modern white kitchen with tall cabinets to minimize the space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling

10 Creative Ways to Use the Space Between Your Kitchen Cabinets & the Ceiling

Most homeowners consider the space between the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling unattractive and a waste of precious square footage. This design feature is intended to create a more open feel. And standard-dimension cabinets are not installed to reach the ceiling because they’d be too high to reach. So, what are you supposed to do with that awkward gap? 

10 Ways to Use the Space Between Your Cabinets and Ceiling

We’ve come up with some creative ways you can maximize the space between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. 

1. Extend the cabinets to the ceiling

With custom kitchen cabinets, you can add an open shelf below the cabinets, allowing you to move the standard cabinets up to the ceiling. 

Another option is to select taller-than-standard cabinets, creating an extra top shelf inside your cupboards, and completely eliminating the gap. Keep in mind, the top shelf will be difficult to reach, so it’s best used to store items you don’t use often.

2. Add a second row of cabinets

If the look of taller cabinets doesn’t appeal to you, consider stacking a second row of cabinets. The cabinets on the top row can be shorter than the main cabinets and still provide a lot of extra storage space.

Kitchen with a second row of backlit glass-paneled cabinets to fill the space between the cabinets and the ceiling

3. Put in a window

The best way to brighten up your kitchen is with natural light. Even an awkward angled gap above your cabinets can look amazing with a custom-fitted window. It creates an illusion of intentional design and lets in extra sunshine. 

4. Use paint or wallpaper to add interest

Paint the space with a bold accent colour, an interesting pattern, or add wallpaper. This adds interest to your kitchen, enhances your design, and adds personality to the space. 

5. Enclose the space or fill it in with trim

If the space above your cabinets isn’t too large, enclosing it with trim or a dropped ceiling can create a streamlined, built-in look. An added benefit is that it won’t collect dust.

Modern kitchen cabinets with surrounding space enclosed to create a seamless look

6. Use top-hinged cabinets

If your kitchen ceiling is high enough, the space above your cabinets allows you to install top-hinged cabinet doors. This type of cabinet works well for storing seasonal dishes or other items you only use occasionally. 

kitchen cabinets with top-hinged doors

7. Treat it as a bookshelf

If your household is a bookish one, or if you’ve developed a significant collection of cookbooks, fill the space above your cabinets with those precious pages. The awkward gap becomes an eye-catching built-in bookcase. 

If you choose to do this, be careful not to place books directly above the cooking area where steam could damage the pages. 

8. Add plants

Plenty of plants can thrive in a low-light, high-humidity environment. These fair well in the space above your cabinets. They add an attractive decorative element in your kitchen, and they clean the air, too. If you don’t have a green thumb, artificial plants are a perfectly acceptable no-maintenance option.

Open concept kitchen with plants filling the space betweeen the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling

9. Display your collection or decorative items

Do you have a collection? Instead of hiding your collection behind a closed door or in the basement, put it on display. This serves as a great conversation piece and shows your personality. Consider adding some lighting above the cabinets to illuminate your collection and create ambience in your kitchen. 

Antiques, decorative plates, pottery, or artwork are common collections displayed above kitchen cabinets.

White kitchen cabinets with decorative pots on top of the cabinets

10. Use it as extra storage

While not the most interesting suggestion, using the space above your cabinets as extra storage is highly functional. If you’ve run out of storage space elsewhere in your home, or if accessing items in your attic has become too difficult, make use of the space in your kitchen. 

If the stuff you need to store won’t look nice above your cabinets, find decorative bins or baskets that fit in the space and fill them with your stored items. This keeps them out of sight yet still accessible. Storage bins with lids will keep your belongings dust-free.

Slate blue modern kitchen with seamless design and honeycomb patterned backsplash

Kitchen Design Experts in Calgary

Need some kitchen design help? Looking for custom cabinets to fill the space below the ceiling? The expert kitchen designers and renovation professionals at Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations can help! Contact us today for a free consultation.

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