Lots of old houses have these maddening, inexplicable gaps between the top of the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. What do you do with that awkward extra space? You could stuff it full of cookbooks or fake plants, or you could steal this genius solution from Mandi Johnson of A Beautiful Mess.
Can you believe it's the same kitchen? Of course, painting the cabinets and replacing the countertop and backsplash make a huge difference. (We're big fans of painting upper cabinets and lower cabinets in different colors.) But the big story here is how reconfiguring the cabinets took this kitchen from clunky to fantastic.
The upper cabinets were removed from the wall, painted, and then re-installed so that the tops of the cabinets were flush with the ceiling. Mandi and her team of renovating friends then added an open shelf to the wall, placing the shelf at the level where the bottom of the cabinets was before.
Presto! More storage space, no awkward gap at the top of the cabinets, and a new place to display beautiful items. You can see many more photos and a complete, step-by-step breakdown of the process at A Beautiful Mess.
Edited to add: A few of you have noticed that the kitchen is still in progress in the 'after' shots posted here. The final reveal of Mandi's kitchen was just posted on A Beautiful Mess, so go check it out. (And thanks c9r01yn for bringing this to our attention!)
Re-edited from a post originally published 9.13.14-nt