Learn my no-fail kitchen counter decor formula, PLUS the 10+ items to create functional beauty and make your kitchen feel magazine-worthy!
Ever since I finished my kitchen makeover and shared 7 Ways to Refresh a Kitchen, I’ve been tweaking my kitchen counters. I’m always tweaking every room, but I felt like my kitchen was missing a few more details to feel *just* right.
So, I started researching what might be missing. Was it art or trays or decor?
I’ve come up with more than 10 different items you may not have considered for your kitchen. And when you’ve added all of these, not only will your kitchen be more functional, it’ll feel like you’re living in a magazine!
The No-Fail Kitchen Counter Decorating Formula
The key to decorating a kitchen is to find beautiful objects that you actually need in the kitchen.
When looking for items like salt and pepper shakers, cookbooks, soap and trays, find a beautiful one! And then sprinkle in a little decor that doesn’t take up make much room or create clutter. I love adding art or a lamp to a kitchen, but don’t want to create clutter, so find an empty corner or hang something on the backsplash!
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Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas
OK, let’s dive in to get some ideas for decorating the kitchen countertops!
1. Display an Open Cookbook on a Stand
For years I just sat my cookbooks down on the countertop, surrounded by my ingredients. Until one day I realized I could buy a cookbook stand and get the cookbook up off my counter. Duh!!
A cookbook stand is a great way to create a moment in a corner, but also serving a function of holding your recipes. Win/win!
But even if you don’t have a cookbook stand, you can leave a beautiful cookbook open on your counters for a beautiful lived-in touch. It’s like a coffee table book for your kitchen. ☺️
I love leaving a favorite, beautiful cookbook on the stand. And I’ll just set a different recipe in front of the cookbook if I’m using one of my family recipes from my 3-ring binder. Functional and beautiful – that’s always the goal!
SHOP COOKBOOKS and STANDS
2. Tray for Corralling Larger Items
I love a tray for corralling a bunch of smaller items, making them feel intentional!
This corner in my kitchen counters has been the home of my knife block since we moved into the house. I just plopped the knife block in the corner and lined everything else along the back of the counter.
But when I brought in a tray for this corner, it made that space feel so much more intentional and it looks so visually interesting now!
And if you have plenty of room, try a lazy Susan tray so that you can turn it to access things in the back.
If you do a lot of cooking, you probably use oil and/or vinegar in most dishes. How nice is it to have it handy on the counter, but in a beautiful cruet?
I use olive oil in almost every dish I make, so I used to just keep it in the pantry and get it out every time I cooked. But now it’s right behind me, so I can grab and drizzle.
It might sound funny at first, but adding art to the kitchen elevates the room and makes it feel lived in like other rooms in the home.
I’ve shared about artwork in the kitchen before, on my walls and on my desk. But I recently added some interest above the backsplash with some framed printable pear art. (See above photo.) While mine isn’t actually ON the countertop, it could be!
You can truly add art everywhere: on a shelf, in a tray, on a desk, on the wall – or lean it up against the wall on the countertop. Botanicals, nature, and animals – all good art for the kitchen!
SHOP KITCHEN ART
5. Fruit Bowl
What better way to help your family eat healthy snacks than by keeping a bowl of fruit on the counter? This is the place we store our bananas, apples and any other fresh fruit I bring home from the store – that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
Not only is it convenient, it’s pretty, too!
SHOP FRUIT BOWLS
6. Herbs or a Plant
Real plants and herbs bring real life to your kitchen! It’s convenient because they are also near the water source. No more dead plants in random corners of the house.
I had a black thumb until I bought a couple of plants in 2020 that I slowly learned how to love them and keep them alive!
I needed something green and lush to fill this odd space behind my kitchen sink. This easy-to-care-for pothos plant was the perfect thing! It’s gotten so big that I’m trying to propagate some clippings so I can grow more elsewhere.
But a green living plant – herbs or any plant – is a perfect accessory for a kitchen countertop.
7. Pretty Lotion & Soap Dispensers
One way to make an every day moment feel special is by using beautiful soap and lotion dispensers next to the kitchen sink. When I was looking at kitchen inspiration for my makeover, I noticed that every since home had pretty dispensers.
So, I found some I loved and just refill them when they are empty!
SHOP SOAP & LOTION
8. Cutting Boards
A beautiful wooden cutting board is not only for cutting, but used as a serving tray for charcuterie boards. It’s a perfectly function kitchen counter decor item!
You can lean them up against the wall, or hang them! Either way, they are a beautiful, functional item in kitchen countertop decor.
9. Candle on a Pedestal
I love having a candle in the kitchen to help counteract some of the strong food smells. I like a yummy, foodie scent in the kitchen, like: sweet lemon, grapefruit, country pear or fresh-roasted coffee.
And I adore the sweet little wooden pedestal it sits on! Perfect for keeping it elevated and beautiful on my counter space.
10. Salt & Pepper Shakers or Grinders
All cooks need their cooking staples handy, so what better way to keep salt and pepper nearby than with some gorgeous shakers or grinders?
I recently bought these beautiful beechwood salt and pepper grinders with a selection grinding system that allows you to choose your favorite grind size. They are so well made, a delight to use while cooking and beautiful!
11. Butter Bell
Did you even know you can leave butter out on the counter in a dish that keeps it soft? Grab a butter bell dish or butter keeper, fill it with butter and the dish with a little bit of water, and you’re ready for a slice of bread or toast! It’s not only useful for buttering your roll at dinner, it’s pretty sitting out on the countertop!
Very few things feel cozier than having a lamp on in the kitchen after the dinner dishes are done. Therefore I’ve always been a proponent of lamps in the kitchen!
It gives a calming evening vibe that makes a home feel nostalgic. So the next time you’re trying to fill up a corner in the kitchen, consider a lamp!
Don’t forget to put it on a smart plug, so that it automatically comes on a dusk every night!
I love that my lamp resembles a jug or water vessel, so it feels right at home in the kitchen by the sink.
If you have a smaller kitchen, you may need to keep some appliances out on the countertop. My favorite appliances to leave out are beautiful KitchenAid stand mixers, pretty coffee maker and cast iron cookware.
Other items to leave out on the countertops might be a spoon rest, vase, baskets for napkins or a cute cookie jar. Those would be beautiful left out as well!
Since my kitchen counters are only reserved for useful, beautiful kitchen counter decor, it makes it so much easier to keep them clean and cleared off! It’s so fun to finish cleaning up the kitchen at night and look around to see just beautiful things on the countertops.
BONUS: DIY Cafe Curtains
You may have noticed that I made some cafe curtains to hide our “appliance garage” – aka open cabinets near our ovens. I think it had doors on it at one point, but they weren’t there when we bought the house.
I got tired of looking at the microwave, toaster oven and Vitamix, so I decided to try to cover them in the easiest way possible. Sometimes it’s a great idea to hide some items on the kitchen counters, am I right?! ☺️
The above picture is the previous view with the microwave in plain view and my cookbook was covering the toaster oven and Vitamix.
So, I used some leftover fabric from recovering my chairs, bought a tension rod and cafe curtain clips at Walmart and made little curtains. They are a temporary, inexpensive solution that is kinda cute!
I love that it brings in another texture and pattern to the space. And it ties in some of the pattern and color from the dining room since it’s the same fabric that is covering the chair seat cushions.
I don’t know if we’ll ever gut the kitchen, but until then these curtain will probably be there!
And to make the curtains, I just used some hem tape to hem all of the sides. I love an easy, no-sew project!
I hope you are inspired by my kitchen counter decor ideas. As always, I’d love to see your countertops, so feel free to tag me on Instagram at @turquoisehome.
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