Use shelf uppers. In a small kitchen, removing all the upper cabinets may not be a practical option, but you can always use as much or as little as you like to house just your most attractive everyday items.
Instead of tearing out your upper cabinets, try updating your kitchen wall decor by placing one or two floating shelves on an open wall. Floating shelves come in many styles and are easy to install. Keep the floating shelf display items minimal and color coordinated for a magazine-ready look.
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Add glass door cabinets. Here’s another way to lighten your uppers, but without actually changing your storage. Switch out typical solid cabinet fronts to doors with glass inserts to make the look much airier.
Install cabinet lighting. The importance of good lighting cannot be stressed enough, and in kitchens especially the lighting is often insufficient, coming just from ceiling fixtures in the center of the room. Add lighting under, above and even inside the cabinets to make the room feel much brighter and bigger, as the dark shadows around the cabinets would otherwise visually shrink the space.
For a quick fix, add plug-in LED strip fixtures or battery-powered tap lights under the cabinets for extra brightness. Use this cabinet to display attractive drinkware, or use frosted glass so you only get a faint peek at the mishmash of items stored within.