Design Tips: Accessorizing Above your Kitchen Cabinets

11103954_SWhile it may not be a high priority as you move into your new Fulton home and get settled, one day you’re going to look up and realize that you want something above your kitchen cabinets besides air.

The challenge comes from selecting items that have only one purpose, to stay pretty-much permanently on display but out of reach.

This means that you don’t really want to spend a lot of money but you want it to look nice – as if you spent a lot of money. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

3627780_SDecide on the look you want. Are you looking for bright and modern, traditional and homey or antique and unique? Stand back and really look at your kitchen. What look appeals to you?

Shop your closets. Do you have a bowl from Aunt Sally that you like but really never use? How about a couple of baskets that came with fruit which are just to pretty to throw away? Maybe you inherited a lovely pottery vase that you are uncomfortable using around your rambunctious family. Bring what you have into the kitchen and lay everything out on the counters underneath the cabinets to get started.

Include signs and pictures. Do you have an empty frame? Put a nice piece of fabric or scrapbook paper in it and prop it up against the wall. The “Bon Appetit” sign in this second photo was purchased, but could just as easily be written nicely on an old chalkboard.

6732510_SDisplay a collection. The kitchen to the left showcases an interesting group of antique baskets and pottery. If you like this look but don’t have the collection, visit thrift shops and “age” your purchases with watered down brown and black paint or even strong coffee.

Take your time: One final note: You don’t have to finish this part of your kitchen in an afternoon. Start with a few things and add others as you get inspired over time. Move things around. And above all have fun making the space above your kitchen cabinets totally yours.

Silver Hues in the Kitchen

Silver is the choice for metal surfaces in the kitchen. Cool silvery hues like stainless steel, chrome, and nickel continue to be popular finishes for ranges, hoods, sinks, faucets and hardware in the kitchen. The influence of commercial kitchens with their stainless steel surfaces can be the source for this popular metal in today’s residential kitchens.


Stainless steel appliances set the tone for all other metals in the kitchen. When your largest appliances like the fridge or stove are stainless steel, they demand that other metals in the kitchen coordinate with them.  Of course you could add other metallic finishes to the room like oiled bronze or brass, but using silvery finishes with stainless steel gives the room a more unified appearance.


Silvery chrome and nickel work well with stainless appliances and sinks.  Chrome and nickel come in a number of finishes including satin and polished.  The more shiny the finish, the more the metals will stand out and sparkle in the space.


Silvery metals also work with any number of cabinet and floor choices. Dark wood cabinets and floors get a pop of sparkle with silvery chrome or nickel pulls.  The silvery pulls are like sparkling jewelry against the wood, like a sparkling bangle or necklace is against a little black dress.


These metals also look great with glass front cabinets and marble counters veined with grey.  Using silver against grey and white is a sophisticated look for the kitchen. It is also a great look for a bathroom.

Fresh Accents in the Kitchen

Kitchens like any other room in the home can be given extra pizzazz with colorful and bright accents. The hard surfaces of the kitchen can make it feel sterile or cold. The wood cabinets, stone counters, tile back splashes, stainless steel appliances and tile or wood floors are all beautiful but hard. Hard surfaces make clean up easier and are typically more hygienic—two important qualities to have in the kitchen.


Fresh accents can breathe life into the kitchen. Because a kitchen’s focus is food and eating, decorative accents can be food and food themed.  This modern kitchen features a tall tile backsplash with a contrasting border stone counter tops and sleek appliance. The bowl of fresh fruit and a row of small vases filled with herbs and flowers breathes life into the kitchen. Just a bowl of citrus or apples can provide color and texture to break up all the hard surfaces in the room.  A bud vase next to the sink or on the window sill will add a fresh accent that might even brighten up the tedious task of doing the dishes.


Colors and patterns from food and floral accents in the kitchen can be used to inspire other accessories in the room. The color of runner in front of the stove could be inspired by a bowl of fruit, a box of garden vegetables from a local farm or bouquet of fresh flowers. Tea towels and dish cloths can also be chosen to coordinate with these fresh accents.