Have you ever looked at the amount of space above your kitchen cabinets and thought to yourself, well, this is awkward? Excess space can make the room appear a bit barren toward the ceiling, resulting in an unbalanced design scheme. However, overcompensating when trying to correct the lack of balance can prove too much for the dimensions.
It is a delicate matter for sure, and it is often best handled with the help of a skilled design consultant or cabinet maker. However, the ideas below should help you establish a jumping off point, at the very least, and help narrow down your options.
Revamp Your Kitchen Cabinets
The most obvious solution is to invest in brand new cabinet design. A talented cabinet maker can easily assess your existing aesthetic and dimensions, and create custom cabinets that complement both perfectly.
If you do not wish to take on an entire remodel project, your cabinet maker can simply extend the top of the cabinets with a decorative element like a peaked solid block, arch or crown molding built directly into the existing cabinetry.
A stair-stepped cabinetry configuration equipped with open cubbies expands the display capacity of your cabinets, especially over a window sink wall. Crown molding trim allows this unit to blend seamlessly with existing cabinetry while both the cubbies and cabinet tops provide storage and display options.
A woodworking professional can also design and place a shelf or two atop your kitchen cabinets, either to stand on their own or hold a small amount of thoughtfully selected items.
It is best to match the shade and finishing of the shelves to the cabinets in order to maintain a cohesive look and flow of design elements. It also helps prevent the shelves from making the space appear cluttered.
Baskets of Style
A few well-placed baskets holding a moderate number of attractive items can add pizzazz to a gap above kitchen cupboards provided they are not a size that will overwhelm it. It is critical to avoid throwing any old baskets up there just to get the job done. Nicely painted or finished uniform wire baskets are one solid option. Straw baskets can work for a country or garden theme as long as they are on the smaller side. Collections of baskets are preferred over random pieces.
The items you place in the baskets make an enormous difference, as well. Typically, it is best to group together on or two items of the same category – for example, bottles of wine, Perrier water or similarly packaged cooking seasonings. Tossing in unrelated items can make the arrangement appear messy.
If the space above your kitchen cabinets is expansive, you have the freedom to convert it into a “gallery loft.” Simply put, you can either hang artwork above the cabinetry or carefully arrange a few pieces on top of the cabinets.
Moderation is the key, here. Do not haphazardly stack a group of paintings together, nor cram sculptures wall-to-wall. Rather, select two to three well-coordinated paintings or sculptures, and leave plenty of room between both the artwork and the surrounding walls.
While the addition of real or faux plants is generally discouraged and can date your kitchen, a paper garland in a subtle neutral shade can make a powerful artistic statement. Extend it across the top of a cabinet, letting the ends drape over the edges and flutter gently.
Cookbooks are the conventional solution for filling in gaps above kitchen cupboards. It is a natural choice and works quite well, provided the cookbooks are in good shape and colorful enough to avoid looking dull. Stack them according to size or complementary color schemes, and you will have a traditional look you can enjoy for years.
For a fresh approach, you can also turn the space into an extended library of sorts, sprinkling in novels, biographies and travel books. Think about how cozy it would be to whip out a book as you wait for dishes to marinate, or about the ice breaker that pulling a book down for discussion could give dinner guests.
A Delicate Matter
Colorful glass bottles, jars and ceramic vases can add a touch of whimsy to your overall design scheme without cramming the space. An emphasis on repetition of shape and value is essential in this scenario, as you are using these pieces to “draw” a horizontal border. Lining up vases of different colors, for example, can create a spotty visual.
Additionally, bottles and jars should be high quality and in good shape, as opposed to secondhand items you elect to display because you have nowhere else to store them. Remember, you are placing them in a highly visible area, in a room that is arguably the heart of your home and used most frequently by residents and guests alike.
Sky High Wine Cellar
Taking the concept of bottles a step further, you could convert the gap above your kitchen cabinets to a mini wine cellar, displaying perhaps six to eight bottles, depending on how much space the area affords.
Built-in cabinets or shelves outfitted with wine racks work well for this concept. As with the aforementioned bottles and jars concept, ensure a uniform look by using bottles of similar color and size. Depending on the style of the bottles, you could group reds together in one configuration and whites in another. But again, make sure the bottles are cohesive when lined up beside, above and below one another.
By using the aforementioned ideas with the guidance of a design professional, you can transform the formerly awkward space above your kitchen cabinets from a desolate design desert to a rich canvas for inspiration. Get ready for your kitchen to make a lasting impact on all who enter.
Visit our showroom today to find kitchen cabinet inspiration.