Decorating Above the Kitchen Cabinets

Over the years, I've learned some tricks for decorating above the kitchen cabinets.  Honestly, if I had my preference, I would have cabinets reaching the ceiling--less stressful, less dust. In my old house, our cabinets were of differing heights and proportions, so I decorated them a little differently than I chose to in our current home.

Our home has somewhat of a galley-esk type kitchen.  In our case, the cabinets are all the same height and go straight across each wall.

Instead of spacing the decor across the length of the cabinets, center it to create more interest.  This draws the eye in and creates a focal point versus utilizing the entire space and appearing too busy.

BEFORE (appliance wall):  Although, I used my tip and centered all of my decor, I had way too much stuff and it was too busy for my taste.

BEFORE (sink wall):  Again, my decor is centered which creates a focal point, but my decor lacks interest.

Once I took all of my decor down from above my cabinets, I had a huge dusty mess on my hands.  It's not every day that I get up there and dust.  


You may remember that my dad helped me install lighting above my cabinets.  You can read about that little project HERE.   
 Dust bunnies galore! GROSS!
The cabinets are rough up top and a simple dusting wouldn't suffice.  

 Call me crazy, but I got the job done!!!

 Clean, clean, clean!!

Once the cabinets were clean, I determined what decor to use.  I decided to keep it simple and hang some of my favorite baskets and plates instead of using boxes, tins, and books to elevate the decor above the molding.  Plus, all of those items were just bonafide dust collectors!!!

Boxes, bins, tins AKA elevators.  We all have them, right?  To the trash they go!

 I used hot glue and picture wire to hang my baskets and plates.

I placed my baskets in the place where they were to be hung and adjusted them as needed.

 Check out this gorgeous crock bowl.  I even hot glued some wire to it for easy hanging.  

 TAKE ONE:  I was pretty happy with my vignette, but it was missing something...

 I added a larger nail through one of the baskets and hung my favorite (only) jadeite plate.

The jadeite plate contrasts nicely with the dark basket.

TAKE TWO:  That's better.  I'm contemplating painting the inside of the Goodwill divided, leaf platter either gold or cream. What do you think?  Leave it alone or paint?

The sink side is not quite as eye-catching, but it can't be seen from the living room so it's less noticeable.  I hung my college plate, the crock bowl, some pottery, baskets, and a pewter bread plate.

New problem: What to do with all of this stuff?  I'm a less is more kind of gal--some of it replaced items around the house, but most of it went to the attic.
Looking much better, huh?!

P.S.  I had to show-off my new butcher block island I inherited from Mamaw.  More on that later.

Hope my little tip comes in handy!
Upcoming kitchen projects:  paint kitchen walls and bottom cabinets!!


  1. You constantly amaze me! I love the new look. Can't wait for you to come and change mine!! - Renee

  2. Really like the simple, less fuzzy look, even though that's not the look I have. I have more stuff on top of my cabinets than I do inside them. :o) My next house will have cabinets all the way to the ceiling and I won't have to worry with all those dust bunnies. But, for now, guess I'll just keep dusting and cleaning. Enjoyable post!

  3. Great tips, Leslie! I have that space above my kitchen cabinets also, which I'm not crazy about. I like how you simplified your vignettes above your cabinets.
    Mary Alice

  4. Great tips! It looks great! I'm with you, I'd rather just have the cabinets butt up to the ceiling! When we redo our kitchen, that's what I'm hoping for! :)

  5. Our kitchen was renovated by previous owners, so we don't have space above our cabinets....OR cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling! I think there is duct work above the cabinets, so I'm scared to hang anything in the space!
    Also...love that you went to CBC! I noticed your profile says you are a native Arkansan, but was shocked to see that you went to college in my hometown!

  6. I really like this. I tried to put stuff over my cabinets and the didn't show. The molding hid them. This is a great idea!


With Joy, Leslie