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decorating, Goodwill, kitchen, popular, spray paint, مصمم ديكور

>Above the cabinets


Hello all! How was your Easter weekend? I hope it was wonderful. 🙂

We had a great one – as you can tell by the tuckered out Bub and dog:


🙂 Adorable.

I get asked a lot how to decorate one spot in particular – and it’s a toughie. High spaces in particular (plant ledges, above armoires) are hard, in my opinion. And the kitchen cabinets are no exception.

Our cabs aren’t super tall – we went with the basic height – so we have a ton of space above them. I tried leaving them nekked, but it just looks so unfinished and bare. And I love having a little somethin’ up there to add some personality and color to the kitchen.

I know some don’t like the decorating over the cabinets idea, and that’s cool. I really don’t need to know. Really…it’s OK.  🙂

Last week I finished up another item on my kitchen to-do list…and it was a LONG time coming. I started our mini kitchen redo last May, and the looming one year “anniversary” is kind of kicking my booty in gear. I’d love to have everything checked off my list by the year mark.

You can see in this old pic that I had stenciled sayings above the cabinets:

I had a Tuscan theme going in the room and I chose words like “Family and Friends” and “Wine and Food” in Italian.

But a beadboard backsplash doesn’t exactly scream Tuscan, so I’ve wanted to get rid of those words foreva now.

So I started priming:

And I figured it would be an easy project, but like pretty much ALWAYS, one thing turned into another. That is how I roll.

Two coats of primer and two coats of paint later, and you could see where I had touched up the paint:

I was hoping that wasn’t going to happen, but it did so I rolled with it. 🙂 I repainted the area above the cabinets with a quick coat of the lovely Sisal color from Ralph Lauren (Home Depot can still mix it for you!)

LOVE this color.

And then I moved onto another project I’ve been wanting to address for some time now – updating and rearranging the accessories on top of the cabs. And I wanted to get it done without leaving the house. (Or spending any cash!)

I started with Goodwill frame I’ve had for ages:

Goodwill frame

Brand new baby!

I found a Target placemat a couple of months ago that I loved, and knew just what I was going to do with it:

It’s plastic and was only $1.99.

I cut it to fit the frame, and ended up with this:

placemat art

So cute!!

You can see my little secret for propping up stuff up there:

Our little-used NYC book and my old AP Stylebook have a use again!

I only use old paperbacks, but on occasion Hubs will ask where a book is and I’ll answer, “Did you check above the cabinets honey?”

No lie. 🙂

That’s what it’s like living with me. He loves me so. (He must.)


Anyhoo, next I focused on the blinding green tray I spray painted back here:

It. was. BRIGHT. Sheesh. Pretty much as soon as I did it, I wanted to change it.

I pulled it down and sprayed it with some yellow instead, but that pesky “S” was still showing through. So I thunk and I thunk, and came up with a (free!) fix to cover it.

I took some poster board, cut it to the size of the inside of the tray and then used a stencil to dress it up a bit:

It is SO not perfect – but remember it’s up high! And it was FREE. Me likey. 

I may get a piece of plexiglass cut to fit over it eventually, but it’s not going to be used so for now it stays as is.

I had to keep at least ONE word up there – the Italian was gone, but I had to add one more that’s near and dear to my heart:

Yes, I love to eat. I needed to proclaim my love, loud and clear.

These are cardboard letters from Joann’s and they’ve been sitting up there unfinished for months. First I tried covering them with fabric, then paper, and then realized they were way too busy.

You can’t go wrong with good old black. 🙂

I saw this cage at Stein Mart a few weeks ago and couldn’t resist it!:

EAT letters

It was $20 and they had a smaller size too. LOVE!!

I also picked up this cutie little stool a few months ago (for $12) at TJ Maxx:

UGH, I love it! It matches the blue tray I used in the living room. I love how it pulls out the blue in the little cafe curtains I made a couple of weeks ago.

Some of the pieces I’ve had for a long time – the pear art used to be a wrapped canvas:

I cut it out and framed it in an IKEA frame.

Last year I picked up the round platter from IKEA as well:

And the herb crate was a little DIY project from last summer. I adore that little crate!

I learned while working in the decorating biz that your eye should travel up and down when looking at accessories, and I try to apply that above our cabinets:

decorating above cabinets

One tall thing, one shorter thing, one tall thing…you get it. 😉

Because we have so much space above our cabinets, I try to go with larger pieces to fill it:

And like any hard-to-decorate space, I always say to be PATIENT. Areas like this can’t be forced – it’s the kind of thing you fill as you go, when you find items you love, that are the right size, that apply to the space. (Trays, baskets and platters for a kitchen.)

You may notice one more little change…the ball started rolling and I couldn’t stop it.

I resisted, but it always wins out. 🙂

I FINALLY installed the crown molding in this space:

And I’ll tell you more about that when I finish the other half of the room (the family room).

I’m SO glad to have this done! Or at least up. “Done” is a bit of a stretch. 🙂

crown molding in kitchen

I may add a little detail to the bottom to chunk it up a bit, but for now, I’ll be happy if I don’t see our ladder again for a very, VERY long time. 🙂

So that, my dears, is how I decorate above our cabinets! If our cabs were taller, I’d do a lot less – probably wider, fatter items. But I love it and will probably not touch it for another year or five. And my kitchen list to-do is dwindling – WHOO!

How do you deal with up high spaces? Do tell!


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