Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Modernize Your Kitchen with Creative Storage and Decor Above the Cabinets

Gabriela Connell
4 minute read

The space above kitchen cabinets often ends up collecting dust or becoming an afterthought in kitchen design. But this overlooked area is ripe with possibility to add visual interest, extra storage, and express your personal style. With some clever decorating ideas, you can transform the empty void over your cabinets into a functional and inviting design feature.

From open shelving to create a more open and airy look, to stylish new lighting fixtures that provide task lighting, there are many ways to maximize both the form and function of the area above your cabinets. The finishing touches like updated hardware, accent tile or wallpaper backsplashes, and trimwork lend personality and polish. Read on for inspirational ideas to take your kitchen decor to new heights – literally!

Clever Storage Solutions and Open Shelving

Closed upper cabinets have their place for concealing less attractive items. But open shelving opens up the kitchen visually and allows you to display your favorite dishware and accents. The trick is incorporating smart storage solutions so everything has a place while maintaining an organized look.

decorate over kitchen cabinets

Baskets, bins and other organizers are must-haves for keeping items corralled yet accessible. Place any lesser-used items towards the back of the shelves. For a tiered look, install short floating shelves stacked on top of the existing cabinets for housing spices, cookbooks and other kitchen tools within easy reach.

Benefits of Open Shelving

Maximizing Storage

Maintenance Tips

Stylish and Functional Cabinet Lighting

The proper lighting can make all the difference in kitchens. Well-placed fixtures provide essential task lighting while also enhancing the aesthetic. When it comes to illuminating your kitchen, look up – the area above the cabinets is prime real estate for installing lighting.

Pendant lights dangling above islands or sinks supply focused task lighting and style. Opt for bulbs that provide the brightness needed for food prep and cooking. Sconces or track lighting on the upper walls cast both ambient and directional light. Under-cabinet LED strips illuminate your counters and backsplashes.

Types of Lighting

Design Considerations

Lighting Layout Tips

Backsplash Ideas

An eye-catching backsplash delivers visual impact while also protecting the walls behind counters and sinks. Extending your backsplash material to the ceiling behind the cabinets creates a cohesive, seamless look. But even a more budget-friendly accent strip backsplash can lend personality.

Play with different textures like subway tile, hexagons, or arabesque patterns. The material possibilities are endless – natural stone like marble, metal and tin sheets, reclaimed wood planks, removable wallpaper, and more. Tie in cabinet and countertop hues for a pulled together look.


Patterns and Textures

Design Considerations

Finishing Touches

It’s often the little details that take a kitchen remodel from basic to beautiful. Elevate your space with these finishing touches for the over-cabinet area.

Swapping out dated hardware for updated knobs and handles can give cabinets a fresh facelift. For a cohesive look, choose hardware finishes that coordinate with your fixtures and appliances. Molding and trimwork add lovely architecture. Crown molding, corbels and shelf trim infuse traditional charm.

Glass-front upper cabinets allow you to display cherished dishware while keeping it dust-free. Refinishing or painting worn cabinets in a new color is an affordable upgrade. The right touches turn your kitchen into a stylish space you’re excited to spend time in.


Molding and Trim

Bringing life to the previously ignored area above your kitchen cabinets opens up exciting possibilities. With a dose of creativity and style, this blank canvas can be an opportunity to reflect your personality while enhancing functionality.