Unless your top kitchen cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling, you probably have some unused space that you might not even be aware of. We’re talking about that space between the top of the wall-mounted cabinets and the ceiling which is often difficult to reach and quite unappealing overall.
That might very well be the case but that doesn’t mean you can’t put it to good use and take advantage of it in some way. Rather than thinking of it as an awkward and useless space you can instead try to take advantage of it. Here are some clever ways in which to do it:
Create an intentional display area
Turn the space above the kitchen cabinets into an additional storage area and make it look intentional. It’s not practical to keep here items that you use often so use this space to store, display and group up various decorative or less used things like some cute-looking dishes, vases and so on, something to suit the kitchen decor and ambiance that you’re going for. This stylish kitchen designed by Susan Overton also adds lighting to this space which is a lovely touch.
Decorate with color and pattern
Instead of ignoring or trying to hide the space above your kitchen cabinets you can go the opposite way and draw more attention to it. Fill it with colorful items, artwork and various other things and turn it into an eye-catching display area.
Add some plants
It’s always nice to have a bit of greenery in the kitchen, especially when its design and decor are minimalistic and use neutral and simple colors.
More often than not however there’s not enough space for a mini garden in here. Luckily, you can use the area on top of the cabinets for that. As long as the plants get plenty of natural light up there they should be quite happy. To make it easier for you to care for them you can give them self-watering planters. This is an idea inspired by this apartment designed by Raúl Sánchez Architects.
Turn this into a part of your storage system
Another idea is to design the kitchen cabinets with usable top surfaces in the first place so that when you put something up there it actually looks and is intentional. We really like how this kitchen by flore & venezia architects was set up.
Its upper cabinets are intertwined with a series of open shelves so the space above really is just an extra long shelf. It can be used to store and organize various items that are difficult and awkward to fit inside the cabinets like cutting boards, large bowls, trays and so on.
Set up a mini library
Something else that you can store up on top of your kitchen cabinets is a bunch of books. This idea works out great if you have a collection of recipe books, magazines and various such things. You can have them all displayed up here, either in stacks, vertically, horizontally or however else you want to. You can also add some bookends, planters and various other decorations in between and around the books, just like you would on a regular bookshelf. Perhaps this stylish kitchen designed by architect Arjen Reas can inspire you.
A decor doesn’t have to be permanent. That also applies to that space above your kitchen cabinets which you might be using as a display area for various random things.
If you want to mix it up a little bit, come up with themed decor options which you can change every season or whenever there’s a special occasion like Christmas or Halloween. This way your kitchen decor will constantly be refreshed and won’t ever become boring.
Create groups and clusters of items
This is a useful design tip in general which also applies when you’re decorating the area above your kitchen cabinets. A nice way to fill this space up with things like vases, planters, candles and so on is to have these items displayed in groups.
Keep similar things clustered together and mix and match variations of them. This way you create a decor that doesn’t feel random.
Extend the cabinets
This solution is perhaps the most obvious of all. You can fill out this space by extending your kitchen cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. You can use a different style for this upper section and incorporate some open shelves up here to make it easier to store and display items on them. It could also look nice if you added some lights up here. This is an idea inspired by a kitchen design done by studio Pullman West.