Posts Tagged ‘cabinet tops’



What Do I Put on Top of Kitchen Cabinets

by Aggi Stevenson

Some one wants to know what they can put on top of their kitchen cabinets. Let me explain what I have on top of my kitchen cabinets and then give suggestions for things you may want to put on top of yours.

In hind sight, I wish I would have had over the cabinet lighting put in when the house was built. Since I didn’t, I improvise. I have greenery (fake) that stays on top of my cabinets year-round. During Christmas I pull the greenery to the front of the cabinets and highlight it. After Christmas, I push it back to let my serving pieces show.

I like the large serving pieces on top of the cabinet because it serves two purposes.  (1) The serving pieces are displayed in their metal racks. Otherwise, I would have to find space for the large pieces and the racks separately. They take up less room if they are stored together. Putting them on top of the cabinet frees up space in the lower cabinets. (2) The serving pieces are nice to look at and fills the space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling.

If you look closely at the picture, you will notice the soft glow of lighting on top of the cabinet. This is white Christmas lights stretched out along the top which makes beautiful lighting in the evenings. I ran the cord between the wall and the cabinet and plugged it in behind the refrigerator. You usually have a plug  behind the refrigerator to accommodate two items. The fact it is impossible to access comfortably usually renders the second plug useless.  However, it is perfect for over the cabinet lighting.

The question became: Do I leave the lights on constantly and replace them when they burn out? Do I try to pull the frig out and back in each time I want light on top of the cabinets? Neither of those ideas are acceptable. You can buy cords (designed for Christmas trees and lights) that have a button you can operate with your foot. Instead of unplugging and plugging in your lights and tree over and over, you just click the red button for the off and on switch, allowing everything to remain plugged in.

This is what controls the lights on top of my kitchen cabinets. I pulled it out from behind the frig to show you. Mount a stick on hook to the back of your frig and loop the cord around it. Adjust the cord to position the on and off button in an easy to reach place. I just reach behind the edge of the frig to turn the lights off and on. No one knows the cord is there. From outward appearances, the top of the cabinets are pre-lit. Only you and I know the truth.

The opposite side of the kitchen was more challenging. I had two other sets of fancy serving dishes I wanted to display when not in use. I put the same greenery and white lights on top of the cabinet. However, there was no place to run the cord between the wall and the cabinet. Inside the cabinet over the microwave is an outlet. The microwave is plugged into one side and the other was perfect for my over the cabinet lighting. The trick was to hide the cord. It would be easy to drill a hole in the top of the cabinet and feed the cord through. Maybe I will do that some time this year.

Look closely and you will notice a sprig of greenery hanging over the edge. That one piece hides the cord coming from the top to the inside of the cabinet where it’s plugged in. This side is a lot more trouble. I am 5′ 3″ and my kitchen had 9 foot ceilings. I have to climb on a kitchen step stool to plug in and unplug the lights. The cord system on the other side of the kitchen didn’t work here. I had to come up with some other creative way to do it. I could have ran the cord down the right side of the cabinet but the cord would be exposed and I didn’t like that.

(Pulled greenery back to show cord)

Things to remember when decorating the top of your cabinets:

(1) Put items on top of  kitchen cabinets that are not often or never used. I use my large serving dishes maybe three to four times a year. I could put cookbooks on top of my cabinets because I just have them around to make people think I can cook. I never use them. For a real cook to store cookbooks on top of the cabinet would be insane. Everyone will choose something different. There are no wrong items to display. Most people keep the items kitcheny. (is that a word?) But it is your home and you can display whatever you like.

(2) Keep it clean. The items on top of our kitchen cabinets become dust catchers. Kitchen oil and dust will accumulate causing the items to lose their shine and look dirty. (because they are) What ever it is, it must be cleaned ever so often.  If we see cobwebs, we know cleaning is past due.  🙂 That’s why I like using serving dishes. I ‘m forced to get them down and wash them before and after using them. 

(3) Display a collection.  Wonderful space to exhibit a collection. Remember. It only takes three items to be a collection. If we display something with colored glass, the light shining through the glass is beautiful. (you may not be a lighting freak like me and don’t care about lighting the tops of your cabinets.)

(4) Pre-lit Garland. There is nothing easier than simply laying a strand of pre-lit or plain garland across the tops of our cabinets.

(5) Don’t over do it. If we place too many items on top of our cabinets, it gives the whole kitchen a cluttered look, and actually makes the kitchen appear too small for all our belongings, Therefore,  we crammed the tops of the cabinets full of stuff.  Think odd numbers, such as 3 or 5.

(6) Basically, we can put anything we want, on top of our kitchen cabinets. If it is something we enjoy looking at and want to display, that is all the criteria we need. Most likely, if it is something we enjoy, others will too. And if they don’t…they can go home. 🙂


Old soft drink bottles, tea pots, dishes on stands, tins, coffee pots, candle holders, antique toys, crocks and pottery, trays, glassware, vases, vines and flowers, baskets, clocks, antique cooking items, wine bottles, empty interesting bottles…or anything else your heart desires. Now…go have fun and put whatever it is you want on top of your kitchen cabinets.

Let me see what you have done! Send me pictures at aggithegreat@embarqmail.com


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Umm…It’s entirely up to you how long you want to leave Santa’s hat hanging on the bedpost. Who says we can’t have Christmas all year?

Not quite ready to let go of Christmas?  Nor am I. I love the season. Then before you know it, Christmas is over. After spending hours getting things just the way I want them, it is time to pack it all up again. It is a sad time for me. However, there are some decorations that can stay up through the month of January. When deciding what to leave out, I ask myself if it looks wintery. If it fits the mood for the cold winter days, I leave it. I like the pops of red through out the house in January without appearing too lazy to put the Christmas decorations away.

 I Like having the massive nine-foot tree up in time for our Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy looking at it in the adjoining foyer and basking in the soft glow of it while dining. That starts the Christmas season at our house and I hang on to it white-knuckled through January.

The snowman is nestled into a fall mantle garland with white crystal lights entertwined. He can stay up until January. After all it is winter.

This is probably the only thing “country” in my home. My grandchildren love the ultra soft cuddly. He too is a snowman so he gets to stay through out January.

The mantle garland has no jewel tones and can easily be left up through January

The garland on top of the china cabinet stays up all year in my house. I know the berries and pine cones make it look Christmasy. But I took the picture from a step stool. From the floor it doesn’t look this way. The garland fills in the gap between the cabinet and tray ceiling and the lights give the room an ambience that I enjoy. Others may have a problem with this tip but hey, I like it. Remember, when you are decorating, do what YOU like.  

During Christmas, the lighted garland on top of the kitchen cabinets is pulled to the front exposing the assorted fruit. Now that Christmas is over, I just push the garland to the back and continue to use it year round. I turn it on in the evenings and at night, giving the kitchen soft, warm lighting.

Cabinets on the opposite side of kitchen. Yep. Stays up all year.


This garland has a lot of fruit, plaid ribbon and pine cones. I may leave it up for a couple of weeks but will probably take it down mid-January.

The wooden beads are a way to decorate a handrail without sacrificing safety. There is room to hold on to the rail between the wraps. The wooden beads wrapped around the handrail will stay up but the stockings will be removed.

These are electric candles. They look beautiful from inside and outside the window. I will remove the pine cone garland after January but these are here to stay all year. I will just put seasonal garland around them and turn them on in the evenings. These are in my formal living room and are perfect for the huge window ledge I was having trouble knowing exactly what to do with.

This is a wreath placed on a gold charger with a candle holder placed in the center. You don’t always have to hang wreaths. They make wonderful bases for candles or any table center piece. I had a mis-shapened candle that I couldn’t put in a clear candle holder. Never seeing a candle I didn’t love, I couldn’t throw it out. What a great surprise. The red glow of the candle holder highlighted the shape of the candle, yet contained it.  Think I may put some more candles in my car this year and let them melt a little. I removed the white table cloth. I will remove the wreath base mid-January and keep the candle holder out until the end of January.

This is another wreath on a charger used as a center piece in the breakfast area with low candles inside.

I will remove the Christmas towel but will leave the snowman on the sink in the guest bath.

This small basket can be left on the sink through January because of it’s winter foilage.

The wintery train can stay. It makes a nice night light. While it is definitely a Christmas decoration, it belongs to my 33 year-old son. He has had it since he was a little boy. It used to illuminate his room at night during Christmas. I hang onto it as long as I can.

Last but not least, I will leave the table on the front porch set with a bright weather proof cloth and holly plate.  By the end of January, I will be ready to put away the last piece of Christmas decorations but not yet.

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