7 Things to Do with That Awkward Space Above the Cabinets

7 Things to Do with That Awkward Space Above the Cabinets

Nancy Mitchell
Oct 28, 2014
(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

Lots of houses have it — that awkward space between the top of the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. In my house it's a favored cat hangout (no lie, my roommate's cat is quite the climber), but in most homes it just collects dust. Here are seven ideas for what to do with that awkward gap.

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

1. Put some baskets up there and stash your stuff in them.
As seen in a home from Better Homes and Gardens (up top) and the kitchen of blogger Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess.

In some kitchens, the space above the cabinets may be unfinished and uneven; you can get a piece of plywood cut to fit the space and lay it up there, or follow this tutorial from The Family Handyman to create a shelf.

(Image credit: John's Sunlit Studio)

2. Use the space to store cookbooks.
As seen in John's Sunlit Studio (from out 2013 Small Cool Contest).

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

3. Add a little art.
This is a great spot to incorporate a little art into your kitchen.

(Image credit: Alvhem Makler)

4. Squeeze in some extra wine storage.
Because you can never have too much wine. From Alvhem Makleri via Design Evolution.

(Image credit: One Kings Lane)

5. Add an extra shelf above the cabinets.
If your above-cabinet space is tall enough, this is great way to make the most of it. Danielle from One Kings Lane added an extra shelf above her cabinets by stacking a board atop three small wine racks. This is something that even the not-very-DIY-inclined can do: you can get the lumber cut to size at your local home improvement store, and then all you have left to do is paint.

(Image credit: I Heart Organizing)

6. Fill the space in.
If you are into DIY, but not so into dusting, you could fill the space in, which will give your cabinets a custom look. Here's a tutorial from I Heart Organizing.

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

7. Move your cabinets up to the ceiling to re-capture the space.
This final option is not for the faint of heart — but if you really hate that dead space and want to do something with it, you could do what Mandi from A Beautiful Mess did in her kitchen: remove the existing cabinets from the wall, re-hang them with the tops flush with the ceiling, and then add a shelf below. Good-bye, awkward ceiling gap: hello, extra storage.

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