mmaddox1June 22, 2011
I have floating cabinets in my kitchen and want to add decor to the top. I'm not in to fake plants, plates or roosters...any suggestions?
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Annie Thornton
I really like how serveware and maybe other infrequently used dishes and kitchenware are stashed on the top of these floating shelves. Although a different style than what your kitchen sounds like, I really like the functional look of these shelves. You're right, roosters, fake plants, etc., serve strictly decorative purposes and tend to look cluttered and space wasters.

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You could also leave them empty

cabinets in quarter sawn fsc certified maple · More Info


You can barely see in this photograph, but there are some handwoven baskets above the cabinets. Although I know this is purely decorative, I love the cohesive collection of it and the fact that it looks more curated than cluttered. It could be a great place to display collectibles that you have picked up in your travels.

South Bay Residence · More Info
    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:56AM
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DeCocco Design
I suggest having something quiet up there--like a collecton of creamware, or soup tureens all in one color, or bowls that are clear glass or just one color, you get my drift. You are so right--no silk greenery! My SIL has roosters above hers and I have to tell you it looks pretty good. It's a tongue in cheek sort of display and makes me smile every time I see it. I've got one antique bean pot from Boston on one side of the kitchen and a very simple, roughly made bird house on the other side. I'm from New England (hence the beanpot) and the birdhouse was made by a man near my favorite beach in Maine and I bought it with my mom. Those two kind of kitchy, unsophisticated items are there to serve as visual touchstones for me.
    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:01AM
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mmaddox1
Thanks anniekenndall & decocco for your helpful suggestions! I have attached a picture of my kitchen and the floating cabinets I was referring to. As you can see, it's a blank slate with a lot of potential. I just wish decorating was my forte!
    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:45AM
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mousemaker
i'm not a rooster person either :) i agree with the suggestions above--esp. baskets..but maybe you should wait and just leave the space as it is. your focal point in the kitchen is the island? maybe a large bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers (real ones :)) you don't really need to fill space just because it's there. and if you're like me? you hate dusting!!! so anything you put up there will need to be dusted...or not :)
    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:50AM
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mmaddox1
you're right mousemaker...in addition to the large bowl of fruit or vase of flowers, maybe I should think about updating the base of the island and adding nicer stools. Thanks for replying!
    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:57AM
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Jamie Herzlinger
Hello, I would suggest to get rid of the green paint, use the color of the tile in the backsplash, and then go to crate and barrel or pottery barn and get the fake grass containers that look really cool and add a textural element
less to dust and why draw your eye up-if you put cremeware on the counters and bring more interest to eye level you are better off
Jamie Herzlinger
    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 11:38AM
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campbell1
HI, I would think about changing the wall color above the cabinets. The tile color and the wall color are distracting. I think if you changed one of the above suggestions and left nothing above your cabinets, you would be happy. But, if you feel you need something, maybe just adding some kind of lighting might be nice. Also, a darker blind on the window and darker stools would give a more cohesive look. I think you have all the woods too much the same colors without any contrasting going on.
    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 8:02AM
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pauli12
Would something like these oversize wine bottles work for you?

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/found-oversized-wine-bottles/?pkey=cdecorative-vintage
    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 4:56PM
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bepsf
Personally, I wouldn't put anything up there.
Just because a space doesn't have anything in it means it needs something in it.
    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 3:49PM
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mrsaul
Those cabinets look pretty cool. Any wider shots of the kitchen to get a feel for the rest of the space?
I don't think roosters, etc would work too well judging from this pic because they demand a more rustic/eclectic aesthetic, and your kitchen looks pretty contemporary. As a general rule, though, I only decorate with functional things, so I suggest putting some of your less used but good looking dishes up there, or maybe some nice looking jars of food items--something that would make sense to be stored up there. I personally have a lot of open open shelves in my kitchen, and using this rule, I think they look pretty good:
The kitchen in a recent remodel of a 100 year old Craftsman bungalow · More Info
    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 4:33PM
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jcarter902
Rather than draw attention to the awkward space, get a bid on what it would cost to build a soffit. Your kitchen will look complete and polished off.
    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:26PM
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Biz Haddock
Add rope lighting. Put it on a timer and make sure it laid flat so it's not seen. It is extremely economical and last for many years before needing to be replaced. The illumination is beautiful both day and night. Then whatever cool things you add to the top will look that much better.
    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 8:02AM
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Biz Haddock
Add rope lighting. Put it on a timer and make sure it laid flat so it's not seen. It is extremely economical and last for many years before needing to be replaced. The illumination is beautiful both day and night. Then whatever cool things you add to the top will look that much better.
    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 8:03AM
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mousemaker
i agree about the soffit, or maybe see if cabinets can be added there? i guess it's a question about how much decoration do you want in the kitchen? you have decorative tile already..
    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 8:49AM
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tracy6
i agree with cambell1 and jhertzinger. Get rid of the green paint and pull a color from the backsplash for a more cohesive look. Then you can see if any accent piece(s) is\are is needed. It can be a real dirt trap up there so I would go for washable ceramics not baskets.
    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:11AM
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Julia Wakely Interiors
I would leave it empty up top. I'd paint the green out to something neutral so your eye doesn't automatically look up.
I would paint your island a creamy white like Mayonnaise or Navajo White and get new stools like the aluminum Crate and Barrel Delta ones and new chunkier hardware on the cabinets.
    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Linda Peterson
Save up and get all new uppers that go clear to the ceiling and paint the lowers and uppers the same white color. New backsplash and paint the island a dark, rich color from your granite- add some molding to island. Add nicer dark wood bar stools. Make sure at least the upper cabinets above the dishwasher are seeded glass doors to display nice dinnerware. New roman shade goes clear to ceiling. New, striking island light will really polish it off! Do it gradually as you can afford it.
    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 3:39PM
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ematollah
Why dont u put some teapots there ?
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 4:51AM
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Carole
We have a wine theme in our kitchen and I put some hand-painted wine glasses, wine rack, wine decanter, etc. above my cabinets. You could do that with any "theme", i.e. pitcher and matching glasses. I have some clear wine glasses up there as well and intend to find the perfect little picture to hang behind them so they show up. I put my decor in the corner only because I don't want it overtaken with 'stuff'. Less is always more.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 6:43AM
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Carol Taylor
Add a few strings of Christmas tree lights on top. You will brighten the space with something you already have on hand.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 6:49AM
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Yvonne Mastny
Change the upper paint color. Add rope lighting on a timer as suggested above. If you entertain a lot (I do), the area would be most useful for storing and displaying the unique black platters, bowls, tureens, vases, and casseroles I use when entertaining large groups - they're out of the way, easy to get to, not taking up space in my accessible cabinets, and everything has a clean, rectangular shape. Nambe or stainless steel, or all white would also work.

Second choice would be whatever makes you happy - paintings, sculpture, mirrors, or interesting architectural finds. Through the years I've used decor that reflects our travels: oil paintings of Venice canals & carnival masks, mosaic tiles from Istanbul glued to a white shelf from Home Depot, a collection of African masks & baskets, slate tiles from New Orleans with hand painted jazz greats, Uluru-sheepskin-Dijeridoo-rock art from Australia. I switch everything whenever I get the urge.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 7:18AM
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seabeewyfe
I have rope lighting up on mine. My ceilings are 22 feet so I'm still looking for something "tall" to put up on top of mine, but the rope lighting gives a soft glow and I really like it.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 7:21AM
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woofwoof
I think that area above the cabinets is screaming for a muted red or deep orange color for warmth and contrast. Also, darker shade over window -- maybe even ties into the color you paint above?. And ditch the ceiling fan for an awesome pendant that hangs lower over the island. One of those half dome chrome lights would be beautiful and reflect the light and the color. Plus new stools, or paint the ones you have a fun color or even a distressed black to pick up the black in the appliances.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:57AM
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Melanie S.
Funny thing - your kitchen layout looks ALMOST identical to mine. Except I have a larger island where one side has stools. I've had a TWO YEARS to try to solve this issue and it's still not solved. lol In my last house I decorated up there, but i hate that look now. To me it's out-dated. I agree with entnous53. Save up and get the 30 in(?) cabinets - their other suggestions are great too.

The less expensive alternative is rope lighting - but if you are like me, where the heck are you going to plug it in? I guess you could hire an electrician, but if you are going to spend that much, there's the first option and who couldn't use more storage? :)

A third option I have not tired is having the crown trim removed then adding boxed cabinets up there. I've seen some with glass doors and lights.

Please post what you choose. Maybe it will inspire me, too! :)
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:04AM
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seabeewyfe
mcoffeesnob: We have (had when we moved in) plugs turned sideways up on top (and inside) our cabinets. Haven't figured out what the ones INSIDE our cabinets are for yet, but the ones above are VERY nice and I have no issues with wires from our rope lighting. Also, the top of our cabinets have a lip so to speak since they put molding around the front of our cabinets (see attached photo) and the rope lighting is very soft. Just gives a glow. I am not sure what rope lighting would look like if you didn't have the "lip" like we do. Maybe too bright??
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Melanie S.
@seabeeewyfe - I'm drooling! We have a 'lip' on ours. Thanks! I wonder what our poster will choose.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Melanie S.
;)
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:09AM
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pauli12
I have personally never like the cabinets all the way to ceiling. They make me feel closed in. We are building a new house and my option was the 30 inch uppers with the rope light. I will probably eventually put some old milk bottles or other things on hand that I love.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:10AM
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gabs2much
Yes, the green is too distracting. Paint area lightest color of tile backsplash. Add the rope lighting. Paint or change out the stools in black &/or aluminum. Add a black background fabric valance and matching or coordinating stool covers or chair pads if you go with aluminum stools. Black & aluminum accessories on counters. NOTHING above! Good luck. Keep us posted!
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 1:55PM
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gabs2much
Oh, and also change your lighting ( as budget permits). I'm seeing a couple of great stainless or black iron pendants.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 1:58PM
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hannah_grimm
basket collection or large serving bowls
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 3:14PM
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tractormama
I think your focal point is the beautiful tile design on your backsplash. I would suggest concentrating on bringing that out. As another suggested, make your stools darker, and possibly the lower cabinets, place an eye-grabber on the island and repaint the area above the upper cabinets.
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 7:19PM
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sueschus
Definitely rope lighting (white lights) with a dimmer. The crown molding will hide it. An electrician should be able to hard wire it into existing wiring. Paint the area above the cabinets - possibly high gloss black - and arrange a few (and an odd number) unique serving pieces above. They can be set on blocks of wood or even books to raise them above the molding. Then stain the island ebony and replace the stools with something more interesting such as metal stools. OR paint the upper wall with chalkboard paint and write different quotes, words, whatever on it, changing it periodically. But, definitely rope lighting!
    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:10PM
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vtaloni
Interesting discussion as I'm tired of what I have over my cabinets and have been noodling different ideas. We will also be putting our house on the market so I don't want anything that looks cluttered.

A neighbor is working with a designer who suggested she be sure to put a few pieces of bling above her cabinets, combined with other things. After spending 2 days arranging and re-arranging everything above her cabinets, she took everything down and has decided to put nothing up there. She plans to follow the idea of a friend of hers and get an artist to paint a vine (or something similar) on the wall above the cabinets and leave it at that. She said it looks fabulous in her friend's kitchen.

I love the idea of something painted with the rope lights to show it off. Looks like you have a built-in microwave, so you must have an outlet in the cabinet above that you could tap into for the rope lights
    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 2:36PM
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AlohaMainers C
My mother-in-law always had baskets or trailing plants that didn't require a lot of light or water above her floating cabinets. I loved the look and thought it was calming and elegant. My husband got to my one new floating cabinet in the kitchen and put up four huge plastic bowls of different colors...I thought, cheesy...then I saw they actually make the space look very fun and trendy. They'll do for now. With my color kitchen (orange), I have to think carefully before I put up baskets--they would get lost against the wood and walls. I might just leave his plastic bowls up there for a while!
    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 5:26PM
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pauli12
What a creative husband you have! Up high like that bold statements look great!
    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 5:52PM
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clouseferrer
i agree with getting rid of the green and painting it into a neutral backdrop ... not sure if this has been said but consider adding YOUR personality to this. Into music? Have a collection of baskets? I saw a picture on houzz recently where the person put small mandolins and dulcimer type instruments above their cabinets, it was beautiful and a conversation piece. make it unique like YOU ... oh yeah and the lighting is important, which someone (or many) has already mentioned
    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:23AM
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Laura Hayes_Efe
I agree with no fake plants, roosters and such. A plate collection could work. I don't think baskets are ideal...hard to dust. Ceramic, glass, metal or any surface that is easy to wipe down when they get dusty, which you know it will! I like zibbydot's suggestion above: Add rope lights for illumination. Here is what I did above my floating cabinets that adds reflection, shine and interest and I only dust them twice a year, so pretty low maintenance. All great suggestions! Good Luck.
Laura @ Design Share
hayestone.blogspot.com
    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 6:03PM
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freedom
ADD HIDDEN LIGHTING,,,ON A DIMMER, WITH CHANGING COLORS, OR ONE SOFT COLOR TO ADD AMBIANCE. OTHERWISE YOU'LL BE ON A LADDER DUSTING AND DUSTING ALL THE ITEMS UP THERE....IT CATCHES GREASE FROM COOKING.
    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 10:55AM
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eli0
I would replace the green with a neutral colour, then bridge between the cupboards above the window with a valance using the same wood or a fabric that compliments the diamond pattern on the backsplash. As for the space above the cupboards, I would leave it alone.
    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 5:09AM
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mmaddox1
WOW! I appreciate and have enjoyed reading all the replies to the post about my kitchen. Based on the reviews we’ve decided to leave the space above the cabinets empty and only replace the green wall color above with a neutral one pulled from the backsplash, install some rope lighting, hang a darker shade or valance and replace the bar stools. Once complete, we'll re-access and may incorporate some of the other great suggestions. I will post again once we’re done. Thanks to all that replied – I LOVE Houzz!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:06AM
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Melanie S.
I think that's a GREAT plan! Can't wait to see!
    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:14AM
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freedom
looking forward to your new pics! LOVE HOUZZ!
    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 1:24PM
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gwen mckay
For starters i think painting the walls a better color will work
    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 6:29PM
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