Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets: Ideas & Tips

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You may be considering decorating above kitchen cabinets if you don't have cabinets or cupboards that reach to the ceiling in your home.


After all, the space can look rather blank and bare.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Challenge
So below I've gathered a few ideas for you, from readers who've chosen decor for above their cabinet tops.

But before we begin to discuss some of these ideas, let's discuss the pros and cons of even putting something in this space.

Pros & Cons Of Placing Decor On Top Of Your Kitchen Cabinets

As I mentioned above, the big pro to decorating this space in your kitchen is to keep it from looking bare.

It's a great out of the way place to show off a bit of your personality, bring together elements of your kitchen to look cohesive, and just have a little fun.

On the other hand, there are some reasons people choose not to place anything up above their cabinets. The first con is convenience.

You better like whatever you place up there because honestly it is a big pain to move around or switch it out with something else later. This isn't to say it can't be done. It can, but it will be a big project because you will most likely need a step ladder or other way to easily reach them. Realistically that means you won't want to deal with it very often.

The second con, and frankly the bigger one, is that this area gets extremely dusty, and even kind of greasy.

I think we're all familiar with the dusty greasy build up that occurs on your kitchen cabinet faces over time, especially the cabinets closest to the stove.

It's a result of cooking, and it can be a huge pain to clean these cabinets off because that grease is really difficult to remove.

Well, the same thing happens at the top of your kitchen cabinets as well. So that means whatever you put up there will begin to get a greasy dusty build up as well.

So my biggest tip for you is, if at all possible, choose decor that is easily washed. Otherwise whatever you put up there will either eventually be ruined, or at least it will take a LOT of effort to clean it back up.

Therefore, honestly, the decor in the picture above, which includes fake plants, is not ideal. Just imagine having to clean every one of these leaves periodically. Now, this decor isn't too too expensive though, so if you're willing to just completely replace it every once in a while decorative flowers or ivy can be a reasonable decor idea.

Below I've got a couple of ideas for you, from readers, of how they decorate above their cabinets. If you've got pictures and ideas I'd love to hear (and see) them too. You can submit your own ideas here and I'll add the best ones to the page.

Top photo courtesy of Brad Holt

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I Display My Collection And Switch It Out Seasonally

Karen provided the photo above, stating, "Because my kitchen ceiling slopes, my husband could not build our cabinets to the ceiling.

He covered the in between space with a decorative shelf, which I've decorated with lovely mugs. In winter, I replace the mugs with happy snowmen."

This is a great idea!

First, they added a bit of shelving to the top of the cabinets, since often above the cabinets is an unfinished area.

In addition, the collection she has chosen, well at least the mugs for sure, are washable, making it easier to clean the area.

Changing your decorations out seasonally may be more work than some people want to do, which is fine, but it can be fun if you enjoy that type of thing.

Here's another seasonal decoration idea from a reader, Tenley. She said, "My husband found this old crate at the curb, thrown out by someone else, and brought it home. Little did he know it would cost Him dearly!! I purchased a variety of seasonal decorations which I display in it on top of my kitchen cabinets. I have decorations for every holiday. Need to get the Valentine decorations out now, huh?"

Change out your decorations above our kitchen cabinets seasonally if you wish, to change the mood of your kitchen frequently {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

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Choose Decorations That Make You Happy

Make sure to choose something that shows a bit of your personality and makes you happy. That's what decorating is about, plus, since you're going to have to clean whatever it is rather frequently it should be worth that hassle to keep those items up there.

For example, the photos above are from a reader, Debra. She explained, "We like wine. And we decorated with bottles and corks."

Similarly, another reader, Carole, sent in this photo of the roosters above her cabinets. She said, "I love my roosters and hens on the tops of my cabinets, I clean them twice a year, but it's worth it. They say only keep what you love, and I love them and love to see them. I have more dust catchers sitting around, unfortunately."

Since things above your kitchen cabinets will get dusty and dirty with time you might as well only place items that make you happy up there, since you'll have to clean them! {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

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Use This Area For Both Decoration & Storage At Once

If you need more storage in your kitchen, and it is items that you don't need to get to conveniently, above your kitchen cabinets can be the perfect place.

My suggestion, however, if you choose to use the area for storage is to still keep in mind how it looks.

Either choose decorative items to store up there, such as crystal or china (that can easily be washed), or put the items you want to store there in a decorative basket or box so it isn't an eye sore.

The example above is from a reader, Melissa, who added baskets on top of her cabinets.

In addition, below is another example from a reader, Jane. She said, "I have 2 file boxes covered with burlap and ribbon up there. I store my crock pot, food processor and other appliances I use weekly but not everyday. I also have plants and enamel wear dishes. Once a month I throw the plants and the dishes in the dishwasher on light."

Use decorative baskets or containers if you choose to store items above your kitchen cabinets, so they're not an eye sore {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

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Be Willing To Edit & Remove Pieces If It Looks Too Cluttered

While adding pieces above your cabinets can make it very pretty, I've also seen some where there are really too many things up there.

Here's some examples from readers who decided less was more and removed some from the collections above their cabinets, and now I think these after pictures are absolutely lovely.

For example, a reader, Sherri, sent in the photo above. She said, "I take this stuff down every couple years and wash it (oh that icky dusty greasy grime), put it back up, then repeat. This time I considered not putting it back, asked myself if I really wanted to be washing it all again, but it looked so bare up there and I have no other place to display these pieces I like, so I decided washing again at some point is something I'm willing to do.

Similarly, another reader, Kelly, also did this mission, but she actually brought a couple more things in the room. I think it works though. The crucial thing is to really evaluate what you've got there to make sure it is the right amount, but not too much. She said, "I have enjoyed reading everyone's ideas for this mission. I ended up lining the top of my cabinets with paper towels. I also moved some bird houses in from another room. I got both of those ideas from earlier posts. Thank you! I have roosters and a couple antique dishes on the top of the other cabinets."

Ideas for decorating above kitchen cabinets in your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

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Above Kitchen Cabinet Decor Idea: Kids' Artwork

Here's another quick idea from a reader, Anne. She explains, "I put my kids' artwork up there!"

I think you'd have to be prepared for it to get dusty and maybe dingy, but honestly, if it is just going to be packed away in a box otherwise this may be a great choice.

Thanks for sharing this idea Anne!

Are You Ready To Get Organized Now?

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These decorating ideas for above the kitchen cabinets is part of the Kitchen Cabinet Organization Challenge.

That challenge is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge that I run here on this site. If you're not already, I invite you to join the challenge here for free.

Over the course of the year we tackle each room and major type of item in our home, slowly decluttering and organizing it, while also developing habits and routines so we can maintain that organization long term. By the end of the year your whole house, and life, can be organized!

And remember, if you have your own ideas for decor and decorating of this area of your kitchen I'd love to hear them (or see them). You can submit your own ideas and photos here.

Tips and ideas for storage and decorating above kitchen cabinets {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Go From Ideas & Tips For Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets To Home Page

Comments for Above Kitchen Cabinet Decor Idea: Kids' Artwork

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put rope lights up there!
by: Carol

My interior decorator suggested I put rope lights up there. Great for early morning and dreary days!

Double Duty - store stuff up there in pretty closed boxes
by: Sue

Since I have a very small kitchen that does not have enough cabinet space to accommodate the needs of my large family, I use d├ęcor above the cabinets that serves double duty as additional storage. I purchased some pretty decoupage boxes and wicker baskets at my local craft store to keep seldom used items in such as special occasion dishes, heirloom teacups, party supplies, etc. The boxes have lids to keep out the dust, and I put cloths over the items in the baskets which keeps everything inside clean.

what I did
by: Anonymous

I have made chooks and put a tin collection above mine. Have added character tea caddies and other country stuff. Absolutely love it.

Anything I want displayed outside reach of little hands
by: Anonymous

When the grandchildren started coming to Christmas we had to scale back the accessible decorations. We now use the top of the cabinets for the Dept. 56 Snow Village display complete with lights, trees, etc. Off season, it displays a huge collection of our daughter's pottery.

line the exposed part with shelf paper or newspaper and discard a couple times a year
by: Cindy

I put down shelf paper or newspaper on the exposed area of the top of cabinets. They are usually recessed and you never see it. Just throw it out a couple times a year. I keep a collection of whatever my kitchen theme is, right now it is chickens, so I have chicken teapots, planters, pictures, dishes, etc.

what's the best way to clean the stuff up there?
by: Anonymous

What is the best solution to clean items you have above these cabinets? They can be very hard to clean!

CLEANING made easy with Goo Gone!
by: Jodi Campbell Laura

I started the Declutter 365 Missions today. I cleaned the top of my Kitchen Cabinet in 2 hours. I have many ceramic Campbell items on display. I use Goo Gone Spray Gel to make cleaning the dust/grease build up easy to remove. I love Goo Gone!

What do you sit things on?
by: Leigh

Ideas of what you sit items on to make them higher than crown but not something you can see so item sits taller?

Making items higher
by: Linda

My husband used some pieces of particle board and little chunks of wood on the corners to make platforms that fit on the cabinets to elevate my collection of antiques--blue Mason jars, milk bottles, my grandmother's big mixing bowl, rolling pin, wire egg basket, cheese boxes, etc. I also have a built-in kitchen desk with cabinets above it, where I put my mother-in-law's old picnic basket and a pie basket, where I store Christmas paper products (I put a note on the inside of a cupboard door to remind myself where those items are!), and I store tall vases on either side of the baskets. Don't know where I'd put some of these things if it wasn't for that space above the cabinets!

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