Decorating the Top of Kitchen Cabinets

So let me ask you a question, do you have the tops of your kitchen cabinets decorated or do your cabinets extend all the way to the ceiling? Brutal truth, I had no idea where to start this post.

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The tops of the kitchen cabinets in my house have been decorated for a few months. Even writing the word decorated seems to immediately make them seem dated. I know it’s popular right now to have the kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling. But I only have a handful of friends that actually have a set up like that in their kitchen.

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I searched Pinterest for a little inspiration and it didn’t seem a very popular idea there either. It’s like decorating your upper kitchen cabinets is totally uncool somehow. I was determined not to let that stop me though.

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I started gathering materials I’ve been collecting for a while now. The truth of the matter is that I like these cabinets. Do I wish they were white? Of course! But the style is my simple kind of style and I live with a lover of wood grain, which is equally as important to me. We’ve decided on white, black and wood grain as commonalities throughout the house and I can happily live with all of three.

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It took me all afternoon but I was able to achieve a look I love. Over and over again I layered my favorite things on the tops of the kitchen cabinets: ironstone, baskets and metal pieces. I don’t have a certain design principles so to speak I just keep playing with each vignette by varying the height, shape and layers of texture until I’m satisfied with the way it looks.

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It was definitely a fine balance. I don’t want someone to walk into my kitchen and say, “Wow, I love the tops of your cabinets.” I just wanted to bring a simple collection of trips spent with my mom and sisters treasure hunting in everything from cobwebbed infested barns to well appointed estate sales.

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I had 23 inches between the tops of the cabinet molding and the 9-foot ceilings, which gave me plenty of room to display. Anything less than 18 inches of display space would have probably made the kitchen seem squatty.

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We’re so close to getting the kitchen finished. It feels like it’s taking forever but I know we’ll get there. Fingers crossed the white subway tile will go up soon. It’s going to look amazing!

Many blessings,



  1. says

    CoCo – You did a great job!. I know it’s hard to know what to do with that bare space. And cabinets that go all of the way to the ceiling creates the problem of not being able to reach anything in the cupboards. I love your curated and collected look…the neutrals and whites look so good. But, how come you have a pitcher wit a bee on it? LOL

    • CoCo says

      Ha ha you noticed that did ya? I’ve had that bee pitcher for a long time. Thank you for your kind words on my vignette styling, I get lots of practice 🙂

    • CoCo says

      Aww, Angie, that means a lot to me thank you. It’s a lot of playing around to try and create just the look you want but I love it. I’m so glad I get to do this all the time. Hugs, Coco

  2. says

    Coco, what a great idea to share how to decorate above your cabinets. Ours go all the way up but out old house didn’t so I know that can be a challenge. I love how you pulled your white ironstone, rustic elements, the straw and the old scale etc. It looks wonderful and I would definitely enjoy cooking and eating in there seeing all those pretties. Have a great day, Lisa

  3. says

    You styled the tops of your cabinets beautifully. My cabinets go up the ceiling only because they are fairly new and I requested it when we did our kitchen remodel. My mom’s don’t and she creates lovely vignettes like you did.

    • CoCo says

      Paula, your compliments are so sweet, thank you! I think I would ask for the cabinets to go all the way to the ceiling in the next house just for the extra storage 🙂