So we get to see a lot of kitchens and meet a lot of awesome people with our little backsplash business (S/E Backsplash), and it’s always so fun to see how other people decorate their homes while we’re there.
We actually painted FOUR backsplashes this past weekend in the same neighborhood! (Which reminds me… if you want us to paint your backsplash and have several friends or neighbors that would like theirs painted as well, we’d consider making a trip to your part o’ the country! Email us here!)
ANYWAY, I’ve been having a serious inner-struggle with whether or not I should have ‘decorative stuff’ on top of my cabinets. My preference is to have cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, but that’s not going to happen in my kitchen… EVER. Because of the weird thing that our ceiling does:
I happen to think kitchens look CLUTTERED with shtuff on cabinets, but it also looks like it’s missing something when it’s completely bare. I really like what Ashley Ann did with her collection of world globes on top of her cabinets. Maybe I’ll start collecting something!
Do you have an opinion? Do you have ivy and baskets and such on top of your cabinets? Or are you a minimalist and keep it uncluttered? Let’s chat!
Tisha Huffer says
I voted no stuff, I to agree with you…and when I built our house my cabinets went all the way to the top of the ceiling. suggestion, what about painting the spot above the cabinets white to give the allusion that they cabinets go all the way up?
I like the no stuff option. I had this problem at a condo with a weird kitchen ceiling. We did led rope lights at the top which we just left on because when I got up with baby at night it was nice to be able to see without having to turn on lights. Then added crown molding to the tops of the cabinet to make it look more finished. I liked it much better than stuff that I would have to get up there to clean.
I used to have a stacked cookbook collection above my cabinets that I loved to death. Then we moved and I found out how greasy the air in the kitchen is- as it had ruined quite a few of my books. sad. I enjoy the look, but I’m not a fan of the upkeep. I say, though, if it’s the ~right~ stuff (colored theme or style collection) and it draws your eye up, yes. But if it just is kind of cluttery with no theme, then no. (I’m also anti-ivy.)
Hi Beth, I voted for stuff but I would keep it really minimalist and white to pop against the wallpaper! Maybe a few cake stands or some vintage appliances. Just something to draw your eye up giving the illusion of higher ceilings. Please stay away from faux ivy plants 🙂
Dana Alley says
No stuff! All that “stuff” just gets dusty anyways, and after a while I don’t even notice it anymore. However, I’m the one who has to re-design her picture frames on the shelves ones a month to keep things from getting to ‘static’. 😀
I vote for stuff.
I love the extra space to display antiques.
I think bottles and dishes can look lovely, as long as they are arranged nicely. Beware the greenery though. I made that mitskae a few years ago and it looked so dated and it did get really dusty/greasy disgusting:(
Joann Borden says
Collections look nice on top of cabinets. When I bought my house (a 60’s ranch), it was all original with paneling tacked over the opening at top of cabinets. I tore it out and added crown molding to top of cabinets. I painted my kitchen fire engine red and the cabinets white. I love color. Anyway, I collect black hobnail and black amethyst and I display them on top of my cabinets. I strung rope lights up there, too. I love the way the black looks against the red. I tried putting some of my white ironstone and milk glass but it just didn’t look as good as the black. Play around with things you like and don’t forget lighting. It makes all the difference.
Cecilia Marie says
My husband and I love going to antique stores. when we find an antique or vintage bottle we put it up on our space. RIght now we have old old whiskey bottles up there!
We have a collection of old bottles that grace the tops of our cabinets. Love the feel, and the family just keeps adding. Fun.
Wow – you do have a challenging ceiling line don’t you? Sorry, I didn’t mean that to sounds so negative…. (sheesh, I am sounding like my mother…LOL)
Personally I like having a few special items…like the teapot from my great-grandma and a teacup from my dear inspirational friend (who has since passed away)…and some vintage “shtuff” that I love.
I love your friends globe collection!
My advice, put a few things up there that make you happy or bring back happy memories! It’ll mean more than a fake fern (capital YUCK).
Have a good day!
Suzanne Martin says
Because I agree with the cleaning issues, THIS is the only thing that would make sense up there: http://www.bitrebels.com/geek/cat-transportation-system-home-office/
Cause we all know they love to perch and watch us from above!
I voted no stuff, but that’s what I get for posting after midnight. I thought you meant on your counter, like in on top of your bottom cabinets.
I’m kind of mixed on stuff on the very top. I like the way it looks, but I would hate to have to keep it clean. I used to have a stuff ledge, wider than a plate rail but not wide enough for anything very wide. Just wide enough to be a really good dust catcher.
i vote no stuff even tho i have stuff on top of mine. some vintage wine bottles for paris, oversized collinder, a pitcher and some fake vines. i like stuff that i can dust easily but doesnt always look dusty (in case i dont get up there).
D Schoppe says
I have cabinets clear to ceiling.. so the stuff is hidden… which =less dusting… (not that I dust often anyway..) but I do have stuffed moose draped on my curtain rods… lol
I voted no stuff for your room because so much going on with your walls and backsplash. I do like stuff on top of cabinets but no overwhelmingly so.
What if you painted the wall just above the cabinets the same white as the cabinet color? It might help soften the transition between the white of the cabinets and the dark blue on the wall above. I also love the idea of adding a few large white ceramic pieces up there to tie into the cupboards. My sister did that in her kitchen and it looks sleek and not too cluttered!
Stephanie Jobe says
I like stuff, but only under certain criteria. I think that it has to look intentional, like the globes. I think too much variety looks like you just crammed stuff up there because you didn’t know where else to put it. I think that on yours it would have to be something light colored to contrast against the teal. Things like porcelain and glass are nice because they are easier to clean.
Liz at WonderfullyMadePursuits says
I think the stuff can be really tasteful as long as it is cohesive and doesn’t take up the whole space. I love the look of the globes on top of the cabinets! I also really love how The Handmade Home decorated her cabinets with hand painted letters. http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2011/03/the-kitchen-is-finally-done/
Emily Brown says
for me, it all depends on what the stuff is. If it’s staged well and not overbearing, I like it. Wish I could upload a photo so you could see mine! 🙂 I’ve got white cabinets, gray walls over them and red accented items…just some pitchers and vases clustered into small groups that just brings the eye up enough to enlarge the kitchen to your eyes. I like it! 🙂
Definitely no stuff.
Cheryl Vetter says
I was at a house this weekend, that had some cabinets all the way to the ceiling, and some that were “staggered” lower. The lower ones had a shelf with molding on top and had just a few large kitchen type items on top. ( a pitcher, large platter a couple of large cookbooks) It looked amazing!!! I’m sure you could find something you like on pinterest. I love the rope idea too!!
I would rather not have a top to the cabinet. I would rather have them go to the ceiling. If I had to have a top, I would put something there that can be cleaned. I like colored glass, so perhaps some glass bowls/plates/vases/decanters and such, and perhaps some lights for some indirect soft lighting. Maybe even like the rope light . That would be lovely, interesting, and able to deal with the grease.
Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Oooo, a ROPE LIGHT! Love that idea!
We are hoping to redo our kitchen this summer and I am purposely having lower cabinets so I can put stuff up there!
Wish I could claim the ropelight was original, but I saw it somewhere. Some show did it on top of and underneath the cabinets (hidden with some trim)
I used to have a lot of stuff on top of my cupboards.. Now, I only place my white, glass pitchers and bowls that I collect up on top. I only display 10 and have them all pretty much bunched together so they look cohesive and not cluttered. Adds a fresh pop of white against our light, mossy green walls.
No Stuff… I agree with the previous comment regarding the “nasty” that accumulates up there. Anything worthy of being displayed above your cabinets in your carefully designed kitchen will be ruined by the greasy/dusty yuck that amasses.
If you go with shtuff, it should make a statement. Something you collect is always nice. Just a hodge podge of things is clutter to the eye. It could be baskets, frames, or such. Try some of what you love to look at. Maybe something all one color? Like posted above it doesn’t have to be all along the top. Wahtever you might put up there will collect dust. 🙂 No matter what you do. Pick something easy to dust off. lol
I like stuff on top but I always choose WHAT and HOW MUCH stuff. I vote no to a cabinet top full of cereal boxes and pantry over flow, but yes to a few interesting items that match the kitchen and don’t demand too much attention.
Dayna Shepherd says
No stuff but have you thought about some decorative moulding at the top of your cabinets?
As much as I agree with the “dust collectors” point of view, I think that some stuff would help to soften the transition between that weird thing your ceiling does. The stuff doesn’t have to span the entire length of the cabinets, so dusting wouldn’t be to bad!
Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says
Anyone who has ever cleaned (or even seen) the top of kitchen cabinets would vote “no stuff.” So gross.
I voted no shtuff, but I think what Ashley Ann looks cool. I think in order for it to not look cluttered, it needs to be streamlined and focused–just a bunch of random stuff will make it look cluttered.