Fast Fix up

If you are reading this column today, there are only two Saturdays left before Christmas! That is two more Saturdays before the house fills up with guests again. Though you have taken every measured thought to create an inviting living room, somehow the guest always end up in the kitchen! They lean against the bar or perch near the kitchen island watching, talking and looking up while you make a meal. So then with all this attention, the top of the cabinets should look great for the season and year round. Last week everyone revamped their guest baths so this week, let’s take a peek at some ideas that will make the top of your kitchen cabinets impress your guests somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Larger and LessCost Nothing redo! We used only what the homeowner had on hand.
In the world of design the eye likes to see larger items and less of them. So, when we apply that principle to decorating, the top of cabinets will need a lot less “stuff” than one would think. I often use art above the cabinets to create large focal points. Large lanterns and large baskets of greens work well too. Remember, something that looks large on the ground will look much smaller on top of cabinets.

• Arlington Bungalow Villa #1
The kitchen in this model is a large area that gets lots of visual attention and these homeowners wanted cool and coastal. We hung a picture titled “Chairman of the Board” over the cabinets on the refrigerator wall. We placed two large lanterns above the pantry which filled the space nicely. In the corner we added a large basket full of heather and on each side of the basket we placed large oyster shell spheres. A collection of baskets, capiz shell platters, and glass adorn the wall above the stove.

• Arlington Bungalow Villa #2
This homeowner was a world traveler and had lots of eclectic sentimental pieces to display. Again, this model has a great area of display above the cabinets. We started with art from his travels. Since everything was purchased abroad there were no matching sets of art but we were able to use coordinating art. The two pictures over the microwave are not the same size but they still look good hanging together to make a statement on that wall. We anchored each corner of the cabinets with large baskets of greens for softness and texture. A large ginger jar shaped woven basket worked great in the back corner of the kitchen cabinets. The basket provided height, texture, and color to coordinate with the other two baskets. These three baskets act a visual ribbon to tie everything together.
On each side of the tall basket we displayed objects of interest and sculptural art from the homeowners various travels. The warm colors of the art from around the world worked very well against the gold paint as a backdrop.

• Gardenia#1
We did not purchase anything new for this quick redo! All the items were repositioned and re-homed. In the before picture the large plate was being used as the focal point above the middle kitchen cabinets but the large plate was too small for that esteemed position. We placed the large plate on the center stack of raised cabinets on the side wall. We found two botanical pictures in another room in the house and decided they would be perfect as the focal point over the stove. Also, there were two super cute ducks on the floor by the front door that filled the corner above the cabinets nicely. The ducks will receive much more attention above the cabinets than on the floor. This quick fix up cost nothing! So if you think you cannot make your cabinets look better until you shop for new stuff that is not true. Most homeowners have a surplus of decorative items hidden in closets and cabinets in the garage. Take a peek at what you have and apply some of these principles.

• Gardenia #2
We applied the large and less principle by hanging a 24” high by 48” wide framed picture of a sunset. The picture seems to glow and is rather mesmerizing.
We found a glass platter that compliments all the colors of the picture and placed it on the highest point of the cabinets with the same exact greenery on each side of the platter. The large lantern in the corner above the pantry is functional and visually connects to the cabinetry in the kitchen nook. The visual connection is through color. The chefs have black pants and though they are not seaside chefs they look great on the cabinets in the nook thanks to a color relationship with other items in the space.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below