Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Amanda's having a party!!  WOO HOO!  I love a good McLinky party!  It's Decorating Dilemma Day and boy do I have some of those.  I think today I'll be going with my kitchen issue, well, one of them anyway. 

We're getting ready to paint the kitchen red and I'm losing the red, white and blue Americana stuff that I love, but is just a little outdated. 

My problem is that totally non-functional space above my cabinets.  UGH!  I ended up just putting a bunch of stuff up there that wouldn't fit in my cabinets.  It's AWFUL!  There is only about 12" of space.  What am I supposed to put up there?  I LOATHE greenery!  I just am drawing a complete BLANK!  Help! 

Please forgive the wild grapevine that looks as if it is attacking my beloved bowls.  I had a friend with some on top of her cabinets and it looked wonderful.  I worked with it, got frustrated and gave up, but never took it down.  AWFUL! 

So, any suggestions on what I could put up there?  OR should I just leave it blank and dusty up there?  Stupid pre-fab, builder's grade, spec house, crappy cabinets! UGH!  HELP!! Please!  I'm desperate! 


  1. I think it's interesting to have "stuff" on top of your cabinets. I'd taking down the grapevine, scrub it down, and start over. Do you have any platters that you could display there? On cabinets like yours, I like a several groupings of things rather than one continuous display that goes all the way across.

    Once, who knows when, I saw where someone put rope lights on top of their cabinets. It really showcased the things displayed. That's a thought if you don't already have lights up there.

  2. I don't have lights up there (stupid spec house, builder's grade cabinets!), but I don't have a plug either. How would I light them without having a big ole cord hanging down somewhere? I already have cords hanging everywhere in my living room. I'm thinking installing an outlet up there would be beyond my expertise. I'm pretty sure I don't have the $ for the fire department to be on call, standing there in my kitchen just waiting for the moment I shock myself.

  3. I have this same issue! I am interested to see what ppl say.

  4. If your walls are going to be red, then some white and black accessories might be nice up there. Accessories in a bunch of different colors would be too busy, in my opinion...but I think all white, or all black, or a mixture of the two could be nice. If you have some good pieces up there that you were going to toss, see if some spray paint would fix 'em up. If you have some continuity with the accessories, the grapevine berry thing plus some lights (go for the outlet!) might be nice. :)

    Thanks for linking up! :)

  5. Umm hello twin. We have the exact same dilemma. Currently, I have nothing above mine...and I think it looks dull. I couldn't agree with you more about the greenery, but I do think something would look nice. Maybe all one color? Like all white? Or all red? Yikes, I probably shouldn't be the one giving advice. But I'm here to say that I feel your pain :)

  6. You should see the top of my cabinets, we have been here since June and downsized..so thing that I didn't know what to do with went on top of the cabinets..AWFUL. Ashamed to show a pic..we just got a whole wall of cabinets in the garage so I know everything is coming down and starting from scratch.

    I would do as one reader said, groupings..now you are painting it red. I love white and black and red...

    PS I like your cabinets!! And I don't think it would be too much $$ to have a plug or two installed up there..just my two cents..would look nice lit up!

    Good luck let us know what you do!

  7. 12-inches doesn't give you much space for decorating without making things look squishy. I don't know what the rest of your kitchen looks like, but if it were me I'd look into either putting short doors up there for closed storage space, or just closing it in altogether.

    Of course that's all a lot of work! What about displaying cookbooks up there with a knick-knack or two acting as a bookend?

    Good luck!

  8. I can never have enough storage space, so I would buy rectangular lidded baskets to put up there to store stuff. Another option (I did this in our old condo which also had the space above the cabinets) is to hang a fabric panel flush with the face of your cabinets and then you can hide all kinds of stuff back there.

  9. Okay, I know what you mean. You've got to have a lot of "stuff" to fill the tops of those cabinets.

    I say SPRAY PAINT your existing accessories (if you can bear to part with them, and it's okay to sob while you're doing it!) I do this ALL THE TIME. The accesssories in my new white coastal family room, started out aqua, then cinnamon and now they're all white. Takes a little time, but so much cheaper and effecient than hunting down new accessories. Just make sure the shape would be interesting enough in a solid color. "Tilty" stacks of bowls and big platters look great!

    Remember to bring in some other textures like natural materials, wood or even fabric covered things, just to keep it interesting.

    And everything is better in 3's and 5's. I never put that into practice until recently but all those hoity-toity decorators are right. It does make a difference visually.

    Good luck! Let's see pics when you are done.

  10. Big baskets -- great idea!! This gives you closed storage without hiring someone to close in that area. Otherwise -- use it to "display" your pretty dishes. You know the ones you never use anyway. Got any old jars? They look great in a space like that.

  11. I think some pottery would love great up there. Or a collection of pitchers! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  12. I have the same dilemma! I have been collecting stuff for whenever I get around to the makeover my kitchen so desperately need!

    I think things like old tea sets, cake stands jello molds make interesting little arangements to place up there...these are the kinds of things I'm trying to round up!

    p.s. I think your grapevine looks good!

  13. I'm not a big fan of the area above kitchen cabinets either - I've never seen an arrangement up there that I love, and so it always seemed like wasted space to me. You could definitely use lidded boxes or baskets as storage.

    But if it were me, I would close it off. I'm not sure exactly how I would do it, but I'd figure it out! Since your cabinets are already white, you could just paint whatever you place up there white as well, or even cover it with beadboard:

    Another alternative, since we're only talking about 12 inches, you might be able to combine some different moldings together to fill in the space:

  14. Okay I am spying more than helping...I have the same issue. I don't want a bunch of stuff up there just for the sake of it. I am really digging the basket idea (I just turned around to picture my own cabinets with baskets) and a few glass items or white things. The baskets would bring a great amount of texture and interest without overloading the senses

  15. Thanks y'all for all your suggestions and Kristy, thanks for the links - very cool. I'll have to shop my house and maybe some flea markets/antique shops, etc. to see what I come up with!

    Thanks again girls! Thanks for the great party Amanda!

  16. I have the exact same set up in my kitchen. I found huge ceramic vases at 50% off at Hobby Lobby, different sizes, shapes, but same colors. I also added rope lights but I have a plug. Lots of greenery, cranberry garland at 50% off from Target after christmas sale and star garland.

    The simpler the better. Black and white is beautiful but sometimes a pop of color expecially against red would look great. Try turquoise or a purple, yellow maybe...your wall decorations or major appliances can stick with the b/w. Look around your house. Your rooms may contain a consistent color that you never thought you had.

    Good Luck. Can't wait to see pics.
    Oh, and I found your blog through Kendall at Finesse Your Nest. I LOVE your blog title. Very catchy

  17. I loathe the greenery a lot of folks stuff up into that space too. We have it in our house, and I was originally thrilled to have a place to display my decorative bowls (why do I have THREE SETS of decorative bowls???). But now, they just get dusty! I wish I had taller cabinets instead.

    Sorry, I didn't help you with your dilemma. Oh, and about TV in the bedroom-- I end up staying up wayyyyyy too late with it around as well!

    Confessions From A Working Mom

  18. Tanya;

    well, I have an idea (actually got this off a DIY network show)

    If you don't want to display anything and are wanting to go more open / airy.
    I would say, just lay out some small strands of white christmas lights -either string them along or lay them in clumps, not too clumpy you want them to hide behind the molding.

    It will add a soft glow to the kitchen and nothing to dust!

    Also, you might want to drill a small enough hole for an extension cord so you can utilize the plug below the cabinet. You'll have to drill through the top and any shelves (in the corners/hidden) make sure it comes out close to the plug.

    don't use too many lights you don't want it GLARING. Maybe just one of those 100 light strands in a couple of places.

    If I had this space above my cabinets-- I'd be doing this for sure. Mine go straight to the ceiling.


  19. I would empty it and start over. Wait until you paint and then you may feel much more inspired. I love the idea of hiding some rope lights up there. Then several little groupings with space in between works best instead of one continuous display. Plates and colorful platters are always nice or you can put smaller pictures on an easel to raise it up a bit. Think outside the box and use things from other rooms in your home to create a "new" look with older items

  20. Hi Tanya! I read your post on the day of the party and thought, ugh, I have the exact same problem...I'll think it over and come back. I'm just now getting back, but don't know that I have any ideas for you. Mine are a mess right now; I have one of those cut-out letters sign that says "family" on one side and two white soup tureens on the other. Have a third that I plan to get up there too.

    Here's a good blog article I found on the subject http://bit.ly/dyK8x4
    Also google it ("decorating above kitchen cabinets", or whatever) and click on images.

  21. Hey Holly! Thanks for the link. It was really helpful. There were some really great ideas on there. Did you catch the last sentence? It said, "if any of you suggest faux ivy or grape vines, you'll be officially banished from the blog". Isn't that funny? I've had grapevine up their FOREVER so I guess I'm banished. HA!

    I have one of those signs too that says "Blessed" that's in my bedroom. So many good ideas. It makes me want to go treasure hunting RIGHT NOW! I'm such an instant gratification kind of girl.

    Thanks for your help!

  22. Hey there, I remember reading your dilemma last week and being stumped myself. I just found a great post that might have some good inspiration so thought I'd pass it along. Good luck!

  23. a friend had this above her cabinets and it was beautiful. they used panels of lattice with white plants behind them and put lights of several colors intertwined on the things you use at Xmas to make them go from color to color. so unique and really interesting.

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