The 10 best ways to make a stunning statement with your kitchen's upper cabinets

You may be wondering what to do with the space above your kitchen cabinets if there is one. As opposed to being a bare, unutilized space, the area above your kitchen cabinets can be transformed into a beautiful focal point with a little bit of decorating effort.  

These ideas for decorating above kitchen cabinets will give you the motivation you need to create a scheme that fits your home's period, your decorating style, and the room's proportions, whether you prefer a classic look with lots of detailing or something more modern.  

Looking for more kitchen cabinet ideas? These ingenious approaches to kitchen wall decor will satisfy all your needs.

Ten Ideas for Bringing Visual Interest to the Space Above Kitchen Cabinets

We polled interior designers for their best advice on how to decorate the space above kitchen cabinets. Including them in your list of must-haves will guarantee a more endearing space, and need not drive up your budget, but will create a one-of-a-kind room you and your guests will want to spend time in.

1. Paint the space above your cabinets a contrasting hue.

Colorful kitchen with color contrast on cabinets

Credit for the image goes to Neptune.

It's easy to add dramatic contrast to a space by placing an accent color high above people's heads. According to George Miller, a home designer for Neptune, the accent color isn't necessarily going to pop out at you, but it will draw the eye up for a visual surprise. In this new window: This can have a particularly pleasing effect in rooms with high ceilings or elaborate cornices. ’ 

Modernity is achieved through a blocking effect achieved by carrying the kitchen color scheme across different surfaces and planes, such as the cooker hood here.

Intensify the visual appeal

French country kitchen with open shelving and art

Featured image by Jessica Summer.

Explore kitchen art ideas and decorate with artwork above cabinets and shelving to add a splash of personality to your cooking space. The kitchen is a space where many people feel at home and where we can't help but agree that art belongs.

Designer Jessica Summer is featured here. The link opens in a new window. creates a textured and natural environment The antique butcher block and open shelves provide a traditional counterpoint to the modern, sleek aesthetic of the rest of the kitchen, which features sleek, modern, and minimal cabinetry to showcase the materials above. ’ 

Third, install wall and ceiling paneling

French country kitchen with wall panels, island and wall hung plates

(Photo by Radu Palicia, courtesy of Charlotte Crosland Interiors)

Kitchens can benefit from decorative wall panels placed above a cabinet to add visual interest to the area. Wall paneling ideas that match or complement the original style and architecture of a period home are a great way to seamlessly blend the building's past with its present. Alternatively, a paneled area is an ingenious way to add personality to a featureless space, such as a plain kitchen that lacks decorative details or original architecture of its own.

This kitchen, designed by Charlotte Crosland, has a French country vibe thanks to the tongue-and-groove paneling, linen curtains, and wall-mounted storage. (link opens in a new window) Having your kitchen essentials out on display in magnetic knife blocks, utensil racks, and pot stands creates a casual, "unfitted" atmosphere. Accent your home with vintage porcelain, enamelware, and paintings depicting bucolic scenes for that classic brocante look.

The empty space above your cabinets is the perfect place to display your most treasured possessions.

Country kitchen with antiques and freestanding island

(Photo by Alice Naylor-Leyland, courtesy of Mrs Alice)

According to Emma Bulmer, head color consultant at Edward Bulmer Natural Paint, "colorful kitchen ideas have been enjoying rather a renaissance," with brighter colors being used on walls, cabinets, and even ceilings. (Link opens in a new window) "The use of color, and the confidence with which it is used, is becoming increasingly inventive and daring." ' 

Make the most of the dead space above your cabinets. The absence of upper cabinets creates a sense of airiness in the room, while the dusky pink paint and artwork add a touch of color and personality. ’ 

5 Step up your performance

Wood kitchen with panel ceiling, black island and pendants

Storage solutions for the urban and in-frame classic kitchens, Roundhouse SPPARC's Project

The photograph was taken by Mary Wadsworth.

The only limit to your kitchen's decor is the ceiling. Architects at SPPARC have the inside scoop on how to make the most of statement ceilings.  

In this case, the floating stairs that connect the kitchen to the living spaces above serve as a good example of how interesting ceiling ideas featuring shapes and materials can be used to achieve articulation and rhythm with other architectural features. In this new window: This hefty ceiling is made from stained ash and oak, and it will be the talk of the town.

Sixth, adorn to please the eye

English kitchen with whimsical wallpaper, freestanding island and wood floor

(Photo by: deVOL)

Create a space that performs and looks great with these wallpaper ideas. Above kitchen cabinets, wallpaper is a lovely way to decorate, and there is a wide variety of both paint colors and wallpaper and fabric patterns from which to choose. Nature provided much of the inspiration for traditional paper patterns, and these are often block-printed in the same way they were originally made. Botanical prints, checks, and stripes are not only timeless but also very much in style right now.  

Wallpapers made for kitchens and bathrooms are particularly durable, and we see many clients combining tiled walls with wallpapers to great visual effect – in fact, people seem to go bolder in the kitchen as it is a creative space,' says Paula Taylor, head stylist and trend specialist at Graham & Brown Putting this in a new tab:

7. Organize a clever showcase

Kitchen with green cabinets and marble backsplash with storage

Photo by Paul Massey, courtesy of Sculleries of Stockbridge.

It's possible that the benefits of extending your kitchen backsplash into the room will outweigh the extra square footage it requires. RJ Murray Design was founded by Roddy Murray, who is pictured here in his kitchen. In this new window: , a marble backsplash that not only creates cubby-style storage space for the couple's cookware but also a shelf above to show off their prized dinnerware and table linens.

Elucidate the path

Kitchen with blue cabinets, concrete island and led lighting

Credit for the picture goes to Kitchens By Holloways.

It's easy to overlook the importance of kitchen lighting when decorating the space above the cabinets. A few LED strips, however, can go a long way in the kitchen, illuminating shelves and setting the mood for a soothing meal. The most ingenious answers are invisible when the lights go out, so planning ahead with your designer is essential.  

Mark Holloway, CEO of Kitchens By Holloways, says, "It is essential to ensure that the LED strips are properly set into recesses within the shelves or cabinetry." In this new window: To get the best lighting effect and hide any ugly reflections or fittings, tilt them 45 degrees back towards the wall. ’ 

9: Accent with Decorative Features

Wood kitchen cabinet ideas with brown painted cupboards

(Photo by Jake Arnold Studio)

Jake Arnold exemplifies the art of interior design by coming up with stylish solutions to his client's practical problems and artistically expressing his client's unique sense of style in the process. (Link opens in a new window/tab) succeeds in doing so

Your existing kitchen ideas can be transformed into a decorative room that is truly spectacular with careful consideration of materials and their placement. The carefully curated artwork atop the cabinetry in this California home's kitchen serves as the room's focal point. These elements are intriguing without being overwhelming in a space of this dimensions.

Tenth, erect an art display wall

Gallery wall ideas for a kitchen with metal backsplash

(Photo by Paul Massey, courtesy of Future)

However out of the ordinary it may seem, more and more homeowners are trying out creative gallery wall concepts for the kitchen. While at first glance this may not be the best place to showcase your pricey art collection, if done properly it could become one of your most prized possessions.

If you're really committed, though, you might want to put your gallery wall up high, either above the backsplash or on a shelf out of the way of the sink and stove. Yet, before doing so, you must consult with an expert framer. Runway Gallery proprietor Daniel Syrett warns that "objects you might not notice, like kettles and toasters, can cause damage." "There is a specific method of sealing artwork for a kitchen," the artist explained. ’

Unfortunately, the answer is negative. The space above your kitchen cabinets is a great place to add decorative style, modern flair, and textural variety to your kitchen.  

One can find a wide variety of creative kitchen decoration methods and layouts online. Prioritize your preferences, such as your favorite colors, patterns, or textures. Then, visualize how they can come together to form a unified design that's bursting with decorative flourishes.  

Art and ceramic objects are great ways to introduce color and pattern contrast to the area above your kitchen cabinets if you are not planning a full redesign.

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