These pieces are key to a dynamic, design-forward room.
At their core, kitchens are utilitarian spaces, and a lot of attention is paid to the design elements that make them function. If you’re in the midst of a kitchen remodel (or design upgrade), you’re probably spending a lot of your time focusing on the type of tile backsplash you’re installing, the kitchen countertops you’ll be prepping on, and the appliances that will help you get dinner on the table. Still, while those elements are vital to an effective kitchen, they’re not the only things that will make your space beautiful and liveable.
Enter: kitchen counter decor. An oft-forgotten element to designing your home’s hardest working room, the right kitchen counter decor ideas will help transform the space from a function-first work zone to a warm and welcoming extension of your family home. To help kick off your decorating efforts in style, we’re rounding up 13 kitchen counter decor ideas below that suit any style. From a collection of cookbooks to artfully displayed groceries, these accessories and thought-starters will add the extra layer of personalization your kitchen is craving—and maybe even up its functionality in the process.
Add Light With a Mirror
There’s not a single room we can think of that can’t benefit from a well-placed mirror, including your kitchen. While it may seem a bit quirky to include a looking glass near the same place you slice and dice onions each evening, mirrors can actually work wonders in a kitchen. Not only will they add visual interest, but when placed in the right spot they can maximize light and make the entire space feel more open and airy.
Layer Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards represent the best of both worlds when it comes to kitchen counter decor. Not only are they a great way to add visual interest and organic texture to your space, but they’re actually practical, providing an easy way to serve up snacks or prep dinner ingredients on the fly. The best part? They’re typically an easy vintage find, making it super simple to deck out your countertops without blowing your budget.
Fill a Standout Vase
Almost every kitchen has a quirky countertop corner that can’t quite fit an appliance but still could benefit from a bit of added visual interest. A great solution? An oversized vase filled with a sprawling selection of stems. This well-worn vintage piece in the kitchen of Lone Fox Home’s Drew Michael Scott has the perfect amount of patina to anchor the heavily veined marble countertops and fill an empty corner.
Set Out a Snack Spread
Entertaining guests is when you’re most conscious about how your kitchen decor looks—but it’s also the time when decking out your countertops is the easiest. Forgo the fancy accessories for a welcoming and oh-so-edible snack spread that will have guests clamoring to your island upon arrival. This stunning space by Susan Hayward Interiors is made even more inviting by a bountiful cheeseboard (and a bottle of wine, of course).
Fill Up a Bowl of Fruit
A fruity display atop your counters is often a great way to add a zesty bit of color to your space—and encourage a bit of healthy snacking. Here, the team behind Hearth Home Interiors filled a vintage bread bowl with several dozen lemons for a vibrant and eye-catching countertop focal point.
Stack Up Extra Dishware
The best kitchen counter decor ideas are as functional as they are stylish, helping you exist better in your space while also beautifying it. For a display that pulls double duty, look no further than this countertop decor idea from Becky Shea Design. She filled extra space with a stack of dishware, making it easy to grab a bowl on the fly the next time an ice cream craving hits.
Add a Mini Bar
Looking for a way to stay party-ready at a moment’s notice? Look no further than this clever countertop decor idea from Boxwood Avenue. Designer Chloe Mackintosh filled a few empty square feet with all the makings of a mini wet bar, including cocktail books, a shaker, rocks glasses, and a few bottles of specialty booze.
Set Up a Perma-Prep Station
Make getting dinner on the table during the week a breeze by styling up your countertop with a ready-to-go prep station that basically acts as a sous chef. Here, designer Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs placed necessities like a cutting board, cooking utensils, and copper cookware within reach for an easier way to whip up weeknight chicken and rice.
Style a Bowl of Blooms
A vase of blooms is great—but a bowl is even better. This unique floral arrangement, seen here in a moody space by Becky Shea Design, works to take up even more real estate than a traditional vase, making it a great option if you have a big swath of countertop to fill. You’ll want to choose a fluffy and full bloom for this treatment, like dried or fresh hydrangea, which will hold their shape when placed on their side.
Create a Collection of Vintage Finds
Just like a bookshelf or cabinet of curiosities, your kitchen countertops can be a great place to display a collection of vintage treasures that are begging for their moment in the spotlight. In this home by Hearth Home Interiors, an assortment of unique finds—including a bread bowl, ceramic vessel, primitive wood mashers, and antique hand broom—get the attention they deserve.
Display Farmer’s Market Finds
Ever walk around a farmer’s market and realize just how enticing the displays of produce are? Bottle that same fresh-from-the-farm feeling in your own home by styling vibrant veggies atop your counter, like the scene here designed by Mendelson Group. Colorful picks like tomatoes, carrots, beets, and peppers don’t require refrigeration and make for a beautiful (and vibrant) display.
Pay Tribute to a Delicious Hobby
At the end of the day, the design of your kitchen (and any room in your home) should pay tribute to your unique tastes and hobbies—and said hobbies are a great jumping-off point when dreaming up how to style your kitchen countertops. In this Mendelson Group project, a duo of workhorse islands is decked out with extras any home baker would appreciate, including an assortment of wooden rolling pins and an oversized basket of baguettes (we’ll take two!).
Lean Into Your Artsy Side
While your kitchen may not be the first place you think to place a beloved piece of art, it’s a room that could benefit the most from that type of decorative touch. Instead of worrying about drilling holes into your artfully arranged tile backsplash, skip the nails altogether in favor of leaning a painting or sketch atop your counter. Bonus: No nails make it easier to swap out (or clean off splatters of sauce).
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