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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Decorating Above The Kitchen Cabinets

I shared with you on Monday that my dream kitchen would have cabinets built all the way up to the ceiling. I believe that this would help with the endless dusting that occurs when living in a dry dessert. But in my right now house I have cabinets that end a good 18 inches from the ceiling. 

So what to do? I like the idea of showcasing a collection. I am a big believer that it should be something that you might find in a kitchen. So enter in my antique French wire basket collection.

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I purchased my first French wire basket over 12 years ago at the Metz flea market in France.

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I love how the well worn handle was carved with “La Vannerie Metallique” which was probably the name of the company that made the basket.

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The basket sits propped up in the corner, visible all the way from the front door.

The strange thing about this photo ~ in real life the angel statue does not appear to have a bad case of the chicken pox. :)

You can also see one of my design secrets.

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When I want to alter the height of something I often use a clear glass votive holder on the tops of cabinets. You can’t see it when looking from ground level. 

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Moving on to the other side of the window is a vintage wire basket propped up with a clear plastic plate holder so that the detail can be seen.  A stone bird and faux Ikea plant round out the vignette.

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Right next to it are three more antique baskets. Two are egg gathering baskets. The third I hung from a nail in the wall.

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Here’s another secret. The tops of my cabinets are not flat. There is about a 2 inch indentation. So occasionally a good book is needed to prop something up to the right height.

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The book is barely visible from the ground view.

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In the center, over the stove, is an old sled I bought at a flea market in Germany. It was well used on snowy hills while we lived there. The wooden shoes came from a flea in Amsterdam. I am not a t shirt or trinket tourist. I like to select things that tell a story. Much like my living room gallery wall.

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Rounding out the collection are three more baskets.

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When decorating the tops of cabinets I climb up and down a step ladder at least 100 times.

First I may try a basket lying down to the left.

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Then I try it leaning to the right.

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It finally feels right to me just standing straight up.

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On the cabinet over the top of the refrigerator are my collection of Longaberger baskets.

This too was a work in progress. I tried all brown books.

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Then added a blue book.

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I also switched out a plant before it felt “right”. It’s a process to be sure.

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So those are my cabinet tops. Now some of you may be thinking “It looks pretty empty.”  It’s true, I am not a big fan of clutter.

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But I also have future plans to tuck in a few seasonal items here and there.

Do you change your kitchen cabinet d├ęcor to coincide with the various seasons? 


Don’t forget to link up your favorite “pinable” images on Friday!

You DO NOT have to specifically write a post. You can simply enter a direct link to an image you have pinned to your Pinterest boards. This is wonderful for those who may not have a blog but DO have a Pinterest site. I provided instructions on how to link a Pinterest image HERE.



Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

Aside from having to dust up there, the cabinet tops do offer a great decorating opportunity. Love your wire baskets and the sled.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

The first thing I noticed in the kitchen was the sled.... I just love that sled!! And I absolutely LOVE how you decorated your kitchen!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Joani said...

In my opinion....the less to dust the better. I use phone books to elevate items. No one uses them for their intention these days. Most of us toss them. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

It looks lovely, Laura, and I use some of the same decorating techniques as you (using blocks, etc. to raise items on top of the cabinets). I don't have any lovely collections though - I was looking around my house yesterday after reading your post but I realized that I don't have anything of substance of collection, worth displaying like that. So, I have my lighted houses on top of my kitchen cabinets. :)


openid said...

Baskets?! :) GMTA!
I, too, am admiring your sled. The “La Vannerie Metallique” basket is beautiful.
I add little hints of the seasons in every room.
Your Friend,

Perfectly Printed said...

Looking good!!! I have my collection of tea pots on top of my cabinets.


laxsupermom said...

I tend to add stuff for Halloween and Christmas, but my kitchen decorating is pretty minimal during the rest of the year. Our cabs go up to the ceiling, and I don't want to give up valuable countertop real estate to decor items.

Love those wire baskets! And the sled is such a whimsical touch. Thanks for sharing.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your kitchen turned out so pretty. It was a hard one to decorate I think, but you did an amazing job. Love all of your antique baskets. I see just a touch of the island paint. Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Marty

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Whaaaat? You don't collect souvenir dishes when you travel? LOL Me either! You've displayed some lovely pieces where you can enjoy them every day. Do so!

Jen said...

The baskets on top of your cabinets are gorgeous! I love the way you displayed them. The green plants add wonderful contrast. I love your creative secrets for elevating things the way you want. And I see a glimpse of your island redo. Can't wait to see the whole thing!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Frugal By Choice said...

I too, was noticing your island/buffet redo. Looks great! I can't wait to see what color you decide to paint the kitchen cabinets.

Sandy said...

Looks great Laura, the sled is adorable and the wooden baskets bring so much warmth and coziness. And here I was wishing my cabinets did not go all the way to the ceiling, I can't reach beyond the second shelf, so I could have decorative space, LOL it seems we always want what we don't have.

Sandy said...

I have always wondered what other people do when decorating the tops of their kitchen cabinets with the deep indents. Like yours, my cabinet tops are several inches deep and it's always difficult to find something to use to elevate the item up level with the top of the moulding but not be seen from the floor. I have used two by fours. Why can't cabinet makers make them flat and solid across. I'm getting older and it's not easy to get up there to place things so currently I only display three teapots. Things get so dusty and dirty up there so I like only having three items to keep clean. I also place rope lights there at the back of the cabinet tops that are on a timer to come on in the late evening hours and go off before dawn. Hubby strung the cord through an opening in the cabinets down behind the refrigerator to plug in. It's a nice soft effect at night - like a glow from a nightlight if we happen to get up during the night. Enjoyed your post and seeing your upper cabinets all nicely decorated.

Little Bitty Damn Houze said...

I love your decor ontop! While my cabinets to not go to the top, there is a space above them. I have not put anything there, as like you I dislike a lot of "stuff". LOVE the Longaberger baskets and I have a few of thos on top of my fridge. Got them at Goodwill! Can you believe it! They must not have known what they were!!! SCORE!


Little Bitty Damn Houze said...

I might to say "there is WALL space above them".


CAS said...

Your basket collection is lovely, Laura, & looks so nice on top of your cabinets. I love having that space on top of my cabinets to decorate, but I have the benefit of tall cabinets, too. There are some things I keep up there all the time, but add in some seasonal items here and there. When we did our recent kitchen rehab, The Man added lights on top, so it really showcases that area.


Karena said...

Laura I love your collections and I do think it is better to showcase them rather than fill in with a lot of "stuff"!

Art by Karena

Maria Elena said...

Laura, I love the way you have decorated on top if your cabinets! The baskets are beautiful! No, it is not too empty! I don't like clutter either, so I think it is perfect! Mine are very simple also, actually, I have been thinking maybe it is time for a little change. Will see.

Blondie's Journal said...

I love your collection of baskets, Laura, especially the French wire one. And that sled!! Awesome. I think your arrangements look beautiful and just the perfect amount of spacing, not cluttered at all. My cabinet tops on the other hand are cluttered with bowls that don't fit inside! lol!


adsgram said...

We are in the process of changing our cabinets and they will go to the top, but the old ones had the deep indent. The dust and the grease used to seem to fly up there, and while I could easily take my 'stuff' down and wash it, the tops got nasty and difficult to clean. Finally, I asked my husband to cut some thin masonite to size and make tops. It has worked perfectly for much easier to clean and also for display.

Louise said...

It all looks so nice, and a I like how you showcased the most special (to my mind) wire basket so that it is seen all the way from the front door.

And I LOVE that glimpse of the server/island! That was cruel and sneaky of you!;) Just a glimpse and NO MENTION OF IT? You have to know that people or chomping at the bit see it!


Looks great, Laura! It's fun to decorated in the kitchen for each season!

Vel Criste said...

Oooh, I love your collection display Laura!!! I knew you'd pull this one off easily! Great job! thanks for sharing your technique with using votive holders! Love it!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Very good display Laura! Just what I expected from you - a job well done! I am so with you on the up and down the ladder thing! I don't have cabinets in my kitchen that I have to style by I do have a china cupboard that is tall and I put stuff on top of the frige. It's definitely a process! Sometimes I like how it looks when I'm up there but when I get down and step back it's too cluttered or not just quite right!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Laura,
I would like cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling too but meanwhile, I decorate with my teapots and birdhouses. For years I kept my Christmas village up there and lit it at night. As much as I enjoyed the lighting it offered, I didn't like having to dust all those houses! So it's pared down now. But I still have to climb up there over and over to keep it clean. Not a big fan of climbing ladders either!
I think yours looks great. Love the wire baskets! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.


The Boston Lady said...

Looks great Laura. I love all those wire baskets and the stories behind some of them. Books are great "proppers"! Hope you all are doing well. As well as Mr. D. Ann

Sue said...

I love the look you have going on top of your cabinets. I have a love hate relationship with mine which are also not all the way to the ceiling. I store my wicker baskets up there and a couple of other odds and ends. I think I might try using the baskets to actually store some things I don't use that often in them instead of up there empty. Thanks for the inspiration. My mother has an extensive collection of birdhouses and she displays them on top of her cabinets and she also decorates for Christmas up there.

Designs By Pinky said...

I have a collection of pottery and greens on my cabinets right now. BUT the new house has 2 feet above the cabinets so I have a different plan for when we move. I, too, use books to elevate things or balance them. LOVE that sleigh! I have never changed out for the seasons but plan to put some Christmas up there this year! XO, piny

Mimi said...

i love your decorating tips and what you have achieved here. I too use things(not seen) to raise things up on top of my cabinets...I love the cabinet space up there.....I love to display cute and unique I love what you did!!!

love that sleigh up there!!!

Auntie Em said...

Your wire and wooden baskets are beautiful they way you have so lovingly displayed them. I like things on top of cabinets. It's one of the few places you can decorate in a kitchen without the items being in the way while you cook...and I do cook and use my kitchen. (I don't think real people have art work hung over their stoves or fancy displays set up on their countertops in the way of splatters and grease)
When we started out kitchen I decided I wanted the space above. My mother had short cabinets over top of the regular ones and they were 'Never-Never Land' as far as I was concerned. You never could reach anything or get it out, you never knew what was up there and you never saw anything that was put in there again! We found stuff that had been put in them forty years before when they were built and had never been used.
I had the electrician install outlets over our cabinets in the kitchen and switches down in an accessable spot when the walls were torn apart. I set my Christmas village up in this area for the holidays and it's fun to put a string of white mini lights up all year round. No dangling cords and my little houses are safe from little hands.
Thank you for sharing all your pretty decorating ideas and hints!

Tanya@takesix said...

You've done a beautiful job of decorating the tops of your cupboards, even if it isn't your first choice to have that space up there. We redid our kitchen a couple years ago, and that was a big stipulation!! Cupboards MUST go to the ceiling! In our previous house I had all that dust catching space up there... Ugh!!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

I'm not sure what the points for contractors to leave that little bit of space up there. My cabinets go up further and there isn't enough space to put much of anything. If I ruled the world... Ha!

Love your baskets!,

WendyBee said...

I love your collections, and your eye for displaying them. Above my cabinets are soffets and pot lights. I want to tear them out, so I can assemble displays of collections on mine too!

Maple Lane said...

Beautiful job as always, Laura. Thanks for sharing the tips on "building up" the items to the correct height. I lean toward less when decorating. I like that you can add seasonal touches.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Lovely collection. I have a basket similar to the first one you featured...except mine is a knock off from Antique Farm House. How fun to have the real thing!

Sherry said...

These are so pretty! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

Kristen McIntyre said...

I love your collections. Pot and pans collection is also a great idea putting above the cabinets.