15 Smart Solutions for That Awkward Space Above Your Cabinets

...and none of them are "gather dust."

If you've got a gap between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, you've likely spent time cursing your architect. But some good news: There are some stylish ways to tackle this forgotten spot.

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Design Mom
Add some twinkle.

Nothing evokes a divine romantic ambiance like lighting, and these twinkle lights work their magic even in one of the most difficult-to-deal-with spaces.

What you'll need: twinkle lights ($10, )

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Myquillyn Smith via The Nester
Add a gorgeous garland.

Warning: This is not for the DIY averse. This fantastical paper garland is a work of art and ideal for anyone looking to turn a ho-hum kitchen into a statement-making room with a single project.

What you'll need: craft paper ($18, ), glue sticks ($2 for a 6-pack, )

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Design Sponge
Put up a curtain.

In an ideal world, the spaces above all kitchen cabinets are windows looking out onto gorgeous, light-filled scenery. In your real world, install a tension rod and fabric you love to create a no-judgement spot to stash junk.

What you'll need: tension rod ($10, ), green fabric ($13, )

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Make your wallpaper pop.

Increase the oomph of your walls substantially by placing a similar-hued collection in front of the paper above cabinets, like designer Christina Rottman did. Plus, you know you can't lose with ginger jars and Ming vases.

What you'll need: ginger jars ($25, )

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Pablo Enriquez via Apartment Therapy
Show off art.

Gallery walls are nice, sure, but let's go ahead and coin this the "gallery loft" and start coveting it now. This works especially well if your kitchen, like this one, has an expansive space to fill.

What you'll need: gallery wall kit ($30, )

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Design Mom
List your life.

The easiest way to make sure you remember that concert you bought tickets to three months in advance: a calendar front-and-center in your kitchen.  Chalkboard paint turns the awkward spot into a blank canvas in the best possible way.

What you'll need: chalkboard paint ($6, ), chalk ($4 for a 12-pack, )

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Eve Wilson via The Design Files
Stash your cookbooks.

Keep your cookbooks off your living room shelves and keep them where you actually need them. Note: This one only works if you have a step ladder, so you can access them easily. 

What you'll need: step ladder ($24, )

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Ashley Ann Photography via Apartment Therapy
Show off your globes.

There's no better way to bring this much color and conversation to the kitchen with only a single, repeated, object. Long live globes — new, vintage, whatever! As long as you love 'em.

What you'll need: globe ($34, )

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The Handmade Home
Share a (stylish) message.

Looking to bring in a touch of pattern in an unexpected way? for fabric-topped letters is a great place to start. Create your own message of choice.

What you'll need: cardboard letters ($3, ), yellow fabric ($11, ) 

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Janae Hardy via A Beautiful Mess
Don't forget the baskets.

Uniform wire baskets elegantly displayed, that is. Who knew those extra coffee grounds could look so good?

What you'll need: wire baskets ($9, )

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Sutton Suzuki Architects
Or your whole basket collection.

Baskets again, yes, but a completely different look. This one uses a purely decorative collection of mismatched, fun-to-collect baskets. Just about every flea market has interesting varieties of wicker and woven baskets, so get shopping.

What you'll need: wicker baskets ($68, )

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Brandon Barre via Dering Hall
Paint wisely.

The key is to choosing a color that pops against the color of the cabinetry, the ceiling and the backsplash, for maximum impact.

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Nathan Schroder
Layer silver and ceramics.

Displaying one tabletop collection? Fine, yes. But two, together, is twice as nice (and far more original). Designer Craig Schumacher came up with this especially good trick for making use of a deep overhead space as seen in this Dallas home.

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Farm Fresh Therapy
Store tall items.

This idea is a two-for-one: Not only does it use up wasted space, but it also serves as storage for bowls and containers that are too tall for the average cabinet.

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Install more cabinets.

Designer Amanda Nisbet snuck extra storage into a Manhattan apartment by not only installing cabinets up to the ceiling, but also snaking the cupboards around the room and over the sink.

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