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25 Decorating Ideas for Above Kitchen Cabinets

Have you ever wondered what to do with that awkward space above your kitchen cabinets? We've got 25 smart solutions for easy decor and stylish storage.

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Install Statement-Making Light Fixtures

Don’t think of the gap between your upper cabinets and kitchen ceiling as a challenge. Think of it as a golden opportunity. Specifically, a golden opportunity that allows you to splurge on statement-making light fixtures. Follow interior designer Tiffany Brooks’ lead and flank your range with a pair of oversized swing-arm sconces. Pro tip: Achieve a dramatic look by selecting light fixtures in a finish or style that pops against your existing wall and cabinet color.

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Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg, District Design. From: Breeze Giannasio.

Shine a Spotlight (or Four)

If you love the concept of over-the-cabinet lights but are not sold on the oversized look, here’s another idea: spotlight sconces. Install a series of spotlight sconces across the length of your upper cabinets. This technique instantly makes the awkward gap overhead appear intentional and grants your space a luxe, designer-worthy look. Take cues from this inviting family kitchen and use eye-catching sconces in an inky finish to invite attention, or take an understated approach with sconces in a metallic finish that matches your cabinet hardware.

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Photo: Vivian Johnson. From: Caitlin Jones Ghajar.

Elevate With Wainscoting

Our go-to, foolproof method to make a kitchen look expensive (and eliminate the awkward cabinet gap) is installing custom millwork to the walls. Make this airy transitional kitchen your muse and add custom wainscoting to the bare wall above your cabinets, then paint the trim-adorned walls to match your cupboards to achieve a cohesive, built-in look.

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Photo: Robert Peterson; Rustic White Photography. From: Tiffany Brooks.

Bridge the Gap With a Backsplash

Another tip from Tiffany Brooks: Continue your backsplash tile above your upper cabinets. Not only does this technique create a seamless visual, but it brings a sense of cohesion and grandeur to your design.

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