Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ideas on Styling a Cabinet or Cupboard Top

I started a little "project"on top of my Dining Room China Cabinet right after we moved into this house last November. We have really high ceilings here, and I love them, but sometimes the furniture looks lost. Believe me, these pieces are huge (this one is about 7 1/2 feet tall) but there is still a big distance between the ceiling and the top of this cabinet. So now 3/4 of a year later, I finally have some kind of decor up there to help fill in this space.

As most things do now, it takes my hubby's help on a stepladder to get things accomplished. I've been unpacking in stages, and up until a few weeks ago, I had most of my "misc. decor" in large boxes in storage. But I got serious over the weekend as I was really tired of seeing this space neglected and "off balance". The cabinet doesn't have a flat surface on top, so that makes it all the harder to come up with a plan and then have the elements not be wobbly and crooked.

Here are some ideas on how to Style a Cabinet Top:

1. Keep objects similar in decor style and theme
(i.e. Country French, Farmhouse, Traditional, Cottage)
2. Stay with larger proportioned elements that are easily seen
3. Find a variety of textures.
4. Try to keep a uniform color palette
5. Resist the urge to overdo it. (hard one)
6. Remember to "balance" your items.

I was going for a natural combination of objects, color, and texture, using wood, baskets, florals, and metals. I wanted a neutral gathering of similar objects and style, that would lend itself to a French Country look. I kept my two wood wine crates and the lavender. Next, I used an old basket with handles with a mix of dried and faux hydrangeas. Then, to add a little height and another texture I placed an empty iron urn in the center for some balance.

The pic below is from January. See what I mean? I had one of two lanterns and I thought that was a good starting point...but nothing else worked up there and it was too heavy for me to get down. so...I had to wait until inspiration jumped on me.

This is a pic from the old house Dining Room, with it's much lower ceilings.
It was much easier to come up with something there.

Here are some pics from my other attempts at decorating cabinet tops...

Kitchen sitting room at the lease house.

Suitcases on the Holiday Cupboard at the old house.

 Birdcage and tapestry above the armoire in the Living Room. 
I may try this tapestry again, since it's such a large piece.

Vintage suitcases again and a hatbox in the master bedroom.

Most of these next images can be found on my Pinterest Board: Cupboards
I love the variety of vintage elements, most with a Country French vibe.

 Demijohns and baskets are big enough to cause some visual interest.

grouping of topiaries and architectural elements

Love the idea of a painting or print.
 I tried that but didn't have anything large enough.

Keeping the palette in whites, neutrals or the same hue.

Basket AND wonderful print.

Basket with flowers...

and more baskets...

(not on a cupboard, but this would look wonderful)

Large copper boiler...so very French looking.

wonderful lunch hampers from Chippy Shabby

another basket...

metal basket

Galvanized vintage container

Old signage with an interesting shape.
I think a copy of this was in Ballard's catalogue a few years ago.
(or maybe this is a copy)

Beautiful old doll house and fruit basket

another basket with hydrangeas...
can't go wrong with this.

and Anita's wonderful cupboards at

That was fun...
Do you have cupboard or cabinet tops 
that are screaming for a makeover?

Hope you all are having a good start to your week,
just came back from a doctor's week in St. Louis.
It's too hot, wherever you go...

Hope you'll join in Wednesday for 

I'm linking up here:

Show and Share at Coastal Charm
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Inspire Me at A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Dream Create Inspire at Lehman Lane
Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm
Inspiration Monday at Redhead Can Decorate


  1. I love yours and you picked some awesome ones for inspiration.

    I love my cab top decor in living room and in the high bedroom wall area (never shared master, need to one of these days soon,) but my gorgeous wardrobe in the master is arched - love it but cannot do anything on top. And those ceilings are sooooo high - oh well.

    Thanks for inspiration. Hugs.

  2. Well, it looks fantastic! I can't believe you've been there nearly a year already!

  3. I can always count on you for great design ideas. My next house does not have shelving space above the kitchen cabinets but I do have space above my are-moire that will need some inspiration that you have featured here. Thank you!!!

  4. They are all beautiful. Love what you've done to yours. It looks great!

  5. So glad I stopped by Debra! As soon as I looked at your inspirations I turned around and looked at the top of my corner hutch....it sure needs some help! lol
    Thank you for the wonderful ideas...I better get busy. Ciao Rita

  6. Oh, wow, that was fun - like an amusement ride, now I feel a little dizzy, lol. Yes, I am constantly trying to find ways of putting thing on cupboards (or cupboard-like cabinets). My problem is opposite of yours - ceilings not high enough, and most of what I want up there won't fit. And I also have uneven platforms to deal with - light canisters in the cupboards, shape of the cupboards, etc. So, most of my stuff remains in the basement. I'm getting the urge for fall decorating, though, so I'm trying to think it through. I love so many of these cabinets you have shown here, and the displays on them.

    1. Don't say the word "Fall", Rita. It gets me all crazy and ready to start putting pumpkins everywhere! LOL!!

  7. Love all of your own ideas and examples of top of cabinets vignettes. And all of your wonderful photos offer great inspiration.
    Mary Alice

  8. Oh I love to decorate the tops of armoires, tall chests, etc. I am short, so I always have to set up a short ladder to het to the tops of furniture. Thanks for the ideas!

  9. You have done so much for being there less than a year! It all looks so good! I have a large pine armoire with a curved top...you have given me some great ideas!

  10. What a fabulous post! My house was built in the early 80s, so I have 8 foot ceilings. If I put anything on top of my china cabinet or armoire, it has to be short, and that's hard to make look good. So I have to content myself with gazing at your photos and dreaming...

  11. Great inspiration here Debra and always love how you style your cupboards and hutches....

  12. Awesome choices for inspiration Debra. Love your cabinet and I have always loved that chippy white box for your center piece. Your dining room looks great. Have a great week.

  13. You have such great style! Enjoyed seeing all the inspiration...

  14. This inspires me to drag my old pie safe from downstairs up to the kitchen .Then again I will have to paint it white

  15. Whoa....some fantastic inspiration going on...inspired me to pull out all my old basket, boxes, luggage, crocks and so on....OH wait there's no place to store them up on! I'll have to work on that. Really inspired me!

  16. Love how you mixed dried and faux hydrangeas. So much basket love!! ~Ann
    Tarnished Royalty

  17. I remember loving those suitcases + hatbox when you did that!! :)

  18. You are so talented! I love how the top turned out. You've inspired everyone!

  19. Debra,
    Gorgeous display atop your Dining Room cabinet, dear friend!!!
    After spending time re~organizing Studio One, I have "in my mind's eye"
    a vision for an Autumnal beginning display for the Dining Room!!!
    Keep those inspirational photos coming, dear one!!!
    Enjoying cooler temps and a Summer "rain" here on my side of the Prairie today!!!

  20. So many great ideas here, Debra! The next time I'm climbing up and down a ladder trying to arrange the top of a cupboard, I'm coming back here for inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Debra, I have felt that styling my dining cabinet is one of the hardest things for me to do right. I am never happy with how it looks. I thought your ideas/tips for how to do it right were wonderful and I am going to try to make some changes to mine:). Love all the pictures of cabinets/ cupboards that you and everyone else styled. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for linking up again at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. It really means a lot that you would take the time to join in with our party! Take care, Tara

  22. I never tire of admiring this post! You inspired me to decorate my cabinet almost one year ago!


I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends

New Posts in Your In-Box