15 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.

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.

Crowning Glory

This stair-stepped cabinetry configuration stretches the display capacity of a window sink wall. Equipped with open cubbies, the central component 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. 

Look to Books

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

Timeworn Touches

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

Nostalgic Notions

Decorate above your kitchen cabinets with objects that further your design vision. In this office alcove, vintage blue canning jars of all sizes brighten the shadows. When decorating up high, group same-color items to create high-impact displays that advance into view and immediately read as a collection.

Give plain kitchen cabinets a new look by converting them to open shelving. See the step-by-step process for this easy kitchen project.

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!

Simply Striking

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

Top-Shelf Touches

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 tidy row of ducks.

Utilize Corners

Wrap a kitchen corner with shelves supported by handsome brackets to continue the line of cabinetry and provide extra storage space. A collection of white ceramic vessels in varying shapes and sizes aligns on this room's shelves to visually expand the space while keeping with the neutral color scheme.

Open to View

Refrigerator cabinets and their contents are difficult for most people to reach. 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 objects with scintillating silhouettes.

Perimeter Pizzazz

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

Display Case

Exploit out-of-reach openings to exhibit sculptural pieces that share a common color or design period. This kitchen delivers generous wall space that accommodates tall cabinets capped with open shelves; a flat upper surface presents a hefty glass vessel that contributes color and sparkle to the kitchen's streamlined design.

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 arresting details to fashion gracious displays that are sure to charm.

Collection Connection

A simple shelf with a fluted edge handily fills the gap between window-framing cabinets. The convenient nook keeps white pitchers and plants near a water source and holds cookbooks within reach of the chef.

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.

Convenience Factor

Tucking storage racks and display shelves between cabinets amplifies your decorating options while keeping countertops clear. These built-ins create a handy breakfast station that stylishly stows wine bottles, colorful coffee-related gear, and a small microwave.

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