Saturday, August 13, 2011

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

I know this could have gone unsaid, but I have absolutely no idea HOW to decorate. And, unless I'm hopped up on something, I'll probably never tell you how to decorate things.

The best I can do is to say what I like, and what I don't like.

If I even know, myself!

With that said, let's talk about that HUGE area above my kitchen cabinets.

I have NO idea what to do up there!

The previous owners had four shelves installed above the cabinets. One in each corner of the back wall, a long one in the middle, and a long one on the left wall (above the fridge - not pictured). On those shelves were grease/dust covered fake plants that triggered my gag reflex when it came to removing them.

It was an awful, outdated solution, but it still kept the feeling of the kitchen airy. My neighbor (who has the same layout as mine) has a large framed poster above her cabinets, and I noticed that it makes her kitchen feel smaller. I wanted to keep the tall, airy feeling, but do SOME sort of decorating up there. The problem was that I couldn't seem to find ANY inspiration!

Here's some of what I've run across in my searches

image from

The above photo isn't AWFUL... But I have to say... I just don't get it! There's what seems to be a random mis-mash of stuff (is that a little stool?), and it works in HER house (well, actually!), but wouldn't in mine...

image from this gardenweb forum

This picture seems a little more thought out, but I'm not a plate-as-decoration kinda girl... and that cast iron wheel is definitely not my style.

image from

(I'm gonna throw this out there... If I wanted a country style kitchen, I would DIE over that hutch!)

I have no idea what's up there, but this seems a little more cohesive. Not cluttered, but not too bare... However, I want a more contemporary feel.

Throwing a bunch of kitchen items up there just makes it look like you've run out of storage space..

(sorry - I saved the images without noting their sources - I suck as a blogger!)

And the most dreadful ones...

(are we noticing a trend?)


Those really aren't dreadful, I just do. not. like. fake. plants.

There are definitely many more photos, but I'm pretty neutral to them (most of them just have too little space for me to take inspiration from, and they haven't offended me enough to post here).

When the Pottery Barn catalog came in the mail, I scoured it in search of inspiration for above-the-cabinet decorating. And no matter what I saw, I kept coming back to these!

I loved how they stored completely different items (onions and wine glasses) without looking.... stupid, and when Ana White referred to them as "general store cubbies," IT CLICKED!

So my goal is to get a kind of "General Store" theme goin' on in there. However, there's a fine line between looking empty & undecorated and looking cluttered, so I'm going to need advice. Lot's of it.


Here are some current pictures of above my cabinets. I'll do my best to come back with any updates I make and post here, since this seems to be a popular post :-)


  1. I would normally say nothing above kitchen cabinets except some ambient up-lighting . But your cabinets are small and so far away from the ceiling that lighting would probably bring mote attention to that huge space. Huh, ill have to ponder this one for a bit and get back to you

  2. I usually think the same! Just throw some lights and be done with it... But you're right, lighting just highlights the vast space between the top of the cupboards and the ceiling.

    Let me know if ya come up with anything! :-)

  3. Why don't you throw some large pieces of artwork up there....if you haven't already done something

  4. What I hate is you could put all that "General Store" stuff up and it'll look great but be FULL of grease and dirt and dust in a couple of months. I personally wouldn't want to be going up there and taking all that crap down and washing it and putting it back up 2-4 times per year (or even once a year...). Even with a vent hood, it's yucky up there in my kitchen.

    1. Fortunately, I haven't seen any grease up there (and I was just up there trying to figure out artwork - more on that here). However, there was dust.... and I just took my little vacuum and ran it across a few things. It's been like that for 5 months, and no problems yet! Fingers crossed that it stays that way! Hahaha.

  5. Those are great looking hanging cabinets. Hanging cabinets save a lot of spaces in the house. I also like the cabinet on the last photo. It really shows perfect organization. By the way, I can see that you have hanging cabinets almost everywhere. You need to check the screws and spikes to ensure that they are properly in place.

  6. Great decoration work done here.I like it.Thanks to post this blog.

  7. Don't like the posters on each side of the hanging cabinet and crossed utensils. Too much.

    1. Thanks for your feedback! I do need to post more current photos, it's just so hard to accurately portray how it looks in person. I'll have to figure it out. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Hmm, yes the posters are tacky and the little cupboards you have added really highlight the vastness of the space. Why did you stop at three? I just dont think it works at all, I think the bare space or art works would have served you better.

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