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Monday, September 10, 2012

Creating Storage Versus Decorating the Tops of Cabinets

I have a love hate relationship with kitchen and laundry room cabinets that are not built all the way to the ceiling. On one hand I think about the great storage space possibility that in essence was not used to its full advantage ~ wasted space.

But there are ways to incorporate clean storage ideas into an area by using such things as willow baskets. Chalkboard tags can provide a clue as to what’s inside with just one glance. Very smart!

On the other hand the open area above cabinets can also provide a really great canvas to decorate and showcase collections. I adore this grouping of silver which was featured in House Beautiful.

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets ~ Our Suburban Cottage

Simple ironstone pitchers create a dramatic presence when displayed together.

Many individuals prefer to remove the doors off of their kitchen cabinets and focus on dishes and décor to line the shelves.

Others remove their cabinets completely and bring in antique hutches.

For those that need only limited storage space they can choose to surround themselves with lovely artwork.

Some people prefer to have open shelving.

While I myself love the open shelving look, I’m not sure if it would be maintained by all the family members in my home.

Even if you have very little wall space there are ways to incorporate storage and display such as this shelf built above a trio of windows.

A few of you mentioned you have small galley styled kitchens. This antique luggage rack inspired shelving really helps to open up the space yet still provide much needed storage.

Recently I was on the Pier One website. They showcased the same upper cabinet space and decorated it in a variety of ways.

A nautical theme is always fresh and fun. 

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

The addition of wallpaper and brightly colored accessories can change the look of a space completely.

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

By selecting objects that appeal to your design style you can make the space completely your own.

For decorating above kitchen cabinets!

This says romantic country cottage to me.

Decorating above the cabinets

But perhaps you like a more global or eclectic look.

Ideas for Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets ǀ Pier 1 Imports

In my dream home I would have cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling, but for now I am content to work with what I have.

Glorious in Gray  A fireclay sink and granite backsplash complement this kitchen. The glass-fronted cabinets help brighten the room    Read more: Kitchen Designs - Pictures of Kitchen Designs and Decorating Ideas - Country Living

Currently armed with a small stepladder and a hammer I am working away on decorating our upper kitchen cabinets. I’ll share what I am creating on Wednesday.

How do you decorate your kitchen?




Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

My kitchen is filled with an eclectic variety of goodies -- antiques mostly with mix of some of my handmade crafts!! Can't wait to see what you do with yours!!!!

Denise said...

Nice idea post, Laura -- love these pictures. Since it wouldn't have been cost efficient to remove the soffits over our cabinets during the remodel this summer (we kept our cabinet frames and got new doors) we elected to paint the soffits the same cheerful yellow as the walls. I'll be hanging my copper pieces around the soffits. As you said, sometimes we have to work with what we have. I'm very happy with the way mine turned out. :)

Can't wait to see your project on Wednesday.

Denise at Forest Manor

Perfectly Printed said...

We have kitchen cabinets that do not go all the way to the ceiling...and I miss the storage. But ditto what was said above...gotta work with what you have! Nice post!


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I prefer cabinets that go to the ceiling, too, Laura, but that is not happening in this condo. The ceilings are vaulted throughout, which is nice to make it feel spacious, but leaves a lot of space above things. I decorated the main portion of cabinet tops and have a smaller section on the other side. I'm thinking of doing soup tureens up there. The only bad thing about decorating above cabinets is that you have to clean all that stuff eventually!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Laura, there are some great ideas in this post! My cabinets have display space on top. I love displaying things like copper pots and colorful ceramic pieces. There are even a few baskets mixed in.

Connie said...

Since this is our "retirement" home, it's very utilitarian and I'm not crazy about it, sweetpea, but it is what it is AND since I'd eat out 5 nights a week if I could, I don't fret about it much. I do want to paint the cabinets white some day but Love Bunny sucks in his breath every time I mention "paint" and "cabinets" in the same breath. He will, of course, adhere to anything I truly want to do, so we'll see.

But I truly wouldn't hang a beautiful and/or expensive picture above a stove to get grease or food splatters on it. Very bad idea. Personal experience! I also wouldn't want very high cabinets not touching the ceiling—dust catchers. But the photos you posted are all quite lovely.


April said...

Such pretty ideas you shared! I need to do something new to the tops of my cabinets after 7 years here, but the dust up there is scaring me away! :)
The basket idea is absolutely wonderful, but our space is just a bit less than twelve inches, and finding something functional to fit might be overly difficult...and it is HIGH up there! lol.
Thanks for the thinking inspiration!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great pictures and inspiration. Can't wait to see what you do with yours. Hugs, Marty

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Step ladder, that is just it, that is what it takes to reach my top cabinets in with my 11' ceilings. Sometimes my things get lost in the top of the cabinets..and did I mention the dust and kitchen grease? Am I getting old??..ha ha

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

That is so funny Laura...cuz, I thought they looked so sweet when I was there. I loved that it was all black that a word...stuff up I am interested to see what you do!

Sandy said...

Happy hammering! I look forward to the reveal!

Squeak said...

My kitchen has vast quantities of empty space above the upper cabinets, a look that I hate. Because it's a small kitchen, it would look too cluttered if I put anything on top of the cabinets. So I can hardly wait to renovate and install upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling.

The Boston Lady said...

Oh wow! I love how Pier One did those different styles. Laura, I am currently in a rental with cupboards all the way to the ceiling which on sight I did not like. Never had such tall cabinets, but after being here a bit I have come to use the extra space and it's nice to have those things out of sight.

However, ideally I like the open tops on cabinets and look forward to what you will do with yours. As for decorating....I am in a "lean the pictures and mirrors against the walls" mode since I don't know how long we will be here and don't want to remove a bunch of nails and anchors. Ann

Lisa @ akawest said...

Tops of cabinets always make me think of dust. Maybe because when I decide to climb up on the counters, and take a peek, I am always greeted with filth. I know, if you can't see it, it isn't really there!

The photo with the white pitchers is gorgeous. Of course, they would be covered in a layer of dust...just sayin'. :)

Maple Lane said...

Hi Laura, Can't wait to see how you decorate. I have space above my cabinets, too. The few things I have placed up there I have to "build" up so that they show above the molding at the top of the cabinets.
I did buy three large china cabinets/sideboard type pieces to house mine and mama's china in when we downsized last year.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

These are great inspiration pictures...I have seen a few of them before. The kitchen with the curtain over the doorway. I love that one. Can't wait to see what you do over your cupboards. I have a bulkhead which is just dreadful!

Jen said...

I can't wait to see what you do in your own kitchen! Right now the kitchen is my least favorite room in the house, but I do have plans for it ... after the dining room, living room and guest room....

I love all of the displays and inspiration you shared. Great ideas!

openid said...

I currently have space between the kitchen cabinets and ceiling which I use to display my antique basket collection. I think these spaces as well as open shelving, although aesthetically pleasing, are better in theory than practice, especially if you live in a historic home with plaster walls, radiators and no insulation (translation: dust factory). Add pets into the mix and it spells disaster. I would spend an hour a day wiping down shelves and dishes.
Can't wait to see what you display in your kitchen.
Your Friend,

Linda said...

When I see all of these wonderful ideas, I sigh and dream... I'm really lacking in the decorating department it seems. My kitchen would be considered small by most, but hey - it is larger than galley-style. The entire ceiling is slanted so that the cabinets on one end are really up there (I have to stand on the counter to reach that space above the cabinet) and the other side, the ceiling is very low and no room for anything too decorative up there like baskets.

But I'll think on it further - you show a lot of lovely ideas.

Linda :)

Vel Criste said...

Amen with the cabinets Laura - right now no decorating at all in my kitchen, it is sadly one part of my house that needs a total overhaul. Good luck with decorating yours, I'm sure it will be amazing once you get thru with it!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

I like cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling :) But when we don't build our own house we don't always get to choose huh?! I'd be happy to just have a few more cupboards actually - I don't have many in my kitchen. And the best decor I have in my kitchen is some open shelving where I can keep my beautiful but useful glassware!

Sandy said...

This is a great post. I love seeing all the different ways to decorate one's upper top cabinets. Thanks for sharing.