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Do’s and don’ts for decorating the top of cabinets

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Before you decide to display something up high, stop and take a moment to evaluate why, exactly, you want to do so. Too many people think that anytime a shelf is in sight there needs to be something resting on top of it.That’s just not true.


As a general rule, if you have under 2’ of space above kitchen cabinetry, very tall armoires or built-ins, don’t decorate the space. All too often, doing so dates you to the 1990’s and the area does nothing but catch dust. 


Here’s an example using of what it looks like when you don’t decorate above kitchen cabinets.


Had we placed objects up there, do you see how they would have distracted the eye from the island and those gutsy light fixtures? In the field of creamy white, the accessories would have stood out and called attention to themselves. That’s why I purposely blended the color of the cabinets, walls and ceilings on this job so that you wouldn’t notice the shorter cabinetry. I wouldn’t want to call attention to it by putting things up there, now would I?


Items that are simple in style and shape are best up high.


Kitchen cabinets to the ceiling and overscaled, tall cabinets that fit the height of these new homes with higher ceilings are such a delight.


It’s as if the builders didn’t get the memo that if you’re going to raise the ceiling, the cabinets and other elements need to go too!


Seriously though . . . While I’m not in love with the stuff that people arrange way up high just to fill a small void, and I do think people overload those areas where it’s not necessary, there are certain situations and certain times when some decorating actually does need to be done above a cabinet.  

For example: If your cabinet is fairly short -- let’s say about 5’-6” high and it looks way shorter than the ceiling, and sort of cries out for something to be put above it -- that’s okay, you can decorate it

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