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I’ve always considered myself interior-design-challenged.  It’s something that I want to be good at, but it just does not come naturally to me.  And of all the spaces in my home that I struggle to decorate, the tops of the cabinets in the kitchen have become my nemesis.  If nothing is up there I feel like something is missing.  When I do put something up there, I get sick of it after a while or it just doesn’t look cohesive enough to appear ‘decorated’.

When we first moved into this house, I put a few things up on top of the cabinets that went with my (still evolving) theme; shabby chic.  I had my antique tea pots, a couple of angel statues and pretty Victorian- style books.  It looked awful.  Sure–My treasures were pretty, but the colors were all over the place and nothing looked put together.  It looked like I had nowhere else to put those things, so I was simply storing them up there.  My decorating theme was definitely not shining through…. [sighhh]

Then I discovered this gem of guide by Carla Aston, with great tips on how to create a fresh look for the cabinet tops!  After scanning through a few of her ideas, I embraced the concept of using decor items that blend in with the wall color.  That way I could have some of my pretties up there without it looking like a distraction.  Plus, honestly I don’t have a lot of space up there.  I did not want it to appear crowded with small, multicolored items.

So I gathered a few items that I wanted to display that matched the neutral wall color.  I arranged them on  my counter-top first, just see what they would look like together.  They are different shades of cream and white, but they blend together well.


After reading Carla’s article, I also decided that I did not have to decorate the tops of ALL of my cabinets.  I have over 60 cabinets in my kitchen, wrapped around 5 walls.  It’s ridiculous.  I don’t have enough stuff to layer up there and the space between the cabinet tops and the ceiling is less than 2 feet.  So, I just decided to focus my cabinet-top-decorating efforts on this one wall, above what we use as a pantry.

This is just a boring wall with tall cabinets and these recessed lights just begging for something to illuminate.  The wall leads to a hallway and is somewhat separate from the rest of the kitchen.  Making it the perfect place to add a little interest while still keeping it neutral.  As you can see, I don’t have much to put up there at the moment.  I was just playing around with this decorating idea, but now that I know I like it, I can’t wait to complete it!  It gives me an excuse to collect more treasures from garage sales and thrift shops.

And as for the rest of my cabinet tops?  I’m planning to leave them empty.  Although, I am tinkering with the idea of a stenciled bordered on the walls up there… 😉

More Resources:

Decorating the Top of the Kitchen Cabinets

Decorating the Top of Your Kitchen Cabinets – a few tips and tricks

Decorating Above the Kitchen Cabinets