How to Decorate a Kitchen Island: 23 Easy Styling Ideas

Is your kitchen island or countertop a blank slate? Discover how to decorate a kitchen island with these ideas for a fresh new look!

Spice up your kitchen with these 23 kitchen island decor ideas! From adding a pop of color to adding natural elements, there’s no shortage of creative ways to give your kitchen island a personalized touch that provides both function and style. So brew some coffee, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get decorating!

Red tulips are a beautiful kitchen island decor choice.

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The Hub That We Love

Wouldn’t you agree, every kitchen has its “hub?”

Ours is the kitchen island.

Of course, it is used for eating meals.

But also…opening mail, crafting, flower arranging, computer work, watching TV, drinking coffee, and just hanging out!

Missy arranging fruit on a tiered tray in the kitchen.

After years of not having a kitchen island, creating one in our new kitchen was at the top of my dream list.

When we redid our kitchen, the island became my new decorating blank slate. (Check out the before pics of our kitchen renovation here.)

And creating kitchen island displays is now a fun weekly treat!

Here is our new kitchen island when it was just on the verge of completion.

And then with the new kitchen island. Space! Glorious space!

Our kitchen island before its renovation.
The new quartz kitchen island after the renovation.

I thought I would share some of my favorite kitchen island displays.

how to decorate a kitchen island: our renovated kitchen.

Any countertop will work. A dining table will work. A baker’s rack will work. Even the space beside your sink will work.

The point is that adding decorative touches to kitchen surfaces provides form, function, and just plain fun!

Kitchen Island Decor Tips

Decorating a kitchen island is an exciting opportunity to infuse your personal style into the heart of your home. 

Start by considering your preferred color scheme – whether you’re drawn to calming neutrals, vibrant pops of color, or a classic monochrome palette. Your color choices will set the tone for the entire kitchen space. 

how to decorate a kitchen island is paramount for this empty kitchen island.

To achieve a cohesive look, align your kitchen island’s design style with the overall theme of your home. Whether your taste leans towards modern, rustic, or eclectic, ensure a cohesive kitchen design that will contribute to a visually appealing and well-coordinated kitchen.

Identifying your main goals for the kitchen island is crucial. Are you aiming for additional storage, a designated prep area, or a multifunctional space for both cooking and entertaining? 

Clarifying these objectives will guide your choices as you uncover how to decorate a kitchen island. Beautiful kitchens often result from a thoughtful balance of functionality and aesthetics, making the kitchen island an ideal canvas for creative expression.

How to Decorate a Kitchen Island with Style

Let’s face it…the island is the center of the kitchen and is usually full of activity. Why not make it a space that reflects your design style?

These are some great ideas to enhance your kitchen island – the kind that doesn’t require a lot of time or fuss. These ideas work well for both a large or small kitchen island.

So, if you’re ready to amp up the style without breaking a sweat, stick around for some simple and practical tips to make your kitchen island shine. 

1. Utensil Caddy

Place a stylish utensil caddy on the kitchen island to keep frequently used cooking utensils within easy reach.

Enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen island by incorporating a stylish utensil caddy. This practical accessory serves as a convenient organizer, ensuring that frequently used utensils are easily accessible while cooking. 

A utensil caddy is a great idea for how to decorate a kitchen island.

2. Spices

Spice up your kitchen game with some organization that’s not just functional but also looks darn good! Say goodbye to the chaotic jumble of spice jars hiding in the depths of your cabinets, and hello to organization with flair. 

You can opt for a classic spice rack. Or, keep it even simpler by displaying your most frequently used spices on a small wood cutting board or tray.

Simply keeping salt and pepper within arms reach is a great way to make your kitchen look like the culinary hub that it is! 

Displaying spices is a functional way for how to decorate a kitchen island.

3. Vinegars and Oils

Turn your kitchen into a flavor fiesta with a side of sass by displaying olive oils, vinegars, and other liquid flavorings in fancy, shmancy bottles! A simple plate or tray is all you need to gather your bottles into a colorful display.

Say goodbye to boring old condiment containers and hello to a kitchen that’s as stylish as it is flavorful. We’re not just talking practicality here; we’re talking about turning your countertop into a gourmet showcase! 

Knowing how to decorate a kitchen island is helpful when displaying these oils and vinegars on the kitchen island.

4. Trays

Trays are home decor workhorses!

You can avoid kitchen countertop clutter by grouping home decor on a tray.

Stock up on different sizes…I promise you will love swapping them out for different home decor displays!

By placing a couple of my favorite blue and white vases on top of this gnarled wood tray, I discovered one of my favorite pairings…elegant and rustic!

And, a tiered tray is an elegant option for displaying smaller decor pieces.

A wooden tray holding blue and white jars on a kitchen countertop.
Displaying decorative accents on a tiered tray for how to decorate a kitchen island.

5. Cutting Boards

Stack cutting boards neatly on your kitchen island for easy access and a visually appealing display. 

Plus, consider gathering a basket on the floor beside the island to hold additional cutting boards, keeping them within reach while adding a touch of rustic charm to your kitchen.

It’s a simple yet effective way to incorporate practicality and aesthetics into your cooking space, making meal prep a breeze while adding a cozy, homey vibe to your kitchen island area.

Keep your favorite wooden cutting board within easy reach!

how to decorate a space with functionality  includes storing wooden cutting boards in a basket beside the kitchen island.

If you don’t have room by the island…hang it on the wall! Click HERE for this easy guide for hanging a cutting board on the wall!

6. Plants

Plants are one of my favorite types of kitchen island decor…because it is alive and continues to grow and change!

This is my “I need something to take care of and grow while I am in quarantine” plant that has FLOURISHED over the past couple of years.

A fiddle leaf fig plant in a woven basket with pom poms.

She was just a small baby when I got her. I am quite proud of my fiddle-leaf fig baby!

So, she deserves center stage on the kitchen island!

Or this thrifted cobalt blue glass vase that matches the blue and white dishes styled in the glass front cabinets.

A plant cutting in a cobalt blue glass decor vase for how to decorate a kitchen island.

This portable plant garden sits lower to the counter so it is PERFECT for island conversation. And, because the basket has side handles, it can be whisked away at a moment’s notice if you need more room on the counter.

A myriad of plants in a basket.

7. Fresh Flowers

Flowers are another obvious choice for your kitchen island.

And such a great choice!

Flowers are an easy way to bring color, scent, and life into the heart of the home. Have fun playing with flowers of the same color or arranging flowers with different colors.

Tulips are one of my favorites and look so cheerful and welcoming on the kitchen island.

Rather than display them in one large vase, I had fun dividing them into three adorable blue and white jars.

Kitchen island decor is easy to accomplish with flowers in small ceramic jars.

With flowers still in mind, I added some dianthus (still in their grow pots!) to a moss-covered basket for a beautiful May Day basket display.

We enjoyed it as kitchen island decor before I gave it away on May Day!

A May Day basket full of pink dianthus is a great kitchen island decor idea for spring.

8. Herbs

If your kitchen island gets good sunlight, incorporate pots and planter boxes for fresh herbs, combining practicality with a decorative touch. Planter boxes provide a convenient and accessible home for an assortment of fresh herbs, ensuring that aromatic flavors are at your fingertips while preparing meals. 

Herbs not only contribute to the visual appeal of the space but also inspire a connection to nature, inviting the refreshing essence of herbs into your kitchen.

How to decorate a kitchen island with small jars of herbs.

9. Bring the Outdoors In

Forget fancy decor – we’re talking about bringing the outdoors in, one branch at a time. 

Fill a big vase with branches straight from your backyard and proudly perch them on your island.

Turn your island into a natural wonderland and let those branches steal the show!

A backyard branch cutting in a large glass vase on a kitchen counter.

10. Fruit

There are some obvious choices for how to decorate a kitchen island. Obvious because…hello?They work!

A classic bowl of fresh fruit never fails as one of the easiest ways to dress up your kitchen countertops!

Display a decorative bowl filled with fresh seasonal fruits for a colorful and practical accent.

Add a bag of bright, yellow lemons to an open-air fruit bowl and your kitchen will just say “Fresh!”

A jumbled pile of red grapes in a white bowl will really pop against a kitchen island counter or backsplash.

Yellow lemons in a stainlesss steel fruit bowl -how to decorate a kitchen island
A bowl of red grapes spilling out of a fruit bowl.

11. Coffee Station

Life is too short for bland coffee rituals! Create a coffee/latte station with a stylish coffee maker, mugs, and a decorative canister for coffee beans.

This isn’t just a coffee station; it’s a daily celebration of your love of java joy!

Perk up your kitchen island space, one cup at a time, and make your morning routine as fabulous as your brew!

A coffee station created as a way for how to decorate a kitchen island.

12. Cookbooks

We may live in a digital age but there will always be a need for cookbooks. And just like a beautiful bookcase in a living room, cookbooks are a beautiful way to decorate a kitchen island.

My friend, Crystal, at Sweet Valley Acres displayed a favorite cookbook on a cookbook stand in her gorgeous kitchen. I would love to watch her cook from this island!

You can also simply stack a few of your favorite cookbooks and surround them with greenery or other kitchen items. 

Cooking inspiration will be right at your fingertips!

a cookbook displayed on a cookbook stand at Sweet Valley Acres.
how to decorate a kitchen island - displaying cookbooks and a plant on a wood charcuterie board.

13. Set the Table

Dinnerware does not have to stay tucked away in a cupboard.

Display it!

Whether you are entertaining buffet style or just want to show off your pretty plates, creating a display on your kitchen island or countertop is a wonderful way to show off dinnerware decor.

Consider arranging a set of dinnerware, complete with plates, bowls, and glasses, to create a visually appealing display. 

To tie it all together, lay down stylish table runners or placemats to add texture and dimension to the island surface. This simple yet effective approach not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen but also makes mealtime preparation feel like a special occasion every day.

A table runner and stacks of woven placemats and dishes are helpful for how to decorate a kitchen island.

14. Candles

When I am home, there is always a jar candle burning in the kitchen.

A candle’s flame is so welcoming when we are a group and keeps me company if I’m alone.

This simple display consists of a warm candle and some napkin-wrapped birch logs on a wood breadboard.

So simple!

A lighted candle sitting on a wood kitchen cutting board and some birch logs tied with a decorative napkin.

Want to know what to do with used jar candles? Click HERE for how to clean out and repurpose candle jars!

15. Vintage Scale

Display a vintage kitchen scale for both a decorative and practical element in your cooking space.

A kitchen scale holding a blue and white  porcelain jar on a kitchen island.

Add a pinch of retro flair to your kitchen with a vintage kitchen scale – whether it works or not, it is a charming addition to any kitchen space.

This old-school gem not only brings a touch of nostalgia to your cooking space.

If the scale works, use it to your advantage to measure ingredients for your recipes. If it is non-working and purely decorative, you can still fill the sides with kitchen ingredients, decorative jars, or burning candles. Let your imagination “weigh in” on the fun!

16. Dough Bowl

Bring in some rustic charm to your kitchen island by incorporating a dough bowl into your decor. 

This versatile piece adds a touch of farmhouse elegance while serving as a functional centerpiece.

 Fill the dough bowl with seasonal fruits, fresh vegetables, or decorative accents to create an eye-catching display that adds color and texture to your kitchen.

Alternatively, use it as a catch-all for keys, mail, or other everyday essentials to keep your island tidy and organized. Whether used for display or practical storage, a dough bowl adds loads of beautiful warmth and character to your kitchen.

how to decorate a kitchen island - aa dough bowl holding ceramic spheres beside a plant.

17. Cake Stand

An elegant cake stand is a great option for your kitchen island decor. The elevated height of the pedestal draws the eye and adds dimension to your island, creating a dynamic and inviting setting.

A cake stand on a kitchen island to decorate the counter space.

 Whether you’re indulging your sweet tooth or adding a touch of sophistication to your space, a cake pedestal offers endless possibilities for stylish and functional decor.

Adorn your cake stand with delectable treats like freshly baked cakes or cupcakes for a sweet touch to your kitchen decor.  Or showcase non-edible items such as decorative candles, seasonal accents, or a potted plant to add a pop of color and visual interest. 

18. Vases, Pots, and Planters

Try your hand with creative displays using vases, pots, and planters. 

Experiment with different arrangements, such as grouping them together for a striking centerpiece or placing them along the length of the island for a balanced look. 

Mix and match various sizes, shapes, and materials to add visual interest and personality to your space. 

Get creative with what you fill them with – from fresh flowers and vibrant succulents to decorative branches or even colorful fruit. 

Three chinoiserie jars holding faux tulips for how to decorate a kitchen island.
Single stems flowers in glass jars decorating a kitchen island countertop.
A DIY tile planter box holding a green plant on a kitchen island.

Whether you prefer sleek and modern vases or charmingly rustic pots, incorporating these elements into your kitchen island decor adds a touch of style and personality to your room.

19. Baskets

Double the visual appeal and functionality of your kitchen island with creative decor ideas using baskets. Opt for a mix of woven textures and sizes to add depth and interest to your space.

Use baskets as stylish extra storage solutions for produce, kitchen linens, or even wine bottles…keeping them organized and within reach.

Wine bottles and flowers displayed in a basket on a kitchen island for how to decorate in the kitchen.

Repurpose decorative wicker baskets as planters for herbs or small indoor plants, adding a touch of greenery to your kitchen island.

With their versatility and charm, baskets are both beautiful and practical!

20. DIY Home Decor

By taking on DIY projects, you can tailor designs to perfectly suit your taste and style preferences, ensuring a truly unique and one-of-a-kind look. 

Additionally, DIY projects often allow for cost savings compared to purchasing pre-made decor items, making it a budget-friendly option for decorating your kitchen island. 

Moreover, creating your own home decor can be incredibly rewarding, offering a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you see your vision come to life.

So, display your DIYs with pride! Here are some of my favorite DIY decor projects that I used to decorate my kitchen island:

DIY decoupage bottles adorning the kitchen island.
how to decorate a kitchen island using a wood slice orchid planter.
Mini tabletop greenhouse on the kitchen island counter.

21. What’s on the Menu?

Since the kitchen is our food “warehouse”, why not use some of that food for kitchen island decor?

Decorating a kitchen island with prepared food and menu items adds a dynamic vibe to your kitchen.

Showcase your culinary prowess by displaying beautifully arranged dishes, appetizers, or desserts, creating a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Incorporate decorative platters, cake stands, or tiered trays to elevate the presentation of your creations and make them the focal point of your kitchen island.

If I go to the work making our favorite homemade lemon curd to go without breakfast English muffins, I want it to be seen!

This took 2 minutes to display and was the perfect arrangement for Sunday breakfast!

how to decorate a kitchen island - Displayed breakfast food as a kitchen island decor idea.

22. The Island Perimeter

​Don’t forget all of the extra space around your kitchen island! 

Start by anchoring the space with a rug underneath, adding warmth and texture while delineating the area. I created this painted checkerboard jute rug to sit right in front of our kitchen island.

Complement the island with stylish counter or bar stools, offering comfortable seating options for casual dining or entertaining guests. 

Illuminate the perimeter with pendant lights or a chandelier overhead, providing both ambient lighting and a touch of elegance. 

A checkered jute rug laying in front of a kitchen island stovetop.
Three bar stools sitting in front of the kitchen island.
A silver and gold light fixture is part of how to decorate a kitchen island.

With attention to detail and strategic placement, decorating the perimeter of a kitchen island transforms the space into a cohesive and inviting focal point of the room.

23. A Kitchen Island Centerpiece Showstopper

Make a statement in your kitchen by decorating the island with a showstopping centerpiece in a tall vase that steals the spotlight!

I used multi-colored pip berries in my large glass vase for spring. I love a “Wowza” moment!

kitchen island centerpiece using multi-colored pip berries in a glass vase.

How to Decorate a Kitchen Island with Joy

Ultimately, the best kitchen island decor is what makes you happy!

If you love to cook, your kitchen island countertop should be inviting yet functional.

If you entertain often, your island should make a statement!

And if you just need more storage and prep space, well, there are plenty of functional options too.

how to decorate a kitchen island using faux poppies.

So take your time perusing these ideas, find what speaks to you, and get ready to start decorating your kitchen island.

Try one of these kitchen island decorating ideas today and let me know how it looks in your kitchen!


Don’t Forget to Pin It!

Pin the image below to your boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Decorate a Kitchen Island: 23 Easy Styling Ideas

More Decorating Ideas for the Kitchen

If you enjoyed discovering how to decorate a kitchen island, you might enjoy these kitchen decorating projects!

What to Put in Decorative Glass Jars in the Kitchen

31 Best Decorating Ideas for a Bakers Rack

How to Style Glass Front Kitchen Cabinets

My Favorite Things


    1. I love decoupage too! It is such a great way to add color and pattern…which I know you love as much as I do! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thank you so much, Diane! I’m thrilled! It is always so much to post in the Fabulous Friday Link Party! I am honored!

    1. Thank you so much, Allyson! I love to use the color blue when decorating, especially in the spring! I always enjoy the Home Matters Party! Thank you so much for hosting!

  1. I love how you talked about using plants along with a great kitchen island as a way to become a centerpiece. That’s something that could really work well for our home since the kitchen is the largest part of the first floor, and a well-decorated island could be an amazing center of attention. I’ll go and ask a kitchen design expert to help us out with picking the best way to use this idea for sure.

  2. Do you have a source for the “I’m Off to Join the Circus” ribbon? Enjoyed all of your creativity.

    1. Hello! I’m afraid I found the ribbon at a yard sale. I did a little digging and unfortunately was not able to find a source. I’m so sorry! However, I think there are lot of fun, whimsical ribbons out there! Thank you so much for your interest in the project! Have a great week!

    2. I have had the ribbon for a while and I am not finding a source for it. However, I’m keeping my eyes open for you. You never know when I might run across it!

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