What to Do with the Empty Space Above Your Cabinets

kitchen cabinets

So, I was really excited when I saw a post on Good Housekeeping about solutions for the space above your cabinets. I have this space and have been wondering for a while how I might best utilize this area for my kitchen. Unfortunately, every solution offered over there involves clutter that would have to be dusted.

If you’ve read this blog for a while, then you know how much I hate clutter that has to be dusted. If you are a new reader, then let me tell you that I simply loathe clutter that has to be dusted. I’m lazy and clutter makes me crabby because it creates extra and unnecessary work.

So, you can imagine my disappointment as I scrolled through slides of ceramic dishes, baskets and other cluttery solutions. The only two I saw that didn’t involve clutter where using chalkboard paint above your cabinets and adding a menu or other writing (kind of a cute idea, actually) and adding a curtain. A curtain would look cook in a farm house but not in my more modern design. Plus, I have high ceilings in my kitchen, so no curtains for me.

Here are a few ideas I came up with on my own for that above the cabinet space and what one might do with it.

1. Nothing

If you put stuff up there, you have to get up there and dust it at some point. If you are like me, you will put this off as long as humanly possible until there is a little layer of dust that you know you have to clean or risk contaminating your kitchen. You will then gripe and grumble as you climb up there and clean. As of now, this is my solution. I’m exploring the others below and trying to decide.

2. Build a Box

Fill in the space. Build a box at the top and add crown molding. Stain or paint to match or contrast cabinets, depending on the look you want. For an example, check out iHeartOrganizing’s example of how to do this.

3. Move Cabinets Up

If you’re fairly tall or don’t mind using a step stool, you could do what they did over at A Beautiful Mess and move your existing cabinets up to the ceiling and then add a shelf underneath. This is an interesting concept and the overall look is very uncluttered. However, you still have a shelf with things that will have to be dusted (just on the bottom, so easier to reach). This also would not work for me because I have a Cathedral ceiling in this area of my home. It might work for one of you, though.

4. Add Art

Another idea is to add some plaques and artwork that match your overall decor. I am actually considering this option as I have an Italian theme in my kitchen. I may get some photos and sayings. Framed pictures are fairly easy to reach with a duster and keep clean. I may add one or two additional items for interest, but again I don’t like clutter to dust so I also might not.

5. Add Storage

A lot of different articles suggested adding baskets, but the best idea I saw was wide wooden baskets with lids. Inside these, you could store things you don’t use very often, such as that waffle iron you use twice a year. Opt for a basket with a lid and dusting should be minimal (swipe of a feather duster). Even better? Sometimes smoother with a lid. It wouldn’t collect dust like say wicker would. Did I mention I hate things with crevices because they are hard to dust and keep clean?

These are just a few ideas for that space. If you don’t mind dusting and a little clutter, then the sky is the limit with what you could put up there. Just be sure to invest in a good step stool or ladder.

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Crabby Housewife

Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 27 years - they have two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.