Enhancing Aesthetics and Functionality with Kitchen Pelmets: A Comprehensive Guide

kitchen pelmets

The kitchen pelmet might not get much attention, but it’s an essential part of your kitchen. It brings together the fun of cooking and good memories in your home. While people usually focus on cabinets and countertops, the kitchen pelmet quietly adds to how things look and work. It mixes the smartness of architecture with creative design, making things look good while being functional. This simple thing can make your kitchen fancy and practical at the same time. In this article, we’ll learn about kitchen pelmets, where they came from, why they’re great, and many excellent ideas to make your kitchen look fantastic and work well.

What are Kitchen Pelmets? 

A kitchen pelmet, also known as a cornice or cabinet valance, is a horizontal piece that spans the upper front section of wall-mounted kitchen cabinets. It serves both decorative and practical purposes, effectively concealing the cabinet’s interior while adding a touch of elegance to the overall kitchen design.

Historical Context 

Kitchen pelmets have a rich history dating back to classical architecture. They were initially employed as architectural embellishments to add grandeur to spaces. Over time, they transitioned into practical design elements that combine aesthetics and function in modern kitchens.

Kitchen Pelmets Ideas

Here are some creative kitchen pelmet ideas that can add a unique touch to your kitchen design:

1. Contemporary Elegance

Create a sleek and sophisticated look by choosing a pelmet with clean lines and a minimalist design. Look for materials like brushed stainless steel or glossy acrylic in neutral colours. This style complements modern kitchen designs, providing a seamless transition between cabinets and the wall while maintaining a sense of understated elegance.

2. Rustic Charm

Consider a wooden pelmet with a distressed finish for a cosy and inviting ambience. This rustic touch adds warmth to the kitchen and pairs well with farmhouse or cottage-style designs. Choose a pelmet with subtle carvings or bevelled edges to add a touch of character.

3. Vintage Glamour

Embrace the charm of the past by selecting a pelmet with ornate detailing reminiscent of Victorian or Art Deco styles. Materials like brass or copper with intricate designs that bring a touch of vintage glamour to your kitchen. This idea works well in kitchens that already incorporate vintage elements.

4. Colorful Contrasts

Make a bold statement by picking a contrasting colour pelmet for your cabinets. For instance, if your cabinets are white or neutral, go for a pelmet in a vibrant hue. This idea is perfect for kitchens that want to infuse a playful and energetic atmosphere.

5. Understated Luxury

For a sense of richness, choose a pelmet made of marble or granite. These natural stone selections radiate elegance and sophistication and add a classy touch to your kitchen. For a truly luxurious look, pair them with gold or silver accessories.

6. Fabric Softness

Consider utilizing fabric instead of standard solid material to create a soft and appealing pelmet. Choose a fabric that balances the colour scheme and style of your kitchen. This idea works exceptionally well in kitchens with open shelving since it adds a warm touch to the upper area of the shelves.

7. Coastal Vibes

If you’re aiming for a coastal or beachy theme, opt for a pelmet made of weathered wood or driftwood. The natural textures and colours evoke a sense of the sea, making your kitchen feel like a seaside retreat. Pair it with soft blue or aqua accents for a complete coastal look.

8. Industrial Chic

For an industrial-inspired kitchen, consider a pelmet made of raw metal or industrial materials like corrugated metal. This edgy choice adds a unique urban flair and pairs well with exposed brick walls, open shelving, and metal accents.

9. Geometric Patterns

Incorporate a touch of geometry by choosing a pelmet with intricate geometric patterns or designs. This idea works well with contemporary and mid-century modern kitchen designs, adding a visually intriguing element.

10. Natural Elements

Incorporate nature into your kitchen with reclaimed wood, bamboo, or cork pelmet. These natural materials bring a sense of eco-friendliness and a calming atmosphere to your kitchen.

Benefits of Kitchen Pelmets

  • Aesthetic Enhancement

One of the primary benefits of a kitchen pelmet is its ability to enhance the kitchen’s visual appeal. Pelmets provide a seamless transition between the wall and the upper cabinet, giving the kitchen cabinetry a polished and integrated appearance.

  • Concealing Cabinet Interiors 

Kitchen cabinets often store items that might not be visually pleasing, such as cooking utensils or mismatched dishware. A pelmet effectively hides these contents, maintaining a clean and organized appearance in the kitchen.

  • Softening the Space 

The soft, curved lines of a well-designed pelmet can help soften the sharp edges and corners of kitchen cabinets, creating a more inviting and welcoming atmosphere in the kitchen.

  • Customization Options 

Modern kitchen pelmets come in various materials, finishes, and styles, allowing homeowners to customize their kitchen’s look to match their taste and overall design theme.

  • To hide unsightly gaps

A pelmet can cover the gaps if your upper cabinets are not installed flush to the ceiling. It will create a more finished look and make your kitchen feel more spacious.

  • To add a touch of style

To any kitchen, pelmets may bring a dash of elegance. You may either select a more ornamental pelmet that will stand out or paint or stain them to match your cabinetry.

  • To provide additional storage space. 

If you have a lot of cookbooks or kitchen gadgets, you can install a pelmet with shelves or drawers. It will give you extra storage space without taking up any floor space.

Types of Kitchen Pelmets

Many different kitchen pelmets are available, so you can pick one that suits your necessities and style perfectly. Here are a few of the most popular types:

Flat pelmets: 

Flat pelmets are the simplest type of pelmet. They are a single, flat piece of wood or fabric installed under the upper cabinets.

Cornice pelmets: 

More ornamental than flat pelmets are cornice pelmets. The kitchen gains a little elegance from its curved or scalloped edges.

Swag pelmets: 

Swag pelmets are a type of cornice pelmet that is draped in fabric. They can be used to create a more dramatic look in the kitchen.

Valance pelmets: 

Valance pelmets are similar to swag pelmets but not as complete. They are a good option if you want a more understated look.

Beam pelmets: 

Beam pelmets are made to look like wooden beams. They can be used to add a rustic touch to the kitchen.

Designing with Kitchen Pelmets

Material Selection 

Kitchen pelmets are available in various materials, such as wood, metal, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), and fabric. The choice of material should align with the kitchen’s design and the homeowner’s preferences.

Coordinated Finishes 

To create a harmonious visual effect, consider matching the pelmet’s finish with other kitchen design elements, such as cabinet handles, appliances, and faucets.

Incorporating Ornamentation 

For a more classic or luxurious aesthetic, opt for pelmets with ornate detailing, such as intricate carvings or decorative mouldings. In contemporary kitchens, sleek and minimalistic pelmets work best.

Colour Palette 

Choose a pelmet colour that complements the kitchen’s colour scheme. Whether it’s a bold contrast or a subtle blend, the pelmet should contribute to the overall colour harmony of the space.

Installation Considerations For Kitchen Pelmets

Professional Installation vs DIY 

While some homeowners might opt for DIY installation, seeking professional help is recommended, especially if the installation involves precise measurements, cutting, and ensuring a secure fit.

Measuring and Sizing 

Precise measurements are crucial for a seamless installation. Measure the length of the cabinets accurately to ensure the pelmet fits snugly without any gaps.

Tools and Equipment 

Installing a kitchen pelmet requires tools, including a saw, measuring tape, drill, screws, and possibly brackets for added support.

Step-by-step Installation

  • Remove cabinet doors: Begin by removing the cabinet doors to access the upper frame where the pelmet will be installed.
  • Marking and cutting: Mark the pelmet according to your measurements and cut it using a saw, ensuring precision.
  • Attaching the pelmet: Securely attach the pelmet using screws and brackets, if necessary.
  • Finishing touches: Reattach the cabinet doors and ensure the pelmet is level and aligned.

Maintenance and Cleaning of Kitchen Pelmets

Regular Dusting

Dust tends to accumulate on the upper edges of cabinets. Regularly dusting the pelmet will help maintain its appearance.

Cleaning Materials

The cleaning method depends on the pelmet’s material. Wood might require a gentle wood cleaner, while metal or MDF can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

Avoiding Moisture

Be cautious with water exposure, as excessive moisture can damage wood or cause the metal to rust. Clean up spills promptly to prevent any potential harm.

Kitchen Pelmet Lights

There are several options for kitchen pelmet lights, so you may pick one that completely satisfies your requirements and aesthetic preferences. Some popular options include:

LED strip lights: 

LED strip lights are a handy option easily installed under your pelmet. They are available in various colours and brightness levels to choose the perfect look for your kitchen.

Recessed lights: 

Recessed lights are a popular option for kitchens with high ceilings. They are installed on the top and are invisible from the view, creating a sleek and modern look.

Track lights:

Track lights are an excellent option for kitchens with an open floor plan. They can be moved around to create different lighting effects, making them perfect for entertaining guests.

Pendant lights: 

Pendant lights are a classic option for kitchens. They can be hung from the ceiling or the pelmet and come in various styles to match any décor.


In conclusion, the unassuming kitchen pelmet has transformed from a grand architectural feature to a multifunctional and decorative component in modern interior design. Its evolution reflects its adaptability and potential to significantly elevate kitchens’ aesthetics and functionality. By concealing clutter, enhancing visual appeal, and seamlessly integrating with diverse design themes, pelmets stand as a testament to the importance of minor details in making a substantial impact. 

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