How to Raise Your Cabinets & Add a Shelf

Let’s talk about that space above your cabinets for a second…that useless space that does nothing but collect dust and cause design dilemmas.  Do you decorate it? Leave it? I have always left it, I love to decorate but I’m not a fan of having stuff just for the sake of having stuff. When Adam and I started our kitchen remodel two years ago I had a lot of ideas and things I knew I wanted…but my number one thing was to make those cabinets touch the ceiling, somehow.  Adam and I found a solution…the perfect solution really. It is easy, cheap, provides usable storage, and most importantly eliminates that awkward, dusty, eyesore of a soffit.

Get rid of that useless space above your cabinets

So here is my tutorial, and I apologize for the pictures being completely random, I had to combine pics from both our kitchen and laundry room to make one thorough tutorial.

The first step is removing and raising your cabinets. Don’t be scared, it is literally just four screws.

How to raise your cabinets

You simply unscrew the screws and remove the cabinets. It’s that easy.

Also, I should not have to say this but I’m going to anyway…please do not attempt to do this by yourself. This is a two person job, minimum.

How to raise your cabinets

Then place the cabinets where you want them on the wall and screw them back in. Make sure you use a level for this step…ceilings aren’t always flat, even if they look it. We left about an inch gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling on order to leave room for the moulding. We used a 1×2 as moulding, if you are going to use something beefier than will need a larger gap.

How to raise your cabinets

Since the cabinets are so close to the ceiling you won’t be able to screw them in from above the cabinets (like they were before), you are going screw them in from the inside. The cabinets should be reinforced along the top two inches or so, that is where the screw needs to go.  Make sure you also screw them into a stud on the wall (all four screws). You can find the studs underneath the cabinets and try and eyeball it, but it’s going to be a bit of a guessing game. We got most of ours on the first try, keyword being MOST…


Then, when your cabinets are securely back up on the wall you will be left with something lovely and patchy, like this…


This is where you do whatever you are going to do with the backsplash area. We planked our walls in the kitchen and painted in the laundry room.

Planking walls

Then come the shelves. There are so many different ways you can make shelves…the way I’m going to show you is just one super easy way to do it.

First we hung up a wood strip (screwed into studs) as a support for the back of the shelves…

floating shelves for the kitchen

Then made the shelves out of two pieces of MDF glued together.

floating shelved for the kitchen

Why MDF? It’s cheap, mainly. It also doesn’t bow like plywood (no that it won’t sag), and since it doesn’t have any grain it looks really nice painted. We used two pieces for strength and to mimic the width of the face frames on the cabinets.

Then we added hardware and daisy chained them to the top cabinets (more info in THIS POST).

cable shelf supports

floating shelves under the cabinets

In the laundry room we did almost the same thing, except the shelf extended to both walls so there was no need for the cables.

raise your cabinets, add a shelf

We’re not done yet though. Did you notice in the picture above that the bottom of my cabinets looks, well… amazing? Probably not, but if I had skipped this next step you would have noticed them for sure. Because of the ugliness, that is.


When you raise your cabinets suddenly the ugly underside becomes very exposed. If your cabinets are wood this might be a non issue, but we painted ours and it looked terrible. You could just paint the bottom, but we choose to add skins to them instead.

Adding skins is simple, you just take a thin sheet of plywood, cut it to size, and brad nail it to the bottom of the cabinets.



Then add your molding to the top of the cabinets, we used a 1X2 piece of trim.

1x2 trim moulding

And thats it! (Except for all the sanding, painting, and caulking, of course.)

laundry Room Before & After - how to raise your cabinets and add a shelf

How to raise your cabinets and add a shelf

How to raise your cabinets and add a shelf


Some extra information – The shelf in the kitchen is 18 inches off the counter, and the bottom of the shelf to the bottom of the cabinets is 10.5 inches. We have standard 8 foot ceilings. If there is something I forgot to cover then leave a comment and I’ll get you an answer!

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  1. Oh, these came out great! I wonder if you could utilize turnbuckles where the shelves are hanging in the front, might be a neat shortcut & super easy to level.

    Great job, I never thought of raising them – We have high ceilings in the kitchen, and I do have the top sort of decorated, but it’s mostly vases & things that I use for cooking that also deemed decorative. however – this means – they are dusty everytime I want to use them!
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  2. wow this is just the most amazing idea! it’s like you get 2 for the price of 1…cabs *and* open shelves! I love the chain look, I recently hung a reclaimed window using chain and I decided it’s my new favorite trick.
    thanks so much for showing us this wonderful project :-)
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  3. I love how this looks! I don’t really like most peoples solution to getting rid of the stupid space on top of the cabinet, they always seem to fill in in with huge moldings or put tiny cabinets on top. I think your way makes much better use of the space, giving you some cute functional shelves in the process and it looks a zillion times better to me than the giant molding versions (disclaimer: though some bloggers have pulled this off, it’s really not my style lol).

  4. Seeing this post make me remember the nice green in your laundry room and living room. Is there a way to color match at one of the hardware stores and give us a name or at least a how to create it idea? Thanks

    • I have a few of the big paint color books from Behr, let me go through them and I’ll let you know the name of the most similar color.
      Ashley recently posted..How to Raise Your Cabinets & Add a ShelfMy Profile

    • Okay, I looked through all my paint sample books from Behr and I have two for you. Bay Water (S380-4) is really close, but my green has just a slight tinge more yellow in it. Balance Green (S360-3) pretty much right on the money…except it’s a shade or two lighter than the color on my walls. I think either one would be a pretty safe bet, or really anything in the grey/green color family. It’s when you get too yellow or blue that green starts to get funky.
      Ashley recently posted..How to Raise Your Cabinets & Add a ShelfMy Profile

  5. Oh, this is a great tutorial. I have 6 inches above my kitchen cabinets and it’s just wasted space. I couldn’t decorate it if I wanted to. I’ve thought about closing it in somehow, but really, this would be a much better solution! and I wish I’d read this before I installed my laundry room cabinets, because I left a space in there and stupidly didn’t think things through. I may need to remedy that. :)
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  6. Ashley, your kitchen looks amazing! Great job (and great tutorial…)

  7. What a great idea! I wish I had thought of this in my old condo, the cabinets were about 8″ from the ceiling, very annoying.
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  8. Kathy Hoffman says:

    Your kitchen and laundry room look great with this improvement.

  9. Love this! Are your cabinets 30 inches or 42? We are building a house and are debating on spending the extra money on doing 42 in cabinets but this would save so much money and be unique if we did this with 30 in cabinets.

  10. Amazing!! I’m sharing on my FB page today ;)

  11. I looove this idea! Pinning and sharing! :)
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  12. Oh my, LOVE this! We have lived in our house for a year and I’m starting to feel like I know what projects I want to do — and this is now the top of my list! Question for you, though: I have a full-height deep cabinet to the side of my fridge, that is connected to my upper cabinets (with a facing piece) over the top of my fridge. Do you think I could raise it, too, and install a small cabinet underneath, maybe a drawer, so that it would be the same height? or would it be easier to install an extra cabinet something on top instead of on the bottom…? I am a very very beginning DIYer but this seems easy enough to get started… But now I’m looking at my cabinets and they are all connected with facings (presumably “normal” style) — can I take them apart to raise them or do I need to do it in one long piece…? And now I am rambling, sorry! Any advice or ideas you have for making this work for my kitchen would be much appreciated :)
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    • I’m not 100% sure how to answer this…I’ll ask my husband tomorrow and get back to you!

    • Okay I talked to Adam, here is his advice… The face frames (facing piece) are attached to each other through screws on the sides on the frames, just inside the cabinet door. If you unscrew those you can move each cabinet individually. Make sure you screw everything back into the same holes and keep it all straight and level. For the tall cabinet next to the fridge…he says that it is a base cabinet, even though it is tall, and you shouldn’t move it. Not that you couldn’t, but it has a toe-kick which would make it either look weird or be a pain to make match. He suggests leaving the fridge cabinets where they are and doing something funky above them…maybe a built in wine rack or something. Or move the cabinet above the fridge over the tall cabinet and do open shelving above the fridge…or something.

      • Love those suggestions! Thank you so much for the help, Ashley (and Adam)! When I told my husband I wanted to do this, he just about died, so it may be a bit yet before I can make it happen, but I am determined that it will happen someday! Thank you again!

      • Would you also do the same for a cabinet over the microwave?

  13. This is such a great idea, Ashley. We don’t have any space above our cabinets (there’s a bulkhead, they’re not the tall cabinets), but for a regular kitchen, what a fabulous way to update! And for pennies on the dollar, I would guess. Plus it looks awesome!

  14. Is it weird when you need to reach something on the top shelf? Can you reach an can your guests reach?

    • I have trouble reaching the top shelf, but I’m only 5’3. Most of my guests can reach and my 5’10 husband has no problem at all. I very rarely use anything up there though, so it’s not really a problem.

  15. Love love love love the shelves below the cabinets! So much more convenient and a nice little space for decorative items without cluttering the usable counter space! I also love that we see vinegar in your laundry room! :-) My sister teases me because I buy two gallons at a time at Sam’s Club for laundry/cleaning. haha.

    • I buy vinegar like a hoarder too! It’s just works so well, and it’s cheap, and I don’t have guilt about all the chemicals I’m using.

    • Zola Kirk says:

      I love this idea. I am in the process of building a house, just got started. I want my cabinets up to the ceiling and the open shelves below. I am also going to do that in my laundry room if I have enough cleaning for my top loading washer. Kudos for you and Asia on using Vinegar. It is such a great product. I grew up using this for many things. Do you use Apple Cider Vinegar? How do you use it?

      I love it as a dressing….

      Basil Vinaigrette
      1 cup EVOO
      1/2 cup Bragg apple cider vinegar
      3 tbsp chopped FRESH basil
      2 cloves garlic, minced

      I use Bragg Organic RAW Apple Cider Vinegar.
      Only raw organic apple cider vinegar has the “mother of vinegar” that makes the vinegar so beneficial. The “mother” is made up living nutrients and bacteria. You can actually see it settled in the bottom.

      11 Benefits of ACV

      1. Use it on hair and scalp
      1/4 cup of ACV mixed with 2 cups of water used as a rinse after you shampoo and condition closes the hairs cuticle, adds shine, clarifies the hair and scalp and helps with the pH balance of the scalp.

      2. Detox
      Add 2 tablespoons ACV to 8 oz. of water and drinking it can remove excess toxins and sludge. It’s best to drink it in the morning before you eat or drink anything.

      3. Fight Acne
      Adding 1 part ACV with 1 part water in a small container and dip a cotton ball or cotton pad in it. Wipe it all over your face. Using it as a toner can set the pH level of the face in balance. It also helps to kill bacteria which causes acne.

      4. Soothe sunburns or muscle pains
      Add a few cups of ACV to your bath water.

      5. Whiten teeth
      Applying ACV will help remove stains and residue.

      6. As a Cleaner
      ACV is a strong disinfectant and can be used as a cleaning agent (ex: glass, mirrors, hard surfaces, etc…).

      7. Support your immune system
      Adding 2 tablespoons of ACV to 8 oz. of water and drinking it can support a healthy immune system.

      8. Promotes Digestion and pH balance

      9. Beat post work out exhaustion
      The potassium and enzymes in ACV relieve the tired feeling from the lactic acid build up in he body after a work out.

      10. Clear a stuffy nose
      Adding 2 tablespoons of ACV to 8 oz. of water and drinking it can help drain the sinuses.

      11. Sore throat
      Mix 1/4 cup of ACV with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so. The ACV will create an acidic environment where germs can’t survive.

      Great Blog!

  16. Holy cow I LOVE this idea! I hate having space up above your cabinets like that, and I could always use another shelf or two for storage space in our kitchen! Pinning for sure!
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  17. shawna simpson says:

    Hi! I noticed that you painted the cabinets. I want to paint mine but I’m concerned that the grain of the oak will show through. Do you have any tips for them? Thanks!

    • I actually don’t, as much as that sucks. I followed all the rules when it came to painting my cabinets and you can still see the grain, especially on the white ones.

  18. I just happened across your site and have to say: Genius!

    I’ve been aggravated for years by the wasted space above our kitchen cabinets, but didn’t want to replace them because of A) the expense, B) the difficult of matching 20-year-old lower cabinets, C) the desire to reduce/reuse/so on, and D) did I mention the unnecessary expense? Now that you’ve planted this idea in my head, I’m ready and rarin’ to dive in! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  19. Your kitchen looks GREAT and so custom. Beautiful.
    I had to laugh at “don’t do this yourself, it’s a two man project.” HAA I’m rebuilding my house alone after a fire. I wish I’d had another person around when I hung over 200 lf of cabinetry. Alone. If anything, just to take a picture of ME! I am just tall enough to stand on the base cabinets, press my head against the ceiling and screw in my cabinets. I propped them up on drywall buckets — until I realized I had an 18″ wall cabinet I could set on the counter, then set the cabinets on them. The 42″ wide cabs were a.. bear, but I did it. I stacked my cabinets by putting 12″ ers on top of my 30″ cabs. I’m currently stripping some H4H cherry cabs to replace some I already hung. I’m going to hang them a little higher and use your lovely shelf idea. Visually very interesting!

    • Holy cow girl, you’re a total badass! I couldn’t imagine doing that alone…Adam wouldn’t even do it without me helping. I’m going to go ahead and say that you’re the exception, not the rule. I’m impressed :)

  20. Ashley ~ You can eyeball where the studs are easier if you find the studs below (as you said) and then use the level to lightly draw vertical lines. If you have someone who can stand back a little so you can mark the spot while holding the cabinet, they can easily see guide you where to mark Or if one of you can hold the cabinet still and the other stand back, find the spot, mark it, stand back and check it and then go on reinstalling, that works, too.

    I’m going to be redoing a kitchen soon, so thanks for the ideas! ~ Julie

    • That’s the approach we took (drawing lines/eyeballing) and it worked on most of the screws. The problem was that our laundry room is more of a hallway and I could only stand back a few feet.

  21. Ha. I have a word of advice I learned from experience just this morning: Don’t put on hand cream then take your 42″ cabinets off the wall alone. My SIL is coming tomorrow to take the two, 42″ cabinets, for which I’m swapping out my now-stripped cherry, beaded inset cabinets. BTW. I stripped tow of those AND their doors yesterday in 3 hours. God bless Citristrip. I digress. I even unhooked the UCL myself! [blowing dust off knuckles]

    Anyway, it’s not so iimpressive or intimidating when you have no choice, Ashley. :) It also makes it easier to change my mind — which I do all the time. A family ADHD trait, I’m afraid. But when I get the cabinets at my reuse center for $5 uppers, and $10 lowers? HA again. I just give them away or redonate them. Never forget this, either: Poverty is the mother of invention, not whatever the actual aphroism is!

    I am very excited to get these earlier cabinets out so I can build my little shelves.
    Thank you again for such easy, great instructions.

  22. Hi can you please tell me how you handled the microwave situation and the cabinet above it. Did it have to come down? How did you remove the cabinet and replace a shelf to hold the micro? Any step by step would be very helpful. Thanks
    Sandra recently posted..Pecan Farmhouse Dining TableMy Profile

    • Sandra, we decided to remove the cabinet above the microwave because raising that cabinet to match the others would have left my beautiful wife on her tippytoes while using the microwave. Removing the existing cabinet involves unscrewing it from the wall and the adjacent cabinets. We decided to build a shelf in lieu of that cabinet, so that we could leave the microwave at relatively the same height. I did this by cutting a 3/4″ piece of plywood to size and attaching a 1 3/4″ piece of “faceframe (really just another piece of plywood)” to the front of the shelf to match the face of the other cabinets. I secured it in place by inserting screws through the adjacent cabinets faceframes. I also used a couple furring strips in the back to help support the weight of the microwave. All new microwaves come with a template that determine positions for mounting hardware (if your microwave is old you can probably find a PDF version on their website). Youtube is awesome for this sort of project, always nice to see it done first (FYI, built in microwaves are heavy).

  23. I am in love with your renovation! What a fantastic job. The question I had was “how tall are you ceilings” – you answered it right at the end, I was starting to panic that you wouldn’t mention it. Showing this to my husband, I really want to do this in our kitchen. Your tutorial made it look so easy!
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  24. Love the shelf under the uppers. My problem is I have cathedral ceiling in my kitchen. There is no way to raise them to the ceiling. :( Guess I could raise them to the 8 foot height so I could use open shelving beneath. Now to convince the better half….

  25. Hi Ashley – I am stopping by after seeing your kitchen featured on IHeart Organizing. I am in love with every detail, but the floating shelves are my favorite. What a genius way to take advantage of some extra space! Brilliant! You have great ideas throughout your blog and I am happy to be a new follower.

  26. I have a question. On the shelves, did you have to do anything more to attach them to the wall? Glue or nails to attach the to the support strip? And I’m guessing you caulked too along the edge where it meets the wall.
    I’m seriously considering doing this to our kitchen. Thanks!

    • You seriously should do this to your kitchen! I know that my husband put some brad nails through the shelves to hold them to the support strip, I don’t remember doing any glue. I caulked the top and bottom edge where it meets the wall/strip.

  27. Ashley,
    We are following your blog directions to raise the cabinets and add a shelf but we’ve encountered some problems. On the “skins” how did you make it look like one cohesive piece of wood? I tried sanding/filling and it just looks like I’ve glued a piece of plywood on the bottom. We’re also having the same problem with the two pieces of MDF for the shelf piece. I’ve glued, sanded, filled and primed and there is still a HUGE line where the two pieces meet. I can email picture if it would help. Thanks for any advice- we’re excited about the final product but have hit some road blocks along the way! Emily

    • Hey Emily! So for the skins, Adam made them just a smidge too big and I spent forever sanding them. I filled them and then used the orbital sander (it was messy). Mine actually look pretty seamless, but it did take lots of elbow grease. For the MDF line, I know exactly what you are talking about. I have one section on my big shelf that I didn’t sand as well as the others and it has “the line”. It seriously bothers me. The rest of it turned out pretty well though, I just sanded the crap out of those too, before we installed them. I used 150 on the orbital, then finished up with some 400 and a lot of hand sanding before the primer and paint. Hope that helps at all, sorry about the road blocks!

  28. Michele Roundtree says:

    I may have missed this other comments, but how did you finished the shelving over the microwave. I absolutely LOVE THIS entire kitchen. I am in the process of looking for a job….but when I find one I will be able to start on my kitchen makeover. Will be copying all of your ideas!!!

    • Thanks Michelle! Another reader asked the same question and I handed it over to Adam. Here is what he told her…

      “Sandra, we decided to remove the cabinet above the microwave because raising that cabinet to match the others would have left my beautiful wife on her tippytoes while using the microwave. Removing the existing cabinet involves unscrewing it from the wall and the adjacent cabinets. We decided to build a shelf in lieu of that cabinet, so that we could leave the microwave at relatively the same height. I did this by cutting a 3/4″ piece of plywood to size and attaching a 1 3/4″ piece of faceframe (really just another piece of plywood)” to the front of the shelf to match the face of the other cabinets. I secured it in place by inserting screws through the adjacent cabinets faceframes. I also used a couple furring strips in the back to help support the weight of the microwave. All new microwaves come with a template that determine positions for mounting hardware (if your microwave is old you can probably find a PDF version on their website). Youtube is awesome for this sort of project, always nice to see it done first (FYI, built in microwaves are heavy).”
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      • Thanks for your explanation of the microwave issue. However I was wondering if you could help me out visually with step by step. I have a thin 9×30″cabinet to the left (a drill cannot fit in it at a right angle)and 24×30″ to the right of where the microwave is to go and a 30 x 15″ cabinet above it. Our ceilings are only 91″. I need to add a shelf about 6 inches below that cabinet to hang the microwave from since I am short and can’t reach it way up there. Just enough room to slide some cookbooks in :) . I would also like for it to have a matching face frame as well. The side cabinet’s face frames extended 1/4 past the box itself. I can’t seem to find a carpenter to do what I want or even understand it. I searched you tube and haven’t found a “how to” yet. Is there a way you can draw out pictures of step by step with materials or if you happen to have the photos of step by step. My new microwave has been sitting in the box since October. I’m just getting frustrated with no one understanding what I want when I can see it in numerous places online. How is the actual shelf braced on the sides and back? Can it be done if I can’t get a drill into the 9″ cabinet? Can I just fasten from under the shelf? If you have any ideas, tips, or actual directions for me that would be great. I looks as if I’ll have to do this myself to get what I want. Thanks again for your help.

  29. I really like this idea. We have a weird kitchen and hubby plans on renovating it. Our home is tiny, and we have removed a closet and fireplace in the adjoining living room to open up the space. Celings are 8ft, so I was thinking of doing something like this to make the ceilings look taller. I was also thinking of looking for some cabinets from architectural salvage place. I like simple things. Our existing cabinets are all hodgepodged together. We can tell because the insides of the longest wall has no bottom or toekick… just uses the floor!.

  30. Ashley,

    I love your restoration in both places, but I am more interested in the wash room. How did you make the chicken wire front? And the top to fold on?

    Thank you,

  31. Thanks for the inspiration! I just purchased an 1893 Victorian in Denver and this is just what I needed to see in regard to the kitchen! Love it!
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  32. I am tall so I typically put all my pots and pans on the top shelf. THey are easy enough to get to for me but for people under 6′ it’s a trick. This is a great idea. I will almost certainly be doing in the near future.
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  33. Hi!
    I have a few questions, as I want to do this in my kitchen!
    Does the top hook in the cabinets go all the way through and have a thing to keep them in place?
    Are you confident in the mdf lasting? Everything I’ve been reading says its not ideal for the kitchen?
    Did you nail or glue the back part onto the furring strip? With a bunch of kids in this house I’m a bit worried about them pulling on it and having it just flop down.
    We have a similar microwave as you, are they connected to the wall so we can just work around it, or is it connected to the cabinets?
    I think thats everything <3 Its intimidating!

  34. Andy & Bonnie Worrick says:

    Ashley, I noticed you mentioned ‘caulking’ in the wrap-up… did you go back with painters’ tape along the seams and caulk the crack between cabinets and walls? Color matching?

  35. Ashley,
    What a great idea! Such a great way to add more storage! I enjoyed all of the great photos and information!

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  36. Great job! What color are your base cabinets in the kitchen?

  37. Ok… this all looks great. I want to complete the cabinet raising in my house, but my ceiling is so CROOKED! How do you get the molding to cover the imperfect ceiling slopes in my situation?

    • Caulk. My ceiling is super crooked too, in some places the molding touches the ceiling and in other places there is nearly an inch of caulk between the molding and the ceiling. Just get the paintable kind and you will be the only person to ever know its there!

  38. Wow! Great job guys! AND THANKS SO MUCH FOR ACTUALLY RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS OTHER PEOPLE HAVE ASKED!!! This is my first time commenting on a DIY kuddos to you!
    On a major budget and really wanted the ceiling height cabinets but also like the open shelving look. This is a great idea!
    Again GREAT JOB!

    • Thank you Linny! I don’t get a chance to respond to every comment but definitely try and answer every question. I feel like thats the most important part of writing a tutorial. Good luck with your remodel (and let me know if you have any questions :) )

  39. Forgive me if you addressed this in the comments above (I didn’t read all of them) but I am curious if you had cabinets above your fridge. I am wanting to raise my cabinets like this but we have a small cabinet over our fridge (kinda like what was over your microwave). I wasn’t sure if you had one and raised it too or took it out like above the microwave. Thanks for such a great tutorial!!

    • I did have a small cabinet above my fridge and didn’t low what to do with it, so we just took it out. If I was doing it over again I wold have raised t up and added a floating shelf, just like the rest of the kitchen…or did two open shelves, like over the microwave. As it sits now the fridge looks kinda lonely and out of place.

  40. Can you please tell me how you added the hooks after you added the skins to the bottom of the cabinet? We started this project last weekend and that part has my husband confused. Thanks!

    • We pre drilled a small hole and then screwed the hook in, and on the inside of the cabinet the hook is held up by a washer and a nut. I really didn’t feel all that comfortable with it because it didn’t think that was enough support, but my husband swore it was fine and we haven’t had any issues.

  41. Hi, I just found this blog post and I know it’s a bit older but I saw you replied to another comment recently so I hope you see this! I had a question for either you or your husband about cabinet attachments. I can see the screws on the top similarly to how you described (my cabinets are just screwed directly into the wall, there isn’t one of those tiny bracket things) but on the bottom I can’t see anything! I cannot figure out how they attached them. I looked inside and out and can’t see any screws. Do you think they might have done the cabinets piece by piece when attaching them instead of as a box? I find that hard to believe since this house is one of those cheaper tract homes with bottom line, builder grade everything. Anyway, if you guys have encountered something like this or have any words of advice I’d love to hear it. I’m going to do some more googling and see if anyone else has something similar. Thanks for the tutorial, it’s amazing! I have wished our cabinets could be higher since we moved in! I’m 5′ 11″ and my husband is 6′ so it just makes sense. My mother-in-law is a little shorter than you (she stays with us sometimes) but I don’t mind getting things down for her when she needs them. Anyway, thanks again.

    • Actually I see your tiny bracket things are to attach the pieces of the cabinet together, not to attach them to the wall. So just forget I said that part. :)

      • Okay I’m sorry I was hasty. I was looking in a cabinet next to my microwave but I looked in another and there are screws inside with plastic covers, so mystery solved! Sorry about all the useles comments! :)

  42. El funcionamiento de estos dispositivos se basa en un sistema a base de imanes que,
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  43. OMG, you have no idea – this is exactly what I needed! I never even thought to RAISE my cabinets to get rid of that awful space above them! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  44. What a transformation! And a serious inspiration!
    There may soon be a clone of your gorgeous kitchen here in Iceland :)

  45. Hey there. How tall are your ceilings? Mine are 9 or 10 feet. I tried raising them up close to the top and I think I’m going to have to lower them back down some! Thanks :)

    • sorry!!!! just saw the 8 foot ceilings bit! i looked through the comments and missed the info at the top…either way, i like mine higher but they are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay higher now….so yah, that’s where i’m at :) thanks for the inspiration. it had never occurred to me to raise them

  46. I really like these ideas. Even In prefer to use empty spaces as much as I can, because like you I also do not like to leave spaces just like that. So these thoughts of yours are really appreciated by me.
    I really want to to thank you for this useful post. Thank you, dear.

  47. You already have so many comments, but I just had to give a shout out too. My organizing, space efficient mind, just couldn’t love this enough. Major kudos for making your space so much more functional in a totally ingenious way. That added shelf is too die for and you make it all look stunning to boot.
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  48. Nicole H says:

    We’ve been considering having this done to our cabinets, but we were wondering how you feel having the handles up so high?

  49. So, apparently I’m the only short person to look at this site. I want to do the opposite. Pull out all the cabinets and mount them lower. Alas, it would not leave enough space between counters and the bottoms of the cabinets. I can only reach the bottom shelf as it is. The gap between my wall and fridge holds not one but two stepladders. One two step, for reaching the second shelf, and one 3 step, for reaching the upper shelf where I keep seasonal and less often used items.

  50. Thanks for finally writing about >How to Raise Your Cabinets & Add a
    Shelf — Domestic Imperfection <Liked it!
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  51. How did you hide the cords for your microwave? It looks like they were above the shelf in one of the photos. Are they hiding behind the basket?

    • Yes, there is an outlet behind the basket just above the shelf. I also put the router and all those cords in there…it’s a very strategic basket!

  52. I love the raised cabinets & shelves. I live in a 160 year old house with a horrible soffit and 11 foot ceilings. My poor husband cringes every day he pulls into the driveway because he expects to find me in mid-demo. I’ve been holding off because I didn’t know what to do with the space above. This makes perfect sense. I could use the shelf space and I’d love to have the microwave over the stove.

    The planks are great. I tore out the 1970’s tile backsplash a few months ago and did the planks. I filled in the crack with paintable caulk so I didn’t have to worry about the crack. I like it sooo much better than the ugly tile.

  53. Anna Bertram says:

    You and I think alike! I have always hated the “floating” upper cabinets that look like boxes mounted on the walls and the awkward, dust catching open space at the top. I have been looking at houses to buy and in my mind I always raise the cabinets and add open shelves below. I just didn’t know how to do it. . Now your tutorial has shown me the way to accomplish this. I really appreciate the help! Thank you!

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  55. Good post.

  56. I liked your ideas. I am just going to renovate my home. So this would be a very helpful information for me to de clutter my home and make it more attractive and functional.

  57. Im thinking that a thread all rod inside of a copper or aluminum tube would have a more appealing & finished look then the eyebolts, cables & j hooks, But that’s just me as that’s what im planning to do in my raised cabinet remodel.


  1. […] add both style and storage for those of you with kitchen cabinets with no soffit and space above. Raise your cabinets and add a shelf like Ashley and her husband at Domestic […]

  2. […] am going to raise my cabinets to the ceiling ala Domestic Imperfection.  I can’t figure out what to do with that space above the cupboards.  Just collects dust. […]

  3. […] When Max and I first got our house the first project we mastered together was our kitchen shelves. Before we got any renovations done to the house the cabinets were at a regular height but I had (in my opinion) better plans for them. I had them moved all the way up until they touched the ceiling so I could add shelves below. I got all this inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, Domestic Imperfection.  […]

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