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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. 

decorate kitchen top of kitchen cabinets

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.

10 Creative Ideas to Decorate the Tops of Your Kitchen Cabinets

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.

decorating kitchen

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.

kitchen ideas for decorating

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. 

ideas on decorating a kitchen

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.

baskets above kitchen cabinets

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.

decorating above kitchen cabinets

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. 

what to put above kitchen cabinets

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.

decorations for top of kitchen cabinets

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.

top of kitchen cabinets decor

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. 

top of kitchen cabinet decor

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. 

decorating top of kitchen cabinets

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?

decorating kitchen cabinet tops

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. 

decor for top of kitchen cabinets

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.

decorations above kitchen cabinets

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. 

kitchen decorating above cabinets

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.

decorate on top of kitchen cabinets

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. 

decor on top of kitchen cabinets

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. 

kitchen decor above cabinets

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.

top kitchen cabinets 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.

kitchen decor on top of cabinets

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.

decorating the top of kitchen cabinets


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.

kitchen decorating
decorating above kitchen cabinets

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.

decor above kitchen cabinets

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.

decor for above the kitchen cabinets

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


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One Comment

  1. Thanks for such great ideas for this hard-to-decorate area. I’ve gone many routes over the years, but have never been satisfied. I took everything down a few years ago, but I think I have the inspiration now to have another try. You always inspire me!

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