Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas – Without the Clutter!

Wondering how to make your kitchen counters prettier? Today we’re sharing kitchen counter decor ideas that will add beauty and function to your space – without the clutter!

white French farmhouse style kitchen with marble counters with plants and flowers kitchen counter decor ideas

I’ve had lots of friends (and readers) say they don’t know how to decorate their kitchen counters. Either they already feel cluttered so they hesitate to add more things to a busy space. Or they don’t know where to start or how much should be left out vs. put away. Well, today we’re sharing kitchen counter decor ideas that will alleviate all that doubt!

There are a few hard and fast rules that I subscribe to when it comes to kitchen counters. These will help you streamline the space, as well as clear out the clutter. And I’m also sharing the things you can add to your counters to make them not only more beautiful, but also more functional! 

I promise if you implement these easy kitchen counter decor ideas, your countertops will look organized and beautiful. You might even fall in love with your kitchen again!

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1. Edit & Declutter

clean and clutter free kitchen counters in European style kitchen
Via Studio McGee.

My absolute number one rule? Clear out the clutter! Much like cleaning out a closet, you have to remove everything from your counters and start over. There’s really no other way to accurately assess what you have, as well as what you need to remove. So take everything off, and give it a good cleaning. Then when you start adding things back in, you can look at it with a more discerning eye.

Make sure you don’t have anything on the counters that doesn’t belong in the kitchen. Find a place for school papers, mail, keys or whatever else collects on your counters. I put a bowl on the table near the front door for my husband’s keys and sunglasses. And we also found a place to put mail (and in the past, school papers) that was a more appropriate place.

Without clutter taking up a lot of valuable space, your countertops will gain some much-needed breathing room!


1. Corral/Organize Items with Trays

kitchen counters decorated with rattan tray and dramatic branches in a vase
Via Studio McGee.

Using trays to corral and organize like things helps to reduce the items your eyes see on the counter. Three or four things spread out on the countertops can feel crowded and messy. But if you combine several items on a tray or board, it will seem much more contained. Not only that, trays are practical and can also be used for serving.

Use them by the stove to corral salt, pepper, spices or oils. Or add them by the sink to hold sponges, soap, and brushes. 


2. Hide Small Appliances

white French farmhouse kitchen with marble counter tops

Another tip is to remove every single appliance that you don’t use everyday. I’m looking at you stand mixer, blender, slow cooker, or whatever else sits on your counter taking up valuable space!

In the past, I had both my stand mixer and my toaster out. I really thought they needed to stay because I have so little storage space, but trust me, you can find another spot! Whether that’s in the pantry, a nearby closet, laundry room, or even the garage, it’s way better to have anything you don’t use daily out of the way.

Another item I banished was the knife block. This was another situation where I kept it out simply because I just didn’t think I had a drawer to spare, but by paring down and rearranging, I managed to empty a whole drawer. Now that drawer holds the knives in a knife drawer insert (which is also better for the knives!) and it made even more space on the counter!

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have them off the counter and to have more room to cook, prep, and spread out!


3. Form vs. Function

gorgeous kitchen with marble counters and dramatic chandelier
 Via Chelsey Hale Design.

You may not believe your kitchen can be pretty and functional, but it absolutely can! The number one trick to achieving that is to upgrade your everyday items.

That means all those things you use everyday but aren’t great to look at, like dish soap, utensil holders, or food or coffee containers, should all be something you like to look at. Decant your dish and hand soap into pretty glass containers.

If you keep things like flour or coffee on the counter, then those also go into a nice-to-look-at-canister. Likewise, if you store olive oil, salt, or other cooking items out in the open, get something lovely to put them in.

I’ve even changed out the ugly and oh-so-bright sponges for white or natural ones and they look so much better! 



gorgeous French inspired kitchen with dramatic hood and dark counters kitchen counter decor ideas
More of this kitchen in this post.

Though we’ve talked about removing less-often-used appliances, chances are you still have a couple that you use everyday. For us, that’s the coffeemaker and the espresso machine. We use these daily and because of that, they are on the counter.

Whether you choose to keep the coffeemaker, toaster, or something else on the counter, make sure they are beautiful as well as functional. And these days that’s easy! There are such pretty appliances now, and they come in a variety of colors and finishes so that you can get something that blends with your decor and adds to the space.


3. Decorate with Fruit or Veggies

kitchen counter decor ideas basket with fruit apples seasonal decor

This is an easy one to implement, and it actually adds so much to a kitchen space. Fill a bowl with seasonal fruits or vegetables to add color and texture to the kitchen.

I love the vibrancy that a pretty bowl of lemons or apples add, and you can decorate with seasonal items to bring even more color to the counters. Think pomegranates at Christmas, artichokes in the spring, peaches or plums in the summer. And they’re practical too since you can eat them and cook with them!


blue bowl with lemons countertop decor ideas
Via Alice Lane Home.

In addition, you can choose whatever style basket or bowl you like. From antique wood bowls, to colorful ceramics, to beautiful marble ones, the options are endless!


4. Display Flowers or Branches

beautiful white kitchen with dramatic branches in vase kitchen counter decor ideas
Via Jenny Martin Design.

Of course you know I love the beauty that flowers or branches bring to a space, and the kitchen is no exception. Anything from a small vase of grocery store blooms to a large statement vase with oversize branches will draw your eye and add natural beauty.

And why shouldn’t a space that you spend so much time in be beautiful?!


beautiful white kitchen with gold lanterns and marble countertops
Via Studio McGee.


5. Layer, Layer, Layer

white kitchen with wood boards marble counters kitchen counter decor ideas
Via Marie Flanigan Interiors.

Texture is important in any space, but even more so in a utilitarian space like a kitchen or bathroom. I love the warmth wood brings to a kitchen, and cutting boards are a wonderful way to incorporate that.

You can use them to corral things like a tray, or layer them together and lean them against a backsplash or on a shelf. Either way, they’re another item that brings both beauty and function to your kitchen.


baskets and artwork in white kitchen
Via Better Homes & Gardens.

Other ways to add interest and texture are to add baskets, wood items, or art to the kitchen. All of these bring personality to your space. Baskets and cutting boards are pretty and practical, and art takes up very little room, especially if you lean it.

By using things that are useful and/or don’t take up much space,  you get a lot of bang for your buck!


7. Add Potted Plants 

gorgeous white kitchen with flowers and plants on marble counters

Don’t want to spend lots of money on flowers, or dislike the scents while cooking? Go for potted plants! They are affordable and a wonderful way to add some color and a touch of nature to your kitchen space. 

I personally love terracotta or other ‘outdoor’ looking pots used indoors, but you can choose whatever style speaks to you. Pots and planters come in all colors and sizes so it’s easy to find something you love.

potted plants in white kitchen counter decor ideas
Via Orrick & Company.

Use a larger pot to make more of a statement, or group a smaller pot on a tray or board with other items to create a vignette. 

Topiaries are especially pretty in a kitchen and give off a great French vibe!


9. Decorate in Odd Numbers

French inspired kitchen with gorgeous lanterns and marble countertops
More of this kitchen in this post.

When in doubt, don’t crowd things. Less is more when it comes to kitchen counters and we want to go for a minimal amount of items. That doesn’t mean ‘minimalist’ – you know I’m not that! But it does mean we want to create spacious feeling counters that feel like they are decorated, but not overly so.

One way to make sure you don’t have too much in any one area, is to follow the “Rule of 3”, something I talk about in more detail in this post. Grouping things in odd numbers like 3, 5, or 7 is more pleasing to the eye and feels ‘calmer’ to our brains. Since the kitchen can get busy really quickly, I’d go with just three in any one section or grouping.

I hope these tips and tricks will help you with your own kitchen counter decorating. By simply clearing out the clutter, making sure your everyday items are also pretty, and adding texture with bread boards, flowers, and branches, your kitchen counters will stop being an eyesore and become one of your favorite things.

These kitchen counter decor ideas will have your kitchen looking warm and inviting, yet clean, simple and uncluttered in no time.



Shop Kitchen Counter Decor 


Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas graphic on Maison de Cinq

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more decorating ideas below:

15 Stunning French farmhouse Kitchens 

7 Things to Do to Make your Kitchen & Bathrooms More Beautiful

Decorating with Neutrals: 5 Essential Tips for Success

5 Essential Textures that Every Room Needs

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  1. Suzanne S says:

    Thought I’d add another tip that may be helpful to some. Since I use my stand mixer several times a week, it’s in the corner and I put a large butler’s tray on a stand in front of it. This hides the mixer and the tray is visually beautiful. I’ve previously used a piece of art or painted tray to achieve the same result.