lush foliage to the upper spaces of the room? While real plants can add refreshing oxygen and lovely smells, it may be too much work to water them regularly or change the soil. If you need a stepping stool and some superpowers to reach the top of your cupboards, opt instead for fake plants that look as good as the real thing. “Pot” them in an assortment of colourful, vintage or unique vases and containers so they offer a greater impact and suit the design of your kitchen.

Vintage Appliances

If your cabinets are low enough, or you have devices you only use on rare occasions, you can place these eye-catching appliances on top of your cupboards and display your appreciation for the culinary arts. In the case of high cabinets and limited machinery, pick up some vintage cooking tools, equipment and appliances at a flea market or garage sale and use them—though you may want to clean them first. Don’t stop at appliances alone; you can also use old-fashioned urns, vases, decanters or other such fascinating props.

Wooden Cut Outs and Frames

If you’re blessed with vaulted or unusually high ceilings, you have a lot of vertical space to play with above the cabinets, so why not style it they same you would a bookcase, shelf or other large wall? Consider using wooden, painted cut outs of letters, animals or phrases? Add another dimension with frames of artwork or family photos. Finish off the layered look with some colour: how about some oversized candles and candlesticks? There’s no reason you have to limit yourself to one type of item, just make sure to balance the overall theme.


On the other hand, simplicity is a virtue, and the uncluttered look of one detail multiplied in a variety of ways is soothing and attractive. Using baskets is a great way to fill the area above your cabinets to create a pronounced effect that isn’t ostentatious or difficult to do. For this look, you should use a plethora of baskets, some bigger, some smaller, some round, some square, and place them in different poses for added interest. Plus, those baskets may come in handy in a pinch.

Plates and Platters

Plates and Platters
Photo from
the Pier1 blog

Another popular option is using plates and platters set on stands to reveal their beautiful designs, colours or patterns. Simple, solid-coloured plates work, especially if they all have ornamental designs or shapes, as do highly decorative and brightly shaded pieces, as long as they have a complementary palette with each other and your kitchen. These can be platters you use on special occasions and want to show off, or they can be for decorative purposes only; you can find them at garage sales and flea markets, or on online auctions. Your own relatives may have some with which they’re willing to part.

As the room where you probably spend the greatest amount of time, your kitchen deserves to look as polished and pretty as every other place in your house. It’s easy to add some charm to the spaces above the cupboards with a little inspiration, so hopefully after seeing these unique examples you’ll go home with new plans on how to decorate your cabinets.

Do Your Cabinets Need an Update?

If you’d like to make an even bigger design impact, consider refacing your cabinets as well. Download our free guide to cabinet refacing to learn more, or contact us for a free consultation.

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