11 Brilliant Ways to Use the Space Above Your Kitchen Cabinets

updated Apr 23, 2024
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(Image credit: Yasmin Sarai)

Not sure what to do with that space in between the cabinets and the ceiling? We get it — it can be a bit awkward and hard to access. But that doesn’t mean you have to let the space go to waste. If your kitchen cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, that extra room can do far more than collect dust.

Whether you want to utilize it for extra storage or to show off your most prized possessions, here are 11 solutions that will spruce up your kitchen and give that prime real estate some love.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

1. Display serving pieces.

This is a classic move, and for good reason. The space above your cabinets is just right for items you only reach for once in a blue moon like cake stands, big serving boards, and decorative pieces. They’re meant to be shown off, so pop them up there when not in use and you’ll get to look at them all year-round.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

2. Use canisters to conceal clutter.

Whether it’s dry goods, random clutter, or you just need some place to shove that collection of canisters, above the cabinet is a great place. Use them to attractively conceal small odds and ends or display those stunning pieces that don’t fit elsewhere.

(Image credit: Sarita Relis Photography)

3. Bust out the baskets.

In addition to adding neutral texture to your kitchen, baskets do a great job at hiding the stuff no one needs to see, like the juicer you just had to register, for or the stash of recipes ripped out of magazines you pull down for the holidays.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

4. Show off a collection.

If you collect figurines, fans, teapots, or anything in between, this spot is a perfect place to display your collection. Depending on what the item is, it could also be a great conversation starter at your next dinner party.

(Image credit: One Kings Lane)

5. Display cookbooks.

Let’s be honest: for many of us, having cookbooks is as much about knowing you have them as it is about actually cracking one open for a recipe. So rather than storing them some place out of sight, display them above the cabinets. You don’t have to go all out and color coordinate them like they’ve done above, but any stack will add color and intrigue.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

6. Store your wine and spirits.

If you don’t have enough room in your house for a wine cellar or fridge, then transform your kitchen into a swanky bar by storing your wine and spirits above the cabinet. (Pro tip: stash a mini wine rack up there to keep the bottles from rolling away.)

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

7. Grow something.

Easily transform your kitchen into a green oasis by popping some plants on top of your cabinets. Not only will it bring more life into the space, but many plants thrive in kitchen environments, helping to purify the air and boost oxygen. Choose plants that don’t have to be watered daily and are easy to care for so you don’t have to worry about constantly bringing them down.

(Image credit: One Kings Lane)

8. Add another shelf.

What’s better than one shelf? Two shelves! If your above-cabinet space is tall enough, add an extra open shelf by stacking a board on top of three small wine racks. (If you’re not so handy, you can get a hardware store to cut the lumber for you.)

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

9. Display some art.

Art in the kitchen can be tough — you don’t want anything to get ruined from water, grease, or other splatters. Art above your cabinets, however, will be relatively safe and makes a bold statement. You could also hang a vintage sign, if you wanted to keep things simple.

(Image credit: Lowe’s)

10. Decorate for the holidays.

Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, there’s almost always a reason to decorate around the holidays. Utilize the extra space to make the room a little more festive any time of year.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

11. Just leave them empty.

Sometimes, the best way to use a space is not to use it at all. If you don’t absolutely need the storage, save the space until you do. Or, if you’re trying to reduce clutter, just leave it be. It will make the room feel airier than if it’s jammed full of stuff, especially if your kitchen is on the smaller side.

Do you have a gap between your cabinets and the ceiling? How do you use the space? Let us know in the comments below!