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Things to Do With Spaces Above Kitchen Cabinets

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Dead spaces between the ceilings and above the kitchen cabinets are common in many interiors. Most people are satisfied with leaving them empty, but you can always improvise and customize your kitchen space to look more interesting and appealing.

Are you undecided about what to do with this huge space? There are several ways to spice up these spaces above your kitchen cabinets, but it is essential to always consider shaping them up in a way more specific to you and the other users of the kitchen. 

Kitchen interior, plants on top of kitchen cabinet

Tips for Utilizing the Space above Kitchen Cabinets

1. Decorative Lights

Depending on your tastes, you might want to decorate these spaces with steady lights or twinkle lights, as is popular.

Holidays, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween, always inspire a certain color theme that can be best displayed in the kitchen. This is also an influencing factor when choosing decorative light hues.

2. Add a Plant/ Wall Garden

Colored kitchens always go well with some greenery, and above the kitchen cabinets is a fine spot for plants. Real plants are the best, but if you are going for artificial, make them the most authentic possible.

At that height, this space might not get enough sunlight for the green plants to thrive, so getting shade-loving plants is the better option. You should, however, ensure that these plants get enough sunlight.

Plants with very slow growth or those that trail downward are also the best options for these spaces to avoid overcrowding at the ceiling.

Real plants are the best but not always the most appropriate for many kitchens, therefore becoming a risk.

However, you can use artificial vines and leaves that could be ‘planted’ in vases or hung on the wall, transforming the bare space into a beautiful garden.

3. Place Baskets for Better Kitchen Organization

Wicker basket and garlands on top of a cabinet

Baskets are always a good addition to the spaces above the kitchen cabinets. Woven baskets, to be specific, can serve many purposes as decorative pieces as well as storage units for different items.

If you want an orderly arrangement, the number of baskets you use is guided by the size of the available space.

4. Vintage and Antiques Gallery

Building up your vintage and antique collection is a gradual and slow process, and the spaces above the kitchen cabinets are the best place to showcase this collection. It might take some time but once in its rightful place, each piece has enough presence to catch the eye, showcasing its uniqueness.

When there is enough room, you can hang larger pieces above these cabinets for a bolder statement. These could include large-framed family photos, vintage surfboards, and vintage cooking tools.

However, choosing the best piece depends on your liking and the environment, such as a coastal surrounding inspiring a beach theme in the kitchen.

5. Create a Kitchen Library

Cookbooks are always best kept where they can help the intended user, a cook, in the kitchen.

Leaving them on the tables can be putting your books at risk of being damaged, and this is why making book-shelves in the spaces above the kitchen cabinets is the best way to use the space.

However, cookbooks are not the only ones that could use the created space. Extra books are also welcome to relieve the congestion on coffee tables and study rooms. Just ensure that you have a step ladder nearby to help you with the needs of frequent access.

6. Install a Chalkboard

Kitchen utensils and chalkboard

Black paint turns your dead space into a blank canvas that is open to so many possibilities. This space might be the key to keeping up with your calendar, as it serves as a wall for reminders.

7. Install a Wine Rack/Bar Cart

Wine storage above the kitchen cabinets are a brilliant idea. If you don’t have a separate room for this, the empty space above kitchen cabinets is the best spot to install them.

You can customize the racks to your liking or order a ready-to-use standard wine rack that will fit the dead space.

8. Inspirational Wall Stickers or Plaques

Creating quality food can at times be a very tough task that needs extra motivation. Wall stickers are among the best ways of providing the much-needed motivation to boost the chef’s morale, and the dead space above the kitchen cabinets are the best spaces to utilize for this task.

In cases where the wall might be too deep making the stickers invisible, it is good to improvise and use plaques or frames to place them closer to the edge, making them visible enough.

9. Art and Gallery Walls

Scandinavian design on top of a cabinet, photo frame and plants in pots

Wall arts work best with the spaces above the kitchen cabinets.

Showcasing your art pieces on this space immediately transforms your dull kitchen space into a more artistic and attractive one. Each piece’s timelessness and originality is always refreshing to see.

The most amazing thing about galleries on these spots is that the collection is quite easy to put together and appealing to look at.

The best matches are those art pieces that are specifically designed for kitchen spaces and that have varying sizes to maximize the usage of the space, especially if there is a large space to fill out. Using similar frames can help create uniformity.

10. Extra Storage Spaces

It is always normal to run out of storage spaces. The dead spaces above the kitchen cabinets will always come in handy when there is not enough space for essentials within the kitchen.

Among the necessities are trays, cake stands, and a kitchen scale, or some other nice-looking appliances that you rarely use. These pieces can always be blended with more decorative pieces like a basket that you could use to store them if you wish to hide them, or they could share the space with vases for a better visual appeal. 

11. Fix a Wall Mirror

Fixing wall mirrors on the spaces above kitchen cabinets can give your kitchen an impression of being larger and spacious. This trick particularly works with kitchens with small working spaces.

You can always acquire a customized-sized mirror that will fit the desired space, but this may come at a higher cost. More affordable, ready-to-use mirrors or mirror sheets are the best for these spaces.

12. Add Another Shelf

If the remaining space above the kitchen cabinets is tall enough, you can always add another shelf on top to give more room for kitchen storage.

13. Add Cabinet Toppers

These are cabinet extensions that are added to the spaces above kitchen cabinets. In their own uniqueness, they act as extra storage space that is elegant and appropriate for wines, vases, and even trophies.

Guidelines to Follow

Utilizing the spaces above the kitchen cabinets is something to be carefully approached and carried out, to avoid spoiling the vibe of the kitchen.

There are a few guidelines to achieving this in the best way possible. Let’s have a look:

  • Don’t draw too much attention to this space – When choosing how to best utilize the space up there, dramatic design choices will attract eyes making the spot the focal point in the kitchen. Things like too much lighting or a color strong contrast may draw too much focus.
  • Watch out for the Grease– Cabinet tops are often dust pockets in the kitchen. This dust can mix with grease that flies off from what you are cooking. When dust and grease mix, it results in a whole mess. Linens and cookbooks should always be kept as far away and safe as possible to avoid exposure to this accumulated grease, which could damage those items for good.

Before deciding on how to use it, therefore, always check to ascertain the absence of grease. If present, you should stick to pieces that are easily cleaned like glassware and vases.

  • Customize – Before utilizing it, you should know that the space above kitchen cabinets is a dead space that could change the whole look of the kitchen. You should therefore personalize it to your liking for a better cohesive space.
Woman standing by the stove in the kitchen


The spaces above cabinets are always abandoned, yet they have the power of changing the look in a kitchen. Creativity is welcome for utilizing this space but within the limits of suitable decor. It is therefore fine to blend a couple of items like plants and vases to share this space without necessarily overcrowding it.

However, you should have a bottom line like a common texture or color hue that acts as a unifying factor for visual appeal. You should also find a ladder that you won’t mind keeping within the kitchen to help you access the upper space.


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