Decorating the tops of kitchen cabinets is a simple way to add flair to your kitchen while filling up the empty space between the tops of your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, an area that is sometimes overlooked but can look awkward or uninspired when left bare.

These days, a lot of kitchen designers address this issue by creating custom cabinetry that extends all the way to the ceiling. There are many ways to fill that dust-collecting kitchen neverland while also adding aesthetic interest or extra storage, though, if you don’t have the luxury of creating a custom kitchen from scratch, prefer a less tailored look, are working with existing built-in cabinetry from a rental, or don’t have the budget to renovate.

Check out these suggestions in a variety of designs that will let you to make the most of every vertical inch of space in your kitchen.

Decorate with baskets

Tall, seamless built-in cabinetry that is painted a peaceful shade of pale grey extends a few feet short of the glass roof in this London kitchen designed by Studio Peake. The bare area is defined by a row of colourful woven baskets, which also offer warmth and go well with the natural wood bar stools.

Display Some Wallpaper

DeVOL Kitchens used nature-themed illustrated kitchen wallpaper to fill the empty area above the cabinetry. This wallpaper matches the dark green tile backsplash and offers a layer of visual appeal without clogging the small space between the top of the cabinets and the wall.

Include bar storage

Although it’s fine to decorate the top of your kitchen cabinets just for aesthetic purposes, there’s useful space up there that may be utilised for keeping infrequently used items or stuff you don’t want the kids to get their hands on. The liquor cabinet was child-proofed by A Beautiful Mess by being placed on top of the kitchen cupboards, with the bottles being orderly arranged in a row of wire baskets.

Introduce trailing vines

A natural touch is added to this classy British kitchen from the U.K.’s deVOL Kitchens by plants with beautiful trailing vines sitting atop the closed and glass-front cabinetry, illustrated wallpaper, tones of green and cream, and accents of copper.

Stack It Up

A tall vase of branches that covers the empty space above the comparatively short cabinet and attracts the attention upward is piled on top of this olive green painted china cabinet in a rustic English DIY kitchen from Lobster and Swan.

Keep It Relaxed

In this classic English country kitchen by deVOL Kitchens, a free-standing cabinet’s top is designed with a basket and spillover earthenware that is arranged on the open shelves above the sink and inside the cabinet. This creates a relaxed yet well-coordinated appearance.

Add greenery

Different sizes and shapes are available for kitchen cabinets. A row of bushy Boston ferns is placed on top of a tall, curving antique oak hutch used to hold cookware and cookbooks in this roomy kitchen designed by Leanne Ford Interiors. This gives the hutch a rich appearance and brings some colourful greenery into the room.

Additional cabinets

Leanne Ford Interiors incorporated a row of glass-front built-in cabinetry that effortlessly matches the space and can be utilised to store extra goods above the kitchen cabinets rather than leaving it empty. The glass fronts maintain an open feeling while providing contrast to the bigger closed cabinetry below. Easy access is provided by a wall-mounted sliding ladder in the style of a library.

Explain Space

In this vibrant and kitschy midcentury modern space, Dazey Den put plants and glassware on the tops of opposite rows of cabinetry to help designate zones in the semi-open-plan kitchen and dining area.

Be unique

If you’re starting from scratch when creating a kitchen, you might choose to forego decorating the area above your cabinets by having them built specifically to touch the ceiling, much like this expansive kitchen from Louis Duncan-He Designs that makes the most of every vertical inch of space.