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decorate above kitchen cabinets

Modernize Your Kitchen: Creative Ways to Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets 2024

The year 2024 is the time for creating an ambiance that leans into characterful spaces especially when embracing the kitchen trends. You want the vibe to feel timeless and work with the style you already have.
Kitchen cabinets are fundamental elements that determine the look of a kitchen. Modern kitchen wall cabinets are specifically designed to combine functionality and style. The design typically consists of open spaces, clean lines, and minimalist design features that offer a clutter-free space to relax and entertain. Modern kitchen design is a style regarded as transitional and contemporary driven by simplicity while maximizing functionality by utilizing space and organized cabinetry.

The space above the kitchen cabinets could be a potential storage space for seasonal items or large less-used kitchen equipment. It can also be used specifically to display collections and antiques which helps to draw your eye upward and appreciate some personal décor.

Let us share with you some creative ways to use that extra space for something functional while enhancing that extra space and making it look beautiful.

Creative Décor Ideas Above Kitchen Cabinets

The space above kitchen cabinets can be the perfect place to show off your collection of cherished items such as serving pieces including glass pitchers, silver platters, and sparkling stemware. Not only does it create a focal point in the kitchen, but it also adds color and depth, and easy access to exquisite dinnerware when entertaining guests. Tip: Keep similar objects together to create a more cohesive design statement.

Use the space to show off a collection of books and cookbooks, it allows you to add a personal touch to your kitchen. This will help bring a cozy and casual vibe and character to the space. Tip: Choose cookbooks with neutral covers that complement your modern-style kitchen. You can stack them vertically or horizontally to create an interesting visual display.

When placing items above the kitchen cabinets, it is best to use canisters to store smaller items such as utensils, picnic, or other kitchen supplies. Jars and containers are versatile items to use on top of your kitchen cabinets. Matching jars in different sizes and materials or glass canisters with different color lids that blend well with your kitchen design scheme. Expand your existing pantry by putting on display jars of olives or glass containers full of pasta and lining them above the upper kitchen cabinets leaving more storage space in your pantry.

above cabinet wine storage

Credit Lone Oak Design

You don’t have a wine cellar? Use the space above your upper kitchen cabinets for storing wine by installing wall-mounted racks to secure wine bottles. Hard alcohol and certain cocktail mixers will also work nicely into your kitchen décor.

There’s always a holiday coming up and that space above kitchen cabinets is the perfect spot to make the room a little more festive. Use it to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other occasion to make it extra special.

Incorporating indoor greenery in your design scheme offers a fresh energy vibe and brings a positive feel to your kitchen. Plants make people feel more connected with nature. You can use real plants; however, it can be difficult for their upkeep, especially on top of kitchen cabinets. Faux greenery will be much easier to use. Tip: You can use different types of pots and containers such as bronze, copper, and stainless-steel pots will blend well with modern aesthetics.

For a kitchen with a high ceiling, installing floating shelves is an innovative solution for a functional and stylish display of glassware, sculptural vases, low-maintenance houseplants, artworks, photos, or mirrors. This is an excellent way to highlight reflective materials that offer exquisite features when exposed to natural or artificial lighting and create an eye-catching design above your kitchen cabinets. Tip: A single shelf that hangs high above the top of the upper cabinets keeps items out of sight and can be a functional place to install under-mount task or ambient lighting.

Use the repetition of the shape technique to create a visual horizontal band or border on your above cabinet. It also helps to give depth when you display them where they slightly overlap one another instead of lining them up in a row. By doing so, you also extend the visual height of the cabinets, making them appear taller.

Keep in mind that a minimalistic approach to decorating above cabinets will allow you to achieve a simple, elegant, and modern look for your kitchen. Your focus should be on functionality and timeless appeal while allowing you to blend both contemporary and modern elements into your design scheme. Tip: Try having décor items on top of the cabinet that blend with the wall. This way the objects won’t overpower your kitchen cabinets while providing you the storage and display space you desire.

Lighting Options

above cabinet lighting

Modern kitchen design maximizes space and lighting. Different types of lighting above cabinets will give your kitchen a layered look. Get onboard the trend for high-impact lighting by incorporating the above cabinet lighting. It gives your kitchen a high-statement illumination by lighting the gap between the upper cabinets and the ceiling. This design composition uses diffused lighting that is projected upwards offering a soothing ambiance within the kitchen and creating a modern vibe to the space.

Install indirect LED strip lights on top of your kitchen cabinets to provide a generous warm glow that dramatically improves the visual appeal of any kitchen. Nowadays, installing above-cabinet lighting is turning out to be an extremely popular trend and it is becoming a standard design element for new homes.

Installing light fixtures between your upper cabinets and kitchen ceiling with a finish or style that pops against your existing wall and cabinet color will allow you to achieve a dramatic feel to your kitchen’s design scheme.

Try installing spotlight scones across the length of your upper cabinets, this idea for the above kitchen cabinets will surely make the overhead gap appear grandiose. You can also highlight eye-catching decorative pieces to invite attention.

Illuminate those open shelves above the cabinets with accent lighting by using LED strip lights and installing them within each shelf. This will elevate the overall look of your kitchen and create a floating effect. This is a great way to provide night illumination that gives your kitchen a warm, inviting, and cozy feel. Tip: Try installing color-changing LED strip lights to give your kitchen an interesting ambient lighting experience and a more modern vibe.

Another idea for above kitchen cabinets with high ceilings is to incorporate reflecting mirrors on the wall above the wall cabinets to bridge the gap overhead. You can also maximize the wall space above your cabinets with a series of windows. This design scheme allows natural sunlight to be emulated and echoed throughout the area with warmth while visually expanding your kitchen creating an illusion of a larger space. Choose mirrors and window designs above cabinets that complement the architectural lines of your home.

Unlock the Potential of Different Materials

The space between the cabinets and ceiling can be a bit of a distraction from the rest of the kitchen.
However, we offer some innovative ways to use different materials and design elements to make the kitchen a more fun, interesting, and wonderful space.

There is a new trend that is promoting a more elegant aesthetic and that is taking tiles right up to the kitchen ceiling. Incorporating the same backsplash tile above the upper kitchen cabinets will create a seamless visual element that can help bring the room together and add distinction to the design. It will also give a clean, uniform symmetrical presentation. Installing tiles above kitchen cabinets will provide a strong design statement and interest for those who love texture, colors, and patterns. Tip: Try using patterned tiles that look textural from afar for a more dynamic appeal.

wall paper above kitchen cabinet

Design Credit: Jeff Andrews

Another beautiful way to decorate above kitchen cabinets is to try wrapping the gap with wallpaper; the colors and patterns will add dimension to the space. Incorporating wallpaper will give that space above the cabinets to the ceiling a special visual detail and highlight. Current wallpaper prints help modernize your kitchen design scheme complimenting the sleek style cabinetry. Tip: Try using peel-and-stick wallpaper so you can easily change it up to go with your cabinet and kitchen color scheme.

To add more interest to the space above the kitchen cabinet, apply an accent color as a way to add s strong contrast without overpowering and will draw the eye up for a great visual effect and accentuate the kitchen with a high ceiling. However, if you want the gap to be less noticeable, paint the wall the same color as the cabinets. Tip: It is always safe to go with the colors you already have in your kitchen color scheme.

Make a statement by using bricks as a backsplash to the above kitchen cabinets. The brick texture and pattern give this space in between an industrial-style vibe. Tip: You could also try to install faux brick panels or brick veneer.

If you don’t need storage space, sometimes the best way to use the space is to just leave it empty. It’s not like there needs to be soothing on top of it. Why not just fill in the space with trim running along the top of your upper kitchen cabinets? This idea is great if you have pipes or ductwork that need to be concealed. Tip: You can paint the trim in a contrasting color that will complement your kitchen’s color scheme.

In a nutshell

The kitchen is now the focal point of modern homes where cooking, entertaining and even working takes place. With these activities happening in the kitchen, it’s a top priority to incorporate storage in the design ideas. Typically, a wall-hanging cabinet in the kitchen measures between 32 and 36 inches tall since this is the height that most people can reach. Thus, leaving a gap of around two feet between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.

above cabinet backsplash

Why waste a storage opportunity especially if kitchen cabinet space is limited? One clever solution is to make use of the gap for additional storage and help transform the kitchen into a tidy and organized space.

The space above the kitchen upper cabinets can help maximize your display options by taking advantage of that wall space. It helps improve convenience by keeping your countertop clear and giving you more working space and at the same time enhances your kitchen’s ambiance.

The above cabinet décor includes the installation of ambient lighting fixtures that bring life and enhance the mood in the kitchen. Set into the recesses within the shelves or cabinetry, it is the most sophisticated design idea that creates a sense of drama and adds depth to the whole kitchen concept.

If you have a high ceiling and you are not so much of a fan of displaying any collections or other kitchen tools, try adding a second row of cabinets for extra storage and not worry about a cluttered workspace.

stacked cabinets

It is not that complicated to decide how to decorate above kitchen cabinets or choose what to put above kitchen cabinets once you determine how you want to decorate above your cabinets and evaluate what you want to achieve with the space that you have. Always keep in mind that less is more and know that you don’t need to have something on top of every space of the above cabinets.

Decide on the things that make you happy and go well with the whole design scheme. By incorporating personal taste in styling the space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, you can bring interest to a space that offers a lot of opportunities and functionality. Plus, it creates a warm and inviting feeling throughout the room.

There are still many ideas and potential of using the space above your hanging cabinets to explore. I hope that I was able to inspire you with some ideas and tips for decorating the kitchen cabinets.


Talha Gursoy is an accomplished Architectural Designer with over ten years of experience in the design-build field, specializing in interior design and construction. A holder of both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Architecture, Talha has built a reputation for crafting award-winning kitchen and bathroom renovations that combine functionality with stunning aesthetics. His passion for creating unique indoor spaces is complemented by his interests in photography and painting, which influence his design philosophy. Talha shares his expertise and insights on architecture and design through his engaging blog posts on his website, where he seeks to inspire and advise others in enhancing their living spaces.