Decor for top of kitchen cabinets: 10 Creative Ideas to Decorate the Tops of Your Kitchen Cabinets

10 Creative Ideas to Decorate the Tops of Your Kitchen Cabinets

Top of Kitchen Cabinet Decor

Are you looking to add some character to your kitchen? You might not have realized it, but if your cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, you’re missing out on an easy way to decorate an overlooked space. 

Usually, when we think of decorating our kitchens, we tend to focus on the counter space. But don’t forget about the space above your cabinets! You can use the cabinet tops to display decorative items that showcase your personality and style.

If you have space between your cabinets and the ceiling, you can decorate the top of the kitchen cabinets with vases, baskets, books, and more! 

I love our all white kitchen in our new home! It has a very clean look, but sometimes it can also feel a little bit empty. We live in a builder grade townhome, so the kitchen design was pretty standard with basic cabinets.

We have higher ceilings (9-foot tall) on the main level, but the cabinets do not go all the way up to the ceiling.

Our cabinets are arranged in a stair-stepped cabinetry configuration above the stove. So only one cabinet actually touches the ceiling with crown molding. The rest are tall cabinets without any trim that do not touch the ceiling.

This left an awkward space between the tops of the cabinets and the ceiling that I never knew what to do with. There’s so much space up there with plenty of room.

One day, I decided that I was tired of looking at all the empty space and wanted to add some more character to our kitchen. So I brought out a bunch of my decor and started playing around with styling some pieces on top of the upper cabinet spaces. 

I was totally inspired by Caitlin from Caitlin Marie Design. I saw on Instagram that she styled the tops of her kitchen cabinets, and I loved that idea.

You can see how she styled her cabinets in this blog post.

My goal was to introduce some visual interest into my own kitchen, while also infusing it with a cozy and rustic “cottagecore” vibe.

Even though our home leans more towards a modern and transitional style, I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate some traditional elements and decor styles to create a fresh look in this area.

Now, you may be thinking that decor on the tops of kitchen cabinets is an outdated look.

But I’d like to suggest that there are new and modern ways to decorate this space that can make your kitchen look fresh, modern, and even cozy. You just have to know what types of decorations to use and how to style them.

Gone are the days of fake garlands and odd figurines. You don’t have to fall into the trap of kitchen decor straight out of the 90s.

There are lots of new ideas to decorate this overlooked space that will keep it looking current and stylish. 

In this post, I’m sharing some of the best decor ideas for the tops of your kitchen cabinets that will help you make the most of this neglected space. 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Ideas for Decorating the Top of Your Cabinets

There are endless possibilities for decorating the top of your kitchen cabinets, but here are some of my favorite items to use.

1. Baskets

A decorative basket is a great way to add both texture and warmth to your kitchen. 

They come in a variety of sizes and materials, including wicker, metal, and wire. And if you have a small kitchen, baskets can be a great way to get some extra storage. They can be both functional and beautiful as decor pieces.

Choose baskets in different sizes and shapes to create interest. You can also mix and match different types of baskets to create a unique look.

Woven baskets are my favorite to use in kitchens because they help to bring texture and visual interest into the space. 

I grouped two wicker baskets together on top of a longer stretch of cabinets. One is slightly larger than the other and they look like an intentionally collected set.  


2. Vases

Vases are another great item to use when decorating the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including glass, ceramic, and metal. 

Look for vases with visual interest or try displaying a small collection of vases together. 

I had two black vases that I thought would add some nice contrast to the white kitchen. I paired them together on one side of the stove area. Then I use another vase, a small piece, on a stack of books to give it some height. 

Related: Best Aged Stone Vases


3. Bowls

Bowls are a versatile item that you can use to decorate the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

You can find bowls in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including ceramic, glass, and wood.  

Choosing bowls with interesting textures can add an extra layer of visual interest to your display.

Since bowls are common kitchen items, incorporating them as decorative elements on the tops of your cabinets can be a natural fit.

On the far left side of my kitchen, I added a large ceramic bowl. I love the colors and textures of this bowl and I also like to add some greenery or florals inside the bowl for the different seasons.

On the right side of my kitchen, I incorporated a wooden bowl. The natural, handcrafted feel of this piece is perfect for adding interest to my kitchen. I love being able to display it here. 


4. Pitchers

Pitchers are a great way to add a touch of cottage charm to the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

You can use them to display flowers or greenery, or you can simply use them as a decorative accent. 

Try to choose pitchers in neutral colors like white or cream for the most natural look.  

I used a simple, white pitcher as a stand alone decor piece on the top of my kitchen cabinets. The distinctive shape of a pitcher sets it apart from other objects like vases, adding visual interest to the space. 


5. Jars and Containers

Jars and containers are another versatile item that you can use to decorate the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

Containers and jars are everyday items that are typically found in most kitchens, and they are the perfect decorative piece for the top of your cabinets. Their practicality and aesthetic appeal make them a natural fit for this purpose.

You can find tons of different types of jars, containers, or canisters to use throughout your kitchen. They come in a variety of different materials and colors. Try to look for container sets to style together. 

I found this set of pink canisters on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I love the handcrafted look and finish that they have. The pop of color is just the right amount for my space without being too overpowering. 


6. Books and Cookbooks

Books and cookbooks are a great way to add a personal touch to the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

If you love cooking, why not showcase your favorite cookbooks on the tops of your cabinets?

You can choose cookbooks with beautiful covers that complement your kitchen’s style, or you can opt for vintage or antique cookbooks for a more eclectic look.

If you don’t want to display specific books, try using any neutral book as a decorative book.

I’ve shared previously how I find books to use as decor for cheap. So if you need some simple, neutral looking books for decorating, you’ll love that post.

Related: How to Find Pretty Books for Decorating

Books look best when styled together in groupings. You can stack them vertically or horizontally to create a visually interesting display.  

I grouped a small collection of neutral books together on the right side of the stove area. 

Then, I added a small vase on top of one stack to complete the look.

Books can also be used as risers if you need to add some height to your decor on top of the cabinets. 


7. Boxes

Boxes are another item that you can use to decorate the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

Choosing boxes with unique textures or patterns can add an extra layer of visual interest to your display.

Boxes come in a variety of different materials. Try to look for box sets to style together and stack for additional height in your display.

I had a larger set of two wooden boxes that I used to style in the corner of my kitchen cabinets. This corner of the kitchen was one of the awkward nooks in this space that was difficult to style. The boxes were large enough to fill the blank space in a nice way.

By stacking the boxes together, I created height and a cohesive look. The square shape of the boxes provides a contrast to the round shapes of other decorative items, creating a more visually interesting display.


8. Greenery, Plants, and Florals

Greenery, plants, and florals are a great way to add some life and color to the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

You can use real or faux plants, depending on your preference. I find it easier to just use faux greenery and plants because it can be difficult to keep real plants on top of your cabinets alive. 

Adding a bit of greenery to your kitchen can bring a sense of freshness and life to the space. The tops of your cabinets are a great place to create a natural and organic look. 

I added a faux potted fern to the top of my cabinets. It added just the right amount of color to my styled display. 

You can also add greenery stems or simple florals inside of other decorative objects like bowls, vases, or pitchers.  


9. Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are a great way to add some charm to the top of your kitchen cabinets. Cutting boards can act like artwork when propped against the wall. They can be a focal point for your decor and layered together with other pieces. 

You can find cutting boards in various shapes and sizes, including rectangular, circular, or even irregular shapes. Choosing cutting boards with interesting textures or wood grains can add an extra layer of visual interest to your styling.

To incorporate cutting boards as decorative elements, you can prop them up against the wall. Alternatively, you can group a few cutting boards in varying sizes to create an intentionally collected look. 

On one side of my cabinets, I layered two cutting boards to create a grouping. Then on the other side of my cabinets, I placed a larger cutting board behind a faux greenery plant.  


10. Trays

Trays are another versatile item that you can use to decorate the top of your kitchen cabinets. 

Instead of using trays as the base for decor, try propping them up against a wall. Trays can act like artwork when you lean them against the wall and can be used as a backdrop for other decor pieces.

Trays come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, including rectangular, circular, or irregular shapes. Additionally, you can find trays with unique handles or other elements that add interest to your decor. 

I layered a dark wood rectangular tray behind a round tray with a handle. These two pieces together create a unique and curated look. 


Tips for Decorating the Top of Your Cabinets

Now that you have some ideas for items to use for styling and decorating the top of your kitchen cabinets, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Group Items Together

Try to group your decor items in small groupings. This will help your decor to look intentionally collected and styled instead of just placed randomly on top of the cabinets. 

Don’t Overcrowd 

It’s important to maintain a balance between decor and the space you have in your kitchen. Avoid overcrowding the top of your cabinets by leaving some empty space between the decorations.

Keep it Clean

Dust and dirt can accumulate on the top of your cabinets, so make sure to clean them regularly. Use a damp cloth or a microfiber duster to remove any debris.

Switch it Up 

Don’t be afraid to switch up your decorations every once in a while. This will keep your kitchen looking fresh and interesting.

You can also add seasonal decorations for the different holidays throughout the year. You can use seasonal items like pumpkins or autumn florals for fall, evergreens and flocked branches for winter, and flowers for spring.

Consider the Height

Make sure to consider the height of your ceiling when choosing decorations for the top of your cabinets. If you have high ceilings, you can opt for larger decorations, while lower ceilings may require smaller decor pieces.

Have Fun Decorating!

Decorating the top of your kitchen cabinets is a great opportunity to have some fun and get creative with your decor. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles, colors, and textures until you find a design that you love. 

Remember that decorating is a process, and it may take a few tries before you feel that your vision has come to life.


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Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try new ideas. You might find that a certain decor piece doesn’t fit well, or that a different color scheme works better than what you initially planned.

Keep an open mind and enjoy the process of creating a space that reflects your personality and style. And don’t worry too much about following trends or rules – just have fun with it and let your creativity shine.


Final Thoughts about Decorating the Top of Kitchen Cabinets

Decorating the tops of your kitchen cabinets is a simple and inexpensive way to give your kitchen a fresh new look. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a stunning display that will completely change the look of your kitchen.

The top of your kitchen cabinets may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to decorating your kitchen, but it can be a great way to add some personality and style to the space.

From small kitchens to a large space, modern kitchen, any space can benefit from adding some simple decor pieces.

Incorporating a decorative element and a variety of textures into your kitchen decor is a simple way to make your space feel more cozy and inviting.

More Decorating Ideas

How to Decorate the Top of Your Kitchen Cabinets

18 Ideas for Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

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Cattle Collection

David Tsay, styling by Becki Griffin

Holy cow! Make like these Texas homeowners and take your country-style kitchen to the next level with a themed display.


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Antique Treasures

David Papazian//Getty Images

Vintage pieces atop the kitchen cabinets add even more nostalgia to this sweet retro space.


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Pretty Plates

Eric Piasecki

Own a set of plates that are too special to use for dining? Make like this charming farmhouse and display them over your cabinets instead for an extra pop of pattern.


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Get Festive

Clean and Scentsible

Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, you name it! Take advantage of open space to deck out your kitchen for the season.

See more at Clean and Scentsible.


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Meaningful Memorabilia

John Gruen

Can’t bear to part with a beloved figurine or decorative accent? Add some sentimental value to your kitchen by showing off a favorite item, just as the owners of this farmhouse did with the dollhouse, at top right.


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Collectible Items

Troa Giovan

Now’s the time to break out that collection of family heirlooms and flea market scores! We’re so inspired by all of the eclectic pieces these Hamptons homeowners set out on their freestanding cabinet.


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Basket Display

Photograph by Eric Piasecki, Design by Gideon Mendelson

A tisket, a tasket … why not showcase your collection of beautiful baskets, as in this green kitchen?


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Farmhouse Flair

David A. Land

Built-in nooks make creative use of the space above the kitchen cabinets of this historic farmhouse. The homeowners opted to display pretty porcelain, but you could also line the room with your favorite cookbooks or vases.


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Martha Stewart’s Above-Kitchen Cabinet Decor


The kitchen inside Martha Stewart’s circa-1925 farmhouse is both pretty and practical. She utilized the space above the cabinets for simple open shelving that let s the show-stopping pot rack display above the island shine (literally!).


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Annie Schlechter

Say bye-bye to blah white walls and add an interesting design element above your countertops with permanent or removable wallpaper, like this songwriter did in her Tennessee home.


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Vintage Signs

Ryann Ford

Transport yourself back to a simpler time while sitting at the breakfast bar by incorporating vintage signs in your kitchen. We love the ones hanging up in this Texas farmhouse.


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Wall Art

Laura Moss

A decorative sign, scale, and clock add visual interest to this rustic space.


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Vintage Vignette

Thomas Kuoh

Stylish sconces and artfully arranged accessories add a touch of class to this kitchen space.


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Themed Decor

Alec Hemer

It’s no secret we love a good theme, and this summer home on Martha’s Vineyard has a definite beachy feel. Just look at that mermaid decor above the kitchen cabinets!


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Small Cabinet Decor

David Tsay

This farmhouse owner enlisted a cute cabinet to help store practical items and display pretty ones—and that includes the space on top.


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Mixed Media

Max Kim-Bee

You might think combining artwork, open shelving, and tile would become visually overwhelming, but it totally works in this SoCal home’s kitchen.


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Rafter Shelving

Kim Cornelison, styled by Matthew Gleason

It’s cool to reuse! This Michigan family made shelving out of old rafters for above the kitchen cabinets.


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Door-Free Cabinets

Christopher Dibble

It’s all on display! Open shelving was intentional in this Washington State kitchen, with not the slightest bit of space is wasted.


What to put on top of kitchen cabinets for beauty and use of space wisely

When designing a kitchen, the space above the cabinets is often overlooked. Meanwhile, there is still a decent distance to the ceiling, and the place can be used purely for practical purposes or for decoration. What can be put on top of the kitchen cabinets depends on the overall style of the room and on the preferences of the homeowners.


Enliven the environment with flowers

Fresh flowers will bring freshness not only visually, they will clean the kitchen air from combustion products and extraneous odors. The surface of the cabinets is covered with plastic mats or pallets are placed to protect the furniture from accidentally spilled water.

The plant is selected from undemanding to lighting and care:

  • fern;
  • spathiphyllum;
  • sensevieria;
  • coleus;
  • periwinkle.

Combining practicality and style with the help of antiques

Baskets, stylized wooden boxes, ceramic bowls will organically combine with Provence, ethnic and rustic style kitchens. Old dishes that were waiting in the storeroom can also be put in for decoration.

Another storage area for household supplies

In a small kitchen, you can not ignore the additional space for the possible storage of non-perishable products. The container, as the main decorative element, should be selected especially carefully.

In the northern room, in order not to obscure light walls, you can use glass jars, glazed ceramic pots or metal cans painted with a light glossy paint. The glare of light reflected from the surface compensates for the lack of sun.

Collection exhibition

A small collection of figurines, original clocks, bottles or jars of unusual shape will also decorate the top of your kitchen set.

Decorative plates, souvenirs brought from travels will remind you of distant countries. Guests are sure to be interested in the exhibition while you are preparing a treat.

Impromptu Art Gallery

If you’re into any kind of art, you can use the space above the cabinets to showcase your art. Passion for artistic photography will help to arrange an exhibition of works in black and white or color.

Sketches, cartoons, kitchen potholders, beaded and cross-stitched pictures will become the pride of the hostess or owner. Patchwork collages go well with eco-styles in design.

Traditional oil or gouache paintings can also be placed on the kitchen set. Their plots should not radically stand out from the context of the room.

Decor to lift your spirits

Those with a good sense of humor will love the idea of ​​humorous captions or witty recipes.

You can make a sign or use chalk wallpaper, then the inscriptions will be updated from time to time.

Decoration for the holiday

Before the New Year holidays, for your birthday, you can decorate the top of kitchen cabinets with garlands, homemade souvenirs and holiday attributes.

Tall upper cabinets can be decorated with LED strip and spruce paws or balloons with colorful textile bows.

See also: Down with the gray everyday life – a festive decoration of the kitchen with little things

Unusual decor

From a standard kitchen you will get an exclusive one if you close the top of the kitchen with something extraordinary:

  • collages of letters;
  • wicker trays for drying herbs;
  • intricately shaped dry branch;
  • artificial fruits, vegetables.

Fantasy will tell you what can be used for decoration. In the house there will always be things that are pleasing to the eye. Where children have grown up, there are toys. They can make a good memorial exhibition.

Folk healer’s storehouse

Dried herbs, roots, spicy dry herbs and spices are well preserved in heat, without access to direct sunlight. It does not matter whether you put jars on top of the cabinet or spread out bunches. In both cases, the green collection can be picturesquely beaten, for example, tied with a ribbon, burlap.

Additional lighting

The space above the cabinets can simply be filled with light. Decorate the top of the kitchen with lamps in the form of kitchen utensils, old kerosene lamps. You can hide the light source behind multi-colored glassware.

If you place a colored tape along the canopy above the kitchen set, the backlight can be chosen by color depending on the evening mood.

Covering cabinets from above

A smooth surface can be embossed with jute rugs or voluminous synthetic thread, or you can simply put textile napkins to match the overall design.

In the air of the kitchen there are always particles of fat, and therefore greasy deposits on the cabinets cannot be avoided.

By covering cabinets from above, you can achieve two goals at once – to avoid unnecessary cleaning and to bring an element of novelty to the environment.

Among the described decor ideas, there may not be the only one that suits you. Experiment with different materials, embody your ideas, but do not forget about weight restrictions. Wall cabinets, as a rule, are usually already sufficiently loaded.

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9 kitchens where the owners abandoned the top (and it looks great!)

Top drawers are not always needed in the kitchen. If you have accumulated items there that it’s time to throw away or give away, you can probably get by with the lower cabinet module. Try it – you will see how spacious the kitchen will become. And how best to do this, we will show with examples.

1 Complete interior with a single palette

Instagram @hannahsfavorites

Instagram @hannahsfavorites

This kitchen has replaced massive upstairs kitchen cabinets with decorative shelves. Perhaps because of the sloping ceiling. But be that as it may, this design looks holistic and complete thanks to a single style and palette. The design of the shelves echoes the overall interior design – the same wooden texture is used and even almost in the same shade. And their white color continues the shade of the facades of the lower part of the headset.

2 Kitchen with country mood

Instagram @pienipuutalo

Instagram @pienipuutalo

Instagram @pienipuutalo

In this interior, the top was removed only on one wall. Instead of cabinets, the walls were decorated with beautiful wallpaper with a pattern. This technique makes the kitchen space more spacious, and in tandem with a poster and wicker paths creates a cozy country mood.

3 Miniature wall art interior

Instagram @ma123rie

Instagram @ma123rie

The texture of wood, white and rich herbal shades work together perfectly, resulting in an eco-style space. In the upper part of the wall, instead of a kitchen set, a small art wall was designed. It emphasizes the natural orientation of the interior: butterflies and botanical ornaments work in conjunction with the overall palette.

4 Laconic kitchen with bright decor

Instagram @fides_goods

Instagram @fides_goods

Instagram @fides_goods

Laconic white walls, minimalist lighting and matching backsplash require bright accents. Here, the white top is diluted with decorative plates with a blue pattern. The plates hang in an unusual way: with their help, a corner is formed that connects two walls.

5 Space with unifying details

Instagram @heim.liebelei

Instagram @heim.liebelei

Instagram @heim.liebelei

Minimalist kitchen in white with contrasting black details. Here, too, left the upper cabinets on one wall.

The space looks harmonious and holistic due to the fact that the color used in the fittings is duplicated by the decor on the wall, the hob and the decorative wicker vase for fruit.

6 Full wall splashback kitchen

Instagram @rangas_etc

Instagram @rangas_etc

Instagram @rangas_etc

Instagram @rangas_etc

Instagram @rangas_etc 900 03

An apron made of laconic white rectangular tiles with contrasting grout is laid here right up to the ceiling. This move adds rhythm to the traditional interior. Thanks to such a simple, at first glance, apron, the interior looks more multifaceted, and an apron on the entire wall works great to expand the space.

7 Monochrome black and white space

Instagram @homebylyngesen

Instagram @homebylyngesen

This kitchen uses black as a contrasting element. Decor in this shade looks impressive, but dark colors require a lot of space. Otherwise, they greatly overload the interior. This is probably why they decided to abandon the top here.

8 Kitchenette with lots of wood texture and backsplash storage

Instagram @oursweetliving

Instagram @oursweetliving

The compact corner kitchen is decorated with lots of wood textures and light colors. The absence of upper cabinets in such a tiny kitchen is only at hand – they would make the space overloaded. Instead of cupboards, the apron is crowned with a small, rather decorative shelf, and on the other wall there is a wooden hanger for small utensils.