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How to decorate above kitchen cabinets?

Decorating above kitchen cabinets often poses a unique challenge. Adequate attention to this space can transform the kitchen's aesthetic, making it appear polished and thoughtfully designed.

It is an opportunity to add personal touches that reflect a homeowner's style or to utilize the space for practical storage solutions. An interior designer in Los Angeles may suggest incorporating a mix of decorative and functional items to achieve style and efficiency.

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets - The Basics

When considering how to decorate the space above kitchen cabinets, it’s important to keep in mind the overall theme of the home.

For a cohesive look, the decorations should complement both the kitchen's style and the adjoining rooms. They might introduce items such as vases, artwork, or plants to add life and color to the kitchen.

Strategic use of these decorations can create visual interest and draw the eye upward, enhancing the room's sense of space.

Lighting is another crucial aspect to consider. It can provide both ambiance and highlight the decorative pieces displayed above the cabinets.

Installing under-cabinet lighting, for example, can accentuate the textures and colors of the displayed items, while also offering practical illumination.

A designer in Los Angeles would be aware of the subtleties of natural light in the area and how to maximize its potential in conjunction with artificial lighting to ensure that the space above the cabinets is always presented in the best possible light.

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

Decorating Strategies

Effective decoration above kitchen cabinets can enhance the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. It involves thoughtful consideration of space, a cohesive theme, and a blend of decorative and practical elements.

Assessing Your Space

To optimize the decor above kitchen cabinets, one must first measure the available space. Factors such as ceiling height, cabinet width, and the presence of soffits or lighting fixtures will influence the choice of decorative items.

JAC Interiors, a design firm, suggests ensuring there is enough room between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling for the chosen decor to fit comfortably, without looking cramped.

Cabinet Width
  • Short: Up to 30 inches - Opt for smaller accents.

  • Medium: 30–60 inches - Suitable for medium-sized art.

  • Long: Over 60 inches - Ideal for larger pieces or multiple items.

Ceiling Height
  • Low Ceiling: Less than 8 feet - Avoid tall items to prevent a crowded look.

  • Standard Ceiling: 8–10 feet - More room for decorative items.

  • High Ceiling: Over 10 feet - Space for dramatic, high-reaching decor.

Choosing a Decor Theme

Selecting a consistent decor theme ensures a harmonious look. One should contemplate the current kitchen style to match or complement the main aesthetic. Whether opting for a modern, traditional, or eclectic theme, consistency is key.

JAC Interiors advises on the importance of a cohesive theme to maintain a flow and avoid visual clutter.

  • Modern: Clean lines, minimalist accessories, neutral colors.

  • Traditional: Classic pieces, warm tones, ornate designs.

  • Eclectic: Mix of textures, bold patterns, unique finds.

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

Balancing Function and Aesthetics

In balancing function with aesthetics, consider decorative items that are both pleasing and practical. Mix visually appealing pieces with items that can be used regularly or seasonally.

For example, one can place beautiful serving platters or decorative baskets that are within reach but not in everyday use.

Functional Decor
  • Decorative Baskets: Store items not needed daily.

  • Serving Platters: Display during downtime, use when hosting.

  • Cookbooks: Stacked or lined up, they act as a reference and a feature.

Decorating above kitchen cabinets is an opportunity to express personal style and enhance the character of one's kitchen space efficiently and tastefully.

Implementation Tips

When decorating above kitchen cabinets, one should consider both aesthetics and practicality to enhance the overall look. Implementing the right design elements can transform the space into an attractive and cohesive part of the kitchen.

Installing Lighting

Proper lighting can accentuate the decorative elements above kitchen cabinets and create ambiance. They can install under-cabinet lighting to illuminate collectables or glassware. Types of lighting to consider include:

  • Puck lights: These create focused, spot-like illumination suitable for highlighting objects.

  • LED strips: They offer an even, diffused light and can be tucked away out of sight.

Arranging Decor Objects

Strategic placement of decor objects can establish a focal point. They might select a few key pieces that reflect their personal style or theme of the kitchen. Here are some tips for arranging these objects:

  • Balance: Distribute items evenly, alternating between tall and short pieces to create visual interest.

  • Grouping: Place items in groups of three or five for an appealing composition.

Maintaining Style Consistency

It's important to maintain a consistent style with the rest of the kitchen to achieve a cohesive look. An interior designer from Los Angeles might select decor that complements the kitchen's overall design scheme, considering:

  • Color palette: Choose decorations that match or complement the kitchen's color scheme.

  • Theme: Align accessories with the kitchen's theme, whether it's modern, rustic, or traditional.


Jenny Kakoudakis

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.

Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.



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