How to Decorate the Tops of Kitchen Cabinets

The tops of kitchen cabinets offer bonus space when it comes to storage and decor, especially with a couple of feet free between cabinet tops and the ceiling. Take your stashed-away collections and vintage kitchenware and turn them into decor to play off an existing kitchen theme or to add a splash of color to an otherwise plain space. As a bonus, displaying items near the front of the cabinets provides hidden storage space behind each piece for kitchen items that have no room of their own in the cupboards and cabinets.

Antique Appliances
Antique and vintage kitchen appliances with styles or colors you find appealing provide ideal decor for the cabinet tops. An old electric hand mixer attached to its own base is practically meant for display, as it takes no effort to set up and show off above the cabinet. Vintage kitchenware is an appropriate match for the appliances on display. Antique colanders with interesting hole patterns such as stars, or enameled in bright red or cobalt blue, create a striking scene atop the cabinets. Ambient rope lighting or cabinet lighting illuminating colanders from behind creates a stunning effect after dark. Prop smaller items up on short, empty boxes so the items are in full view, but the boxes are not.

Seasonal Selections
The decor atop the cabinets need not stay the same season after season, year after year. Swap out the decor for each season; for instance, spring's display may include a basket, wooden decorated eggs, or a vase full of fresh or faux daffodils, hyacinths or lilacs. In autumn, a fall color scheme rules the decor, with a framed photo of autumn leaves propped up on a miniature easel, along with a series of gourds and pumpkins, real or plastic. Allow children to create some of the seasonal decor, if you wish, providing a space to display their creations in addition to the refrigerator door. Place the decor yourself, rather than having the children climb the ladder, but allow the kids to decide where the items belong, guiding you from their safe, ground-level position.

Colorful Commercialism
Advertising found on vintage fruit crates or coffee and spice tins creates a vivid, food-themed attraction for an otherwise uninteresting space. Select creates with bright, bold labels depicting peaches, grapes or oranges, arranging the crates so the labels are visible from ground level. Use the open space within creates to house potted plants or faux ivy, or sets of vintage salt and pepper shakers that pair well with the label colors. Larger food- and beverage-related advertisements, printed as mini posters, may be displayed in frames, set upon miniature easels atop the cabinets. Add a bold-colored cookie jar or canister set to offer a little something extra to the display.

Show Off Your Interests
The space above cabinets serves as built-in display for items you collect -- anything from antique milk bottles to vintage lunch boxes. If displaying clear, screen-printed glassware, such a milk bottle, roll up a sheet of white paper to put inside the bottle to make the graphics visible, or back-light the entire display with an under-the-cabinet light set above the cabinet instead. Display lunchboxes according to color or theme; the drink bottles inside may be used as additional decor. Antique crocks, colorful beverage bottles or gumball machines are a few other options for this space. If you need a few more items to complete a display you like, add a wire basket full of faux fruit, or a small chalkboard with a greeting or drawing chalked upon it.


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