If I had my preference, I would choose a cabinet that reaches the ceiling like the one below.
This image came from the tumblr hole. If anyone knows the original source, please let me know.
My second option would be to leave the space free and clear of tchotchkes as seen in the image above.
Or like this image...
Here is a great example of upper cabinets that are positioned a foot or more below the ceiling. The placement of the Roman shade draws the eye upward leaving no reason for additional items to distract you.
The large majority of us are working with what we have until we can do what we really want. In this case, for those who have cabinets that do not reach the ceiling and feel the need to accessorize the upper cabinets, I recommend going with groups of like things. Collections.
Micheal Penney scored bigtime upper cabinet points with this collection of baskets. They work well in contrast with the white cabinets and help move the organic textures around the kitchen.
Here is another example using baskets. This time all the same size. Kinda fun seeing them marching in a row. I like the numbered chalk labels too. Could be a great way to store extra items that aren't used every day.
Collections of ironstone, milkglass, pottery, and cake stands are all examples of things that would work above the upper cabinets.
Colored glass works especially well on white or maple cabinets where contrast is needed and is a great way to bounce an accent color around the room.
If you happen to be a do-it-yourselfer with mad carpenter skills - you might consider adding height to your cabinets. This kitchen went from this...
to this with a little elbow grease and a trip to Lowes.
Read more about this project here.
So now it is your turn. How do you feel about accessorizing the upper cabinets? Yes, no, maybe so or somewhere in the middle?