13 Creative Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas That Won’t Clutter Your Space

published Aug 4, 2023
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When it comes to your kitchen — likely the busiest room in your home — counters tend to be the main attraction. They’re where your family starts mornings and ends evenings, enjoys meals, and celebrates holiday get-togethers. In short, they’re the end-all, be-all — but unfortunately, somewhere between those early mornings and late nights, your kitchen countertops can become something of a cluttered mess. 

Maybe they’re littered with appliances and kitchen gadgets — if you can’t even find the space, you definitely can’t worry about how it looks. But what if it wasn’t like that? What if there were simple kitchen counter design ideas that reduce excessive clutter while adding statement-making pieces? Here’s how to pull it off.

From the best coffee gear to rival your barista to compact blenders to fit any budget, here are 13 kitchen counter decor ideas to insert style and function into your life. 

Credit: Erin Derby

1. Start with the counter itself.

You can’t clutter a kitchen counter without a counter to clutter in the first place. So first, start with choosing the right one. While some homeowners or renters have the luxury of building a custom-made version — whether it’s butcher block or granite — that’s not the case for everyone. Instead, get creative in utilizing your space

Depending on how much space you do (or don’t) have, you can also keep your kitchen clutter-free with a kitchen island. There are plenty of options from small, medium, and large sizes, and many offer ample storage, including drawers, shelves, and even space for appliances. This island cart is available in three colors, and has a folding drop-leaf tabletop, three drawers, and a trolley. 

2. Try a little DIY magic.

While marble and granite are dream countertop materials for many, they’re also on the pricier side. Our solution? This DIY hack that only requires you to invest in budget-friendly wallpaper or vinyl wrap. While there are tons (and we mean tons) of peel-and-stick wallpapers to choose from, you can opt for one that emulates the original materials, or go for a funkier pattern. 

Effortlessly exude elegance with this marble-inspired peel-and-stick removable wallpaper or stick with this basic black option. Not only will both look like the real deal, but with the help of a trusty ruler and scissors, you can peel-and-stick this lookalike right on in no time. 

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

3. Opt for calming neutrals.

If you’re like me and the kitchen is your happy place, it should feel serene and calm — and your color palette should reflect just that. To create this warm and inviting environment, gravitate towards pale or neutral tones. While you don’t necessarily need to stick with plain white, we’ll never say no to a whipped cream or oatmeal tone on the walls, cabinets, counters, appliances, floors, or backsplashes. Both variations are light and bright, with the versatility to be accentuated later on with bolder hues via accessories. 

Credit: Natalie Jeffcott

4. Choose functional furniture.

Clunky chairs can take up excessive space that you might not even have in the first place. Streamline your kitchen’s blueprint by investing in chairs that can neatly tuck under your kitchen counters (or islands) or take up minimal space otherwise. Invest in these plush classic cafè chairs for an inviting scene. With nine cushion colors up for grabs, you can stick to a cohesive theme or mix and match. 

5. Create a coffee or tea station.

Master mornings by becoming your home’s very own barista. A morning coffee or tea station in your kitchen is a great way to start the day off right, while creating a cozy corner with all of your favorite treats to start the day — and as a bonus, there are tons of aesthetically pleasing options on the market. 
In terms of the best coffee makers, there’s the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker; it’s full of customizable features that craft each cup to precision. However, the Keurig K-Cafe single serve is equally impressive at a more affordable price. It will seamlessly whip up everything from black coffee to cappuccinos with little-to-no effort. Not a coffee fanatic? Reach for a timeless tea kettle. While the MacKenzie-Childs two-quart tea kettle is a forever favorite of mine, an electric kettle like this one from Drew Barrymore’s BEAUTIFUL collection is a fan-favorite at just under $40. Talk about a win-win! 

6. Store goods in decorative canisters.

Choosing pretty canisters for your kitchen counters is the perfect way to mesh storage and beauty. Yes, this set of three canisters can house spatulas and wooden spoons, but they’re so spacious that they can even keep things like coffee, sugar, or flour. No matter what you decide to put in them, we love how each of the different colored matte stoneware options is sleek and modern, working together or on their own. 

7. Use display cases that double as décor.

This one’s for all the sweet tooths out there. This porcelain cake stand won’t just store your delicious desserts, but will show them off to your guests in the most sophisticated way. Co-designed by jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher, the stand features a unique marbleized design suitable for everyday use with the most elegant look. When you don’t have a treat to put on the stand, use it for fruit, trinkets, spices, or other countertop goods. Here are more of our favorite cake stands.

8. Bring your green thumb inside.

Bring the outside in by adding some greenery — faux or real — to your kitchen. Opt for a low-lift plant like a succulent, or go big with an artificial gypsophila leaf tree; both choices will add the right amount of green to your kitchen counter. If you’ve got enough green, try these faux white blossom branches in a gorgeous vase. The assortment looks so lifelike and effortlessly adds a romantic touch to any space. You can group the stack together or branch them out (no pun intended!). If you want to flex your green thumb, these are the best plants for every type of kitchen.

9. Enlist the help of everyday essentials.

There are some kitchen basics that should be easily available to grab whenever you need them — that can also look good out in the open. Tackle everything from early morning breakfasts to last-minute dinners with an arsenal of kitchen utensils. Whether you’re serving up small or large parties, this set of 33 soft silicone utensils features everyday essentials, including spatting brushes, spatulas, pasta servers, and measuring cups (just to name a few). They’re easy to clean, heat-resistant, and best of all? This set also has a wooden holder to reduce clutter and is available in eight oh-so-chic color variations. 

10. Furnish with florals.

For a more traditional approach, nix the branches and go straight for a blossoming assortment of flowers. Add a touch of color with these ranunculus featured in orange, pink, yellow, and white variations. No matter what shade you select, you’ll receive eight branches, one large and one small bloom, that’ll make the perfect focal point. Not your style? Make a year-round investment with this faux bouquet of white roses and lime-green hydrangeas. Each bloom is meticulously crafted, painted, and shaped to attain realism, perfectly arranged in a glass acrylic vase to create an illusion of water. 

Of course, if you want some fresh-cut flowers, these are the best grocery store flowers, or you can opt for this even-better $11 Trader Joe’s gem. (Plus, follow these tips to help make your flowers last as long as possible.)

11. Extend storage above your kitchen counters.

Instead of cluttering countertops, add versatility with open shelving. Contingent on how much space you may need, start small with an option like this one. Its minimalist design is finished in four wooden stains, ranging from 18 to 48 inches.

Need a little more space? Easily mount this industrial pipe shelving to your walls. The two tiers will easily host any pot or pan, and the hooks make hanging cups and mugs simpler than ever. 

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

12. Don’t forget about appliances.

Sure, it’s difficult to resist a good deal or the latest kitchen appliance on the market, but the alternative? A disorganized counter that makes tasks feel monumental. Streamline your machines by picking the right ones the first time around. These are the best small kitchen appliances on the market for under $50, and here’s how to shop for big appliances even if you have a tiny kitchen. Think about colors and how your different appliances will look next to one another, and go for compact options if space is a consideration. 

13. Lean on light fixtures.

Lastly, you’ll want to dedicate time to your light fixtures, which can really make or break a space. Instead of worrying about cords and bulky lamps taking up excessive space, avoid that: Insert them directly into ceilings. For a fashionable finish, this farmhouse-inspired choice will do the trick; at under $40, the semi-flush mount only requires a light bulb. This remote-controlled ceiling fan offers six speed settings that will keep your kitchen cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s noiseless and offers LED lighting, and the changeable timer makes auto-setting a breeze.