Decorating Kitchen Cabinets

How to Decorate Above Kitchen Cabinets: 7 Ideas

Overhead kitchen cabinets can be great additional storage, but the awkward space above them can often be tricky to decorate.

We’ll help inspire you with 7 ideas for decorating upper kitchen cabinets:

  1. Go green with plants
  2. Get artsy with a gallery
  3. Fill space with practical items
  4. Arrange themed accents or collections
  5. Install extra cabinets or fillers
  6. Add color with wall paint or texture with backsplash tiling
  7. Brighten your kitchen with ambient lighting

Looking to refresh your kitchen cabinets? Contact us online or call 480-641-9611. We’ll send one of our cabinet experts to give you a free in-home or virtual consultation to reface or remodel your kitchen cabinets.


Idea #1: Plants

Whether you want the lush look and health benefits of real plants or prefer the no-fuss maintenance of faux ones, adding plants above your cabinets can make your kitchen feel fresh and welcoming.

A few tips when choosing your plants:

  • Size the plants to the space above your cabinets. Adding a small plant to a big space can look underwhelming, while a plant too big for a small space will look crowded.
  • Stick with your kitchen’s color scheme. If your kitchen is bright and airy with light blues and greys, you may want to avoid vibrant, florally plants that could clash with the cool colors. Don’t forget to coordinate the pots!
  • Go with plants that require little sunlight. Even if your kitchen gets a lot of sunlight, it may not hit directly above your cabinets. Plants that require a lot of direct sunlight may not make it sitting above your cabinets.

Idea #2: Art gallery

Adding paintings or photos above your cabinets is a unique way to showcase some personality in your kitchen.

For classic or traditional kitchens, try a cluster of vibrant landscape paintings or photos in ornate frames.

For contemporary or modern kitchens, consider an arrangement of minimalist, abstract paintings or black and white photos.

You can also make the gallery ultra personal and add pictures of your family. Just make sure the photos have similar hues and are styled to match the theme of your kitchen.

Idea #3: Practical items

Need extra storage? Use the space above the upper cabinets to creatively store practical items you need to easily access.

For some ideas, think about:

  • Styling a tray, cake stand or cutting board with other accents (see section below)
  • Putting paper towels or napkins in a decorative bin
  • Using pitchers or jars of dry goods as accent pieces

Idea #4: Collections and themed accents

Looking to make your kitchen cabinets a bit more interesting?

Consider arranging a collection of items or themed accents that sit on top of the cabinets.

For some interesting arrangements, think about:

  • Vintage books, lanterns or tools
  • Various vases or pitchers (the same color or shades of it)
  • A China set, tea set, or kitchenware

Idea #5: Additional cabinets or fillers

Another idea for filling space above kitchen cabinets is to have a cabinet expert install:

  • Nooks or additional cabinets. If you need the extra storage, you can have nooks or additional cabinets installed to fill the space between your upper cabinets and the ceiling. The additional cabinets can match your existing cabinets, or have a different color or glass inserts for a bit of contrast.
  • Fillers that match your cabinets. Like nooks or additional cabinets, fillers extend from your upper cabinets to the ceiling, except they’re purely decorative. They can be a flat panel that matches your cabinets, or be more decorative with clear or frosted glass and backlighting.

Thinking about a combination of nooks and fillers? Not a problem. At Cabinet Coatings, we’ll help you design and remodel your kitchen cabinets to get the exact look and style you want.

For more ideas on updating your kitchen cabinets, visit our blog “How to Update Kitchen Cabinets Without Replacing Them.”

Idea #6: Wall paint or backsplash tile

On the wall behind upper kitchen cabinets, you can either:

  • Paint the wall something bright for an exciting pop of color. If your kitchen is more neutral, paint the wall a shade lighter or darker than the color you have on the rest of the walls to draw the eye.
  • Extend your backsplash (or install new backsplash for a fresh look) up the wall to add texture to your kitchen. Modern or contemporary kitchens will look great with white subway tile or, for a more rustic feel, add a brick backsplash. Visit our blog for more rustic kitchen cabinet ideas.

Idea #7: Ambient lighting

A great way to brighten up your kitchen, while making it look more sophisticated, is to install ambient lighting above the cabinets.

For track or recessed lighting installed in the ceiling above the cabinets, you’ll likely want to hire a professional.

If you’re looking for lighting you can easily install yourself, most home improvement stores sell the following above cabinet lighting options:

  • Strip lights: Long, thin boxes of bulbs that are great for going above longer cabinets.
  • Puck lights: Sets of usually 3 or 6 small, thin discs that work well above small or narrow upper cabinets.
  • Rope lights: Thin, flexible strips of LED lights that add a variety of lighting colors to upper kitchen cabinets.

Want to revitalize your kitchen cabinets?

In addition to decorating above your kitchen cabinets, you can also update the look of your cabinets with a:

  • Refinishing: A cabinet expert will remove the old finish on your existing cabinet boxes, doors and drawer fronts, and apply a brand new finish of your choice. We guarantee our finishes won’t chip, crack or fade for at least 5 years after application.
  • Refacing: Includes everything in a refinishing, plus brand new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Some companies, like Cabinet Coatings, will give you solid hardwood ones, which are much sturdier than plywood or particle board.

Contact us online or at 480-641-9611 to schedule a free consultation. Our cabinet experts will discuss your cabinet upgrade options, and then give you a same-day, no-obligation quote. We’ll help you find the perfect solution for the space above your kitchen cabinets.

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