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betty_solomon

Should I "decorate" the tops of my kitchen cabinets?

Betty Solomon
8 years ago
I just renovated my kitchen and have much higher ceilings and cabinets that would allow decorative items to be added on top. I'm just not sure about that look. Is it ok to leave them plain (i.e., empty)? or would something placed up there make the kitchen look more finished?

Comments (111)

  • indianpatti
    8 years ago
    Beautiful kitchen!

    I'm not a fan of "chachkies" anywhere .... especially on top of cabinets.

    An interesting backsplash will add just enough IMO.
  • Laura
    8 years ago
    Your kitchen is beautiful! How nice! I see no need to fill up the top of the cabinets.
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  • pbanovi
    8 years ago
    If it's too plain you could put some simple wall sticker with a quote... My favorite (you would have to change the layout):
  • pbanovi
    8 years ago
    and I would suggest to get some "statement" lightning fixture which will be the focal point
  • Sara Mabry is
    8 years ago
    I just this week got cabinets in my utility room [12 wide 24 long converted garage] My walls are a soft buttercream, ceiling is granny smith apple green, carpet level loop emerald isle white cabinets and trim new 8ft sliding door, and 10 ft. ceiling My ceiling color is also dropped 9 ins with white trim I am also debating on decorating above cabs, I now have 2 items up I think I will like it , I am watching your posts to decide, you know you can always take it down, I also got smooth on one side grip on the other shelve liner to help with dust, everyone has dust matter how good you keep house, I have lived here 49 yrs. so my house has gone thru many changes.
  • Terri Maines_Theisen
    8 years ago
    I think it really is a personal decision. I would prefer a bit of color to add interest.
  • Sallie Cabrera
    8 years ago
    i'd rather add cabinets up to ceiling - can be glass or frost doors. trust me, after a year, cleaning those decors will be pain (I just did mine) - full of dust that were stuck in grease - yuk!
  • babzie933
    8 years ago
    I think it's beautiful as is. I love the look of soft lighting above cabinets. You can buy the rope lighting at Home Depot. I put it under my cabinets and really like the ambience it adds! Nice job!
  • melwishes
    8 years ago
    What about some very large black and white prints or black and white photos in black frames (or is that too early 2000's)?
  • hogan
    8 years ago
    It seems to me you have gone very clean with your design by choosing a white backsplash with your white cabinets and simple lighting and it looks lovely!!! I would avoid adding things on top of the cabinets and cluttering. Keep things simple mabe a basket of apples and some fresh flowers will add the life you are missing from this beautiful kitchen!
    Betty Solomon thanked hogan
  • lucindalane
    8 years ago
    Personally, I like to put stuff on top of cabinets. However, your kitchen has so many architectural features-the windows, the slanted ceiling, and the cabinets themselves-that I don't think you need anything on the cabinets because there is enough visual interest going on "upstairs," IMO. Just decorating your counters and island with some color will probably be all you need to make your kitchen even more lovely than it already is.
    Betty Solomon thanked lucindalane
  • newbeginng2012
    8 years ago
    Put crown molding
  • casbroshomestaging
    8 years ago
    I like the idea of having statement pieces on top. It's amazing how it shows of your art or favorite pieces you might have inside a cabinet.
  • Mary Stover
    8 years ago
    We just selected white shaker cabinets just like yours! I like the molding at the top of your cabinets. It looks nice and clean the way it is...I plan to put very minimal decoration up on top.
  • m3459
    8 years ago
    I always feel as if decorating the tops of your cabinets really dates a space.
  • rmomala
    8 years ago
    This is a beautiful kitchen! I am thinking it would look nice open. Maybe add some mood lighting. Then during seasons or holidays you could add Decor for short periods such as some greenery and lights or cherry tree branches with blossoms.
  • vickicz
    8 years ago
    Your kitchen is beautiful and inspiring.
  • Riktoscale
    8 years ago
    Ok my turn. Well it's safe to say you have done a great job with this kitchen And from the sounds of things you are. Very creative and understand your space very well.

    Personally I find objects up there to be things that will collect dust and serve little purpose. I hate to dust, not very good at it lol.

    If you feel the ceiling height is just too high above the cabinets and cause your cabinets to look unfinished, I'm guessing this is your concern. My thinking is try this.

    1 . Put your objects back in and see how you. Feel about the space once it's repopulated.

    2 . After that if you still feel that something high will help finish the look my suggestion is to try something in a wrought iron. Maybe just three pieces, has to be odd numbers. Maybe even a plate stand in wrought iron and some yellow themed plates to use your accent color. Some dark metal would compliment the bench tops and handles without adding a whole new element and would be low maintenance

    Regardless you've got a beautiful kitchen that is classically beautiful and. Will look great for years to come.
    Betty Solomon thanked Riktoscale
  • cindyguent
    8 years ago
    Can we see an updated photo of your kitchen with the things you use on display? Initial photo didn't yet looked lived in. (Please forgive me if I'm wrong but I couldn't live without "things" on my counters!)
  • Sheralyn Miller
    8 years ago
    Your kitchen is gorgeous, and I love that you used the same tile but in a different pattern for an accent over your range. I just had that conversation with a interior designer friend about the house hubby and I are building. I didn't want to date my kitchen (building a new old farmhouse) with a tile accent over the range. Even though the tile was muted, I/we decided best to nix the accent marble mosaic and just stick with the subway tile all the way. I used painted beadboard at the end of my kitchen for the backsplash on the side wall, but it's a bone colored subway tile everywhere else. I don't think you really need anything on top of the cabinets, but as suggested above, I do like the idea of hanging matching plates on the wall above if the space feels too empty to you...such a classic touch. Great job on the kitchen!
    Betty Solomon thanked Sheralyn Miller
  • ala423
    8 years ago
    What look do you want? If you like this clean, uncluttered look then this is what you should do.
  • PRO
    none
    8 years ago
    Don't do any more to the tops of the cabinets. It looks beautiful. And clean. And don't put any scrollwork or anything like that. I love your kitchen.
    Betty Solomon thanked none
  • PRO
    JandB Kitchen Designs
    8 years ago
    Hi,
    We always put a quick note to verify our experience: Brigitte and I have consistently designed between 70-90 kitchens/year for over 34 years. We've literally designed thousands of kitchens. We also design/build full structural including below-grade foundation plans.
    Anyway, you have a beautiful, clean look. Don't ruin it with "chotskis" (spelling?). You do have a really great configuration of ceiling soffits over each wall cabinet run which is a really great place for above cabinet lighting on dimmers. Would give a great effect. Take a peek at our "page" and see the "Burr" kitchen. We put an outlet in the corner and he changes the light colors. Yours would be really trick with red/green low lighting during the Christmas season. Hope this helps.
    John & Brigitte
    Betty Solomon thanked JandB Kitchen Designs
  • stpsmommy
    8 years ago
    Love your kitchen!! I'm in dilemma about a farm sink. Do you love yours? I stood at one yesterday and wondered if it was to low or to to close to my body than I'm used too.
  • Betty Solomon
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Thanks for all the comments. You're right, Cindy. I had not yet put any of my "stuff" back in the space when I took this picture. I will post another pic soon with a bit more color and personality. I do want to keep the clean look for the most part.

    I already have the above cabinet lighting, J&B. I agree that it really does help to finish off the look. I'll take a look at your page also. haven't thought about using colors!

    Stpsmommy, I do love my farm sink. It's actually 36" instead of my originally planned 30"--and I love it! Glad I went even bigger than planned. For me it's not too low or too close, but I can see that some might not like the feel of it. All I can say is I'm glad I went for it since I'd been wanting a farm sink forever!
  • Ellen Horn
    8 years ago
    I have had the same problem and decided to put some items over the cabinets, as it really did look empty. I usd pottery and baskets , some high, some low and some vignettes. I am always tweeking it, but I like the look.
  • dawncarter1968
    8 years ago
    What about some of those kitchen quotes painted on the wall above?
  • PRO
    Lion Windows and Doors
    8 years ago
    I recommend plain, if you will put bunch of stuff on the cabinets it will look busy, without all the decorate its look nice and clean.
  • bostonstyle
    8 years ago
    Glass vases or jars in your accent color could be used there. The light will stream through them and create quite a sight! Cobalt blue would look great!
  • amateurdesigner33
    8 years ago
    I'd leave it empty. Although I'd add wallpaper to that part
  • zmhome
    8 years ago
    Another vote for empty. Your kitchen has a lovely, high end look to it, and I can't think of a single item that would compliment that. 99.99% of stuff on top of cabinets ends up looking cheap, in my humble opinion.

    Either way- enjoy that gorgeous space! Its remarkable !
  • nasmijati
    8 years ago
    I would not put any decorative items on top of the cabinets.

    I suggest waxed paper rather than paper towels as a "liner" on the top of the cabinets. If there is greasy steam, the paper towels absorb it and might stick to the top of the cabinets, and waxed paper will not.
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    Beautiful space. I vote empty, as well.
  • mermaide
    8 years ago
    Tsotchke
    It refers to knick knacks AKA dust collectors. A must to avoid.
    It is a Yiddish word.
  • ebz5
    8 years ago
    Lovely kitchen but i would leave it with nothing on the top of the shelves. it makes it more open and clean looking!
  • Laurie
    8 years ago
    What a beautiful kitchen! With the pitch of your ceiling leaving little room for some color pow, I could only suggest ivy also. I have more room above my cabinets and a cathedral ceiling so I do have a couple of large plates on stands that helps to not make it so boring.
    I would maybe suggest painting the open areas that would compliment your kitchen??
  • Brooke Finnigan
    8 years ago
    Someone probably said this but I'd live to see some greenery and baskets (fir the texture) pain in the ass yo water, but so pretty in that clean bright space. Thinking that keeping it in the fern family would be fun - different kinds of texture, colour, foliage but all connected/similar.
  • PRO
    SoCal Contractor
    8 years ago
    Art, art , art.
  • PRO
    CLynch That Property
    8 years ago
    I would suggest painting the kitchen in a darker colour. That would bring warmth to the room. Also, once things are placed on the units, it's sure to look different. I've attached an example below:
  • jacey22
    8 years ago
    Beautiful kitchen. I don't care for lots of things above cabinets but I do like a few well placed things. I do not care for the lined up looked with every inch covered. A large unique colorful plate on plate stand in corner towards sink. Maybe a large pitcher or urn on other side. One more collection of three pieces in another area. They need to be fairly substantial pieces because they will appear smaller up there. This is a good opportunity to add small pops of color! You can add a little uplifting toward corner object as well.
  • jacey22
    8 years ago
    That would be *uplighting not uplifting
  • Ann
    8 years ago
    I have the very same situation with big tall spaces above cabinets. I used to use silk plants but have removed all of those. Real plants are too hard to deal with up there. Now, I have about 3 different groupings of VERY large baskets (1-3 baskets per grouping) I would either leave all the space blank or put a few tight groupings of large like items together. Like the big blue vase Margo posted, but if they had two or three of them of different sizes (all big), that would be great for one area (not centered but kind of off to one side of an area). Then maybe a group of 3 or so very large baskets in a different spot and maybe good sized art hung on the wall in a third area. So, you'll end up with some interest but not a line of items. Lots of empty space and not overdone. Really big like items - different shapes (tall and skinny, short and fat) and orientations (lean a basket in a group). Or, just leave it all blank. What a beautiful kitchen. I was just in Pottery Barn the other day looking at big sets of things and this lantern set caught my eye for a similar pupose. The big one is nearly three feet tall and they're quite nice in person. If I buy them and group them on a high ledge, I'll leave them empty without candles.
  • PRO
    Cabinets To Go
    8 years ago
    Love your kitchen! If you think you can reach up there to dust and clean that area, we recommend putting plates, decorative pictures/paintings, or even plants to warm the space up that match the color scheme of your kitchen, similar to this picture:
  • Kimberly
    8 years ago
    Beautiful kitchen! I would go for all white platters up there. Or, I like the Pottery Barn lanterns that someone else mentioned!
  • PRO
    O'Carroll Custom Cabinetry
    8 years ago
    Not sure what every one said but I highly recommend not decorating the tops of your beautiful new cabinetry. It looks great. Let the cabinetry speak for itself.
  • asquithoatley
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    No don't do it! It's a beautiful kitchen so please do not clutter it up and totally ruin it- so dated and unnecessary. Decorating thr tops of cabinets is kitsch not adorable IMHO.
  • Giovanna
    8 years ago
    Don't put anything on the top of the cabinets, doesn't need it, it's very "90s" and it will draw the eyes up to the top of your uppers rather than what's important.
  • melwishes
    8 years ago
    Hi Betty, what did you decide on now that some time has passed since your op?
  • onalaska
    7 years ago
    I think your kitchen is just perfect the way it is. Less clutter means less to clean. I have been in the interior design business for 36 years and I can tell you that interiors are leaning towards simple and well edited. The architecture, cabinet style, tile and all that natural light are what is stunning about your kitchen, Don't junk it up!!
  • PRO
    JLD Kitchens And Design, LLC (732) 673-7132
    7 years ago
    Great kitchen! Just needs to be finished. No distractions so it looks empty. Maybe consider adding lighting: pendant over island and lights on top of cabinets facing up. You also may consider plantation shutters on window to break things up. Good luck