Monday, June 14, 2010

The Decorating Diva - Above Your Kitchen Cabinets!

Whether you are a new homebuyer decorating your house, apartment or condo for the first time or simply just in the mood for a little home “facelift,” one of the overlooked spaces in your abode you might consider playing with is the space above your kitchen cabinets! Everyone spends a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen. I can never remember a party or a gathering of friends and family that did not at some point end up with everyone in the kitchen! You know it’s true!  The kitchen is a prime location to unleash your personal style and have some fun!
I am an “accessory junkie” by nature, so I’m always on the prowl for some “new treasure” from my favorite haunts: Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Pier One or Dockside. Suffice it to say, I often find something I just cannot live without, so it winds up as my new possession looking for a space. Now I don’t like a cluttered look, although some of my interior designer friends may critique my photo examples as being too much (depending on their own personal design preferences which range from minimalist to opulence extraordinaire). Nonetheless, I am happy with my results and delighted to have found the perfect place for some of my “treasures” perched artistically above my kitchen cabinets!
Here are my “little secrets” from years of doing this! First of all, collect all the items that you consider using. These can range from baskets to ceramic figures, silk flower arrangements, wreaths, vases, photos, paintings, signs and more. It’s all up to you and your personal preferences and style. Don’t be afraid to try something different…you may just surprise yourself and everyone else when you discover the latent decorator within you!
Next, collect some old Tupperware, small boxes, metal or wooden hinged stands if you are using paintings, photos or signs (unless you plan to hang them on the wall above the cabinets), and a good sturdy ladder. Don’t forget to clear off your counters because chances are you’ll be standing on them.  These items will all be used to “stage” your accessories and act as a base for some to give height or stability.
Now you’re ready to start the “magic.” My taste tends to be eclectic, so I like to combine a variety of materials and textures above my cabinets. One decorating principle you may already be familiar with is using an odd number of items when creating groupings.  So start combining your accessories with an odd number of items in each group and please don’t space the items too far apart. This concept is based on the items being placed relatively close to each other to achieve a cohesive look.
 The other principal is varying the height of items. This is where your Tupperware (wow, I’m dating myself), boxes and hinged stands come in.  When the accessory item is placed on top of the cabinet with the other items in the grouping, you should vary the height of some items to create a pleasing look instead of placing every accessory at the same height. This will add interest, showcase certain items and add some drama!
Depending on the size of your kitchen and the amount of above cabinet space you have will dictate the number of groupings to use. Keep in mind -- you do not have to fill all of the space. In fact, it’s probably going to look more appealing if you do not.  This is where “eyeballing” the groupings and tweaking the groupings come in. I have often been up and down the ladder too many times to count until I feel as though it looks just right – even if it’s just – to me!
Just have fun with it! I usually change a few items in my “groupings” during the holidays to add some Christmas fun to the collection, but you may decide to change it with the seasons or not at all! The only limit is your imagination. Send me your D├ęcor Diva results! I’d love to see your handiwork and if you have other suggestions, please leave a comment! Below are my photos to give you some ideas and to illustrate the groupings and height variation process. Happy Decorating!

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