It’s not uncommon, for one reason or another, to have space between one’s upper kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. While it happens often enough, getting down to actually decorating this gap can be a tricky business. Kitchens are typically busy places anyway, and no one wants to add to the chaos and make the room feel top-heavy. Conversely, however, is the barren, unfinished feeling that might ensue if the gap is left completely empty. While there are a variety of successful strategies in decorating this space (discussed below), one resolute rule remains intact across-the-board: No tired-looking artificial ivy and dust-attracting fake grapes!
If you have a displayable collection, consider using the above-cabinet gap to display your collection. The collection might be ceramic-ware or kitchen-related items (note the cake stands displayed in the photo), but it could really be anything. Think outside the box (or the kitchen) about what you love – statues, mirrors, model cars, etc. One benefit of using this space as a display wall is that it keeps treasured collectibles out of reach of little hands!
Another method that’s useful to consider in decorating the cabinet gap is to find items with similar color tones and arrange them. In this example, earthy browns and whites come together to create a lovely organic cottage-y feel above the cabinets. Note that the objects themselves really don’t have much in common per se, but utilizing like colors brings cohesiveness to the display…as well as to the lovely, inviting space overall.
If you have the space on your upper ledge, consider varying the heights of your display pieces. In this example, different-sized plates are paired with taller urns and shorter round sculptures. While the color blue is common to all the pieces, for me it’s the interesting varied heights and shapes that makes this arrangement work. (I also like the symmetry here; however, it’s not often that above-cabinet spaces are conducive to symmetry, so this might not work for your own space.)
What if your items aren’t pretty or have nothing in common…or what if you simply need the extra shelf space? Baskets just might be your solution. Straight-edged baskets will maximize the space best, while small chalkboard labels attached to the front will make your life easier when searching for your things. The woven texture and organic nature of baskets is also a bonus when juxtaposed with slick, shiny, contemporary cabinetry. In this example, they also coordinate nicely with the wooden dresser and natural rug.
If the space above your cabinets doesn’t create a ledge, or if you’re not in the habit (or desire) of displaying collections of things, consider making this space an extension of your art gallery. Identical frames and matting brings cohesion to the artwork, and the addition of art in the kitchen this way looks both intentional and sophisticated.