Friday, May 20, 2011

At the Height of Debate ...

It's a question I get often and one that stirs up quite a bit of debate ... What should I put on top of my kitchen cabinets?

Nothing? Something? if something, what?  Green plants?

My response?  There is no such thing as green plants above kitchen cabinets ... gray plants maybe ... because they are either dead or covered in dust. Let's be honest ... who is ever going to go up and regularly water plants up there?  We all know it and so we all know that any type of greenery "growing" up there is fake. Take 'em down! (At least that's my two cents worth.)

So then what?  It's a tough one, I'll admit, and really depends on the kitchen.  I think that's why so many newly designed kitchens feature cabinetry that extends all the way to the ceiling ... it is beautiful AND eliminates the need to figure out what the heck to put up there!

I think if there is less than 10 or 12 inches between the top of your cabinet and the ceiling you shouldn't try to shove a bunch of things up there that are practically touching the ceiling.  The only things that would fit up there would have to be so short or small that they wouldn't give much impact anyway and it would end up looking like clutter.

But again, as so many newer homes have higher ceilings, there is often quite a bit of space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling and it sometimes just begs for ... something.

Here are a few ideas ...

Baskets ... while I kind of think there are a few TOO many in the picture below, I like the idea.  A collection of baskets adds a nice warm color and texture.
House at Ross traditional kitchen

These baskets look like they are actually used for storage.  What a smart idea for a kitchen that is lacking in that department. I like how they are labeled with little numbers.

via Decorpad

On a smaller scale, a few baskets mixed with a fun birdcage adds a lot of personality to this otherwise plain kitchen.

Cottage/Country Kitchen traditional kitchen
via Houzz

A collection of plates or pottery ... if you have some beautiful pieces, group them together for more impact.
River House eclectic kitchen

Again, another collection ... I love this idea using vintage tins. With those soaring ceilings, it's nice to have something to draw your eyes upward.

Family Room traditional family room

One of my favorite bloggers, Emily A. Clark, just did a post on this topic as well and featured these images ... all very different but I like them all.

Effortless Style

via Decorpad

In my own kitchen, the big empty spaces just begged for something and it has taken me awhile to find the perfect mix ... baskets, vintage tins and glass jugs that I love and I think blend in well, without being overly distracting.  I guess that's my general rule ... to keep it from looking too busy, I suggest using more neutral colored objects. That's why natural or wire baskets, tins, clear glass jugs, vases, etc. work nicely.  I have used wire baskets and natural wood crates for some of my clients too.

In case you're wondering, that little topiary on the shelf above my rangetop IS real ... I can reach it standing on the floor to pull it down and water it ... and it is pretty hearty too ... I have managed to keep it alive for almost 5 months! Yea!

 So what do you think?  Do you have anything above your cabinets? I'd love to see pictures of fresh new ideas?