16 Ideas for Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

white kitchen

Take your decorating efforts to new heights! Stretch upward to find or create display areas above your cabinets, windows, and sinks for showcasing collections, adding storage, and bringing fresh appeal to your kitchen.

01 of 16

Novel Nook


Add interesting architectural structure to your kitchen cabinets to create beautiful forms with fine-tuned function. A mantel-like niche lined with beaded board unites this room's cabinets and appliances while providing a perch for baskets and dishes.

02 of 16

Crowning Glory

kitchen with white cabinets and hardwood floors

This stair-stepped cabinetry configuration stretches the display capacity of a window sink wall. The central component, equipped with open cubbies, unites with its neighbors, thanks to crown-molding trim. The cubbies and cabinet tops provide prime real estate for showing off dishware and oversize baskets that warm the primarily white kitchen.

03 of 16

Look to Books

white kitchen

Enhance a kitchen's usefulness by including surfaces designed for stowing and showing off essentials. Here, dark-stained shelves convert a small kitchen-desk alcove into a home office. At the same time, a large open nook above neighboring cabinets displays colorful cookbooks.

04 of 16

Timeworn Touches

kitchen cabinets

Be creative! Setting large wooden boxes, packing crates, and harvest baskets atop cabinets serves several purposes. The containers enhance vintage designs, supply eye-catching graphics and patinas, and hold everything from paper party goods to kitchen linens.

05 of 16

Nostalgic Notions

white kitchen desk with small built in desk and granite counters

Decorate above your kitchen cabinets with objects that further your design vision. In this office alcove, vintage blue canning jars of all sizes brighten a space with little light. When decorating up high, group same-color items to create big-impact displays that read as a collection.

06 of 16

Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving

Display your favorite kitchen collections with open shelves made from traditional cabinetry. See how with our easy step-by-step process!

07 of 16

Simply Striking

white kitchen

Forget about adding soffits above your cabinets. Instead, leave wall space wide open, so you can take advantage of cabinet tops for displaying gorgeous accessories. These open-to-view areas are ideally suited to spotlighting impressive serving pieces that often go unseen and unappreciated when stored behind closed doors.

08 of 16

Top-Shelf Touches

white and blue kitchen

Create a cohesive look in an adjacent dining area by adding built-ins that mirror the look and height of your kitchen's upper cabinets. These bookcases partially frame a window and supply space for a book collection and a tidy row of ducks.

09 of 16

Utilize Corners


Wrap a kitchen corner with shelves supported by chunky brackets to provide extra storage and add visual interest. A collection of white ceramic vessels in varying shapes and sizes on this room's shelves visually expands the space while keeping the neutral color scheme.

10 of 16

Open to View


Cabinets over the refrigerator and their contents are difficult for most people to reach. As a result, the cabinets become black-hole storage, where items go in but rarely come out. Instead of closed-door cabinets, install a fridge-spanning shelf or remove cabinet doors to fashion a niche for showing off one or two sizeable decorative objects.

11 of 16

Perimeter Pizzazz

Decorating Gallery

Outfit the edges of your upper cabinets with deep crown moldings to create a stage-like effect to show off your favorite things. These homeowners used molding to meld an over-the-window shelf with neighboring cabinets and fashion a holding area for flea market finds.

12 of 16

Display Case


Take advantage of out-of-reach openings to display sculptural pieces with similar colors or design periods. This kitchen has generous wall space accommodating tall cabinets topped with open shelves. A flat upper surface shows off a hefty glass vessel that contributes color and sparkle to the kitchen's streamlined design.

13 of 16

Sophisticated Scene


Decorate shelves, nooks, and cubbies above your cabinets with Sunday-best dishes or polished silver heirlooms. Select your finest pieces that boast fetching forms, captivating colors, and eye-catching details to fashion gracious displays that are sure to charm.

14 of 16

Collection Connection

Kitchen Charm

A simple shelf with a fluted edge fills the gap between window-framing cabinets. The convenient nook keeps white pitchers and plants near the sink for easy watering and stores cookbooks within reach of the chef.

15 of 16

Stow and Show


Function and form unite in a run of rustic baskets that spans the top of these built-in pantry cabinets. The containers enhance the room's old-world style and double as artwork until they're needed.

16 of 16

Convenience Factor

white kitchen

Tucking storage racks and display shelves between cabinets adds to your decorating options while keeping countertops clear. These built-ins create a handy coffee bar with colorful coffee-related gear situated adjacent to a wine rack. There's also a small microwave.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles