Last Updated on May 16, 2022
Are you looking for ways to decorate your countertop space? We’re all for it! Since your work surface is where every good recipe starts, beautifying it can have a big impact on the time you spend in your kitchen and your creativity with your home meals.
But, your kitchen countertop might not be the easiest area of your kitchen to decorate. If you’re blessed with plenty of surface area, the challenge will be to make it feel homey. If, on the other hand, you find you don’t have a lot of room to spare, you can play up the charm of the space, but carefully, so it doesn’t feel cluttered. In both scenarios, the trick is to find just the right balance between design and functionality.
And we’re here to help you with that. We put together some ideas you might want to try in your kitchen to elevate the feel of your workspace without compromising its practicality.
Curate Your Countertop Items
The first thing to consider when decorating your kitchen is, of course, functionality. But sometimes, a kitchen decorates itself over time — a sugar bowl left in a corner for days, or an empty cookie jar sitting on the table for weeks. But there’s beauty in these forgotten items too as they’re the ones that give your kitchen that ‘homey’ feeling.
Everyone uses their kitchen differently — some like to bake magnificent cakes, while others like to have a chopping board always within reach so they can make their signature soups and stews. Which utensils you’re going to keep on your countertop and which you’re gonna hide away in a cupboard is your decision to make. But where do you start?
If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of countertop space, you don’t need to fret, but if not, you might want to think about how to use your space more efficiently while not harming the aesthetics. If you aren’t sure how to do that, you can start asking yourself, “do I use this item at least once every week?” for every kitchen item that has found its place on display somewhere. If the answer is no, take it away from your countertop to make room for more stylish newcomers.
Create More Space
If you’re lacking countertop space, you can look at creative storage ideas to help you free up some more space in your kitchen while making use of underused wall or surface area space.
Wall storage is a great way to decorate your kitchen while organizing it at the same time.
Hang your Pans
You can hang your most frequently used utensils like pans, ladles, spoons, and spatulas and have them in reach while putting them on display. It’s as easy as setting up a stainless-steel bar above the stovetop with a couple of hooks on it (hooks are also great for hanging cute cups). If your utensil set is stylish — even better. It may even become your favorite decoration.
Embrace Natural Textures and Touches of Greenery
They don’t call a kitchen the heart of the house for nothing. The more welcoming the kitchen is, the warmer the house feels. And there’s nothing warmer and more soothing than natural textures and touches of greenery, and you don’t even need to schedule a remodel to attain this. It’s easy enough to make your kitchen feel warmer and homier with just a couple of simple touches.
Here are our favorites.
Pretty and Functional
Some would say pretty items can’t be functional, but we beg to differ. A bamboo cutting board, a wicker fruit basket, or a colorful flower vase can work wonders in your kitchen space. Try to strike a good balance between items that are purely decorative or that inspire you, and items that are pretty to look at but that you also want to use.
An Indoor Aromatic Herbs Garden
Potted plants are all great ways to bring some liveliness indoors, especially if you have a luminous kitchen. You can also grow some green herbs in your kitchen, which is a great way to add some fresh flavor to your dishes. Perennial herbs such as mint, rosemary, basil, chives, thyme, or bay laurel are the easiest to grow in pots. Just make sure they all have their separate pots and they are getting enough sunlight as well as adequate water and leave the rest to mother nature.
A Spice Rack
A spice rack is certainly one of our favorite items in a kitchen — we’ve all been through that spice craze where you buy lots of spices and shove them in a drawer or a cupboard. When that happens, you can’t cherry-pick which spice you want to add while you’re cooking because it’s just really inconvenient, and ultimately, you end up throwing away some spices as they expire in a dark corner.
A spice rack doesn’t only solve this problem, but it also looks authentic and homey. Naturally vivid colors of turmeric, paprika, or even saffron look just as amazing as they taste.
Add Authentic Touches
Everyone has their favorite way of cooking. Some of us stick to our family cookbooks. Others love fusion and are often inspired to experiment with different cuisines from all over the world, be it Mediterranean, South Asian, or East Asian influences.
If you’re eclectic in your culinary taste, you can absolutely bring that to your kitchen countertop decor. There are many containers, cooking vessels, and other utensils around the world that are true hidden gems. They can not only add authenticity to your dishes but also bring a unique sense of quirkiness to your space.
Here are some unique and super useful items you can put on your shelves to add originality to your kitchen.
Moroccan Tagine Pot
Tagine pots (also spelled tajine) have a long history in North African cuisine but they’re most famously associated with Moroccan cuisine because the word tagine also refers to the aromatic stew traditionally cooked in the pot.
Tagines come in all sorts of colorful patterns in true Moroccan tile art style, which uses intricate mosaic designs full of vivid colors that will immediately transport you to the streets of Marrakesh. And if you prefer a sleek and modern design, there are tons of monochromatic tagines too.
A tagine pot is traditionally an earthen pot, but today you can also find aluminum and even cast-iron ones. A tagine has two compartments — there‘s a circular flat base made to be directly put on hot coals (but you can put it on the stove just fine) and a conical lid that ensures the rising steam cools down and condenses, gliding back into the base pot where your stew is simmering.
So, as you can see, a tagine pot is not only great for making hearty stews, but it can also be a statement piece on your countertop.
The coffee tradition dates back to centuries ago, around the 15th century. Coffee is said to have started to spread around the world when Somali merchants exported coffee beans from Ethiopia to Yemen. Around that time, the Ottoman Empire ruled those regions and they weren’t hesitant to incorporate the black magic juice into their everyday habits, which they cooked in a special pot called a cezve.
A cezve is a small pot traditionally made from copper or brass. It has a long handle and a long neck to easily pour the traditional coffee into the cups. If you’re a coffee aficionado, you can give traditional Turkish coffee a try when you want to take a break from your usual routine.
But even if you wouldn’t dream of replacing your espresso with anything else, a cezve is useful for two things — for heating any kind of liquid and for looking lovely on your kitchen countertop, with its charming oriental motives.
Thai Mortar and Pestle
Many cultures incorporate some sort of tool, such as the mortar and pestle, designed for crushing ingredients together to make a paste later used for cooking or on its own. Examples range from tasty spreads such as hummus or guacamole to herb blends for infusing fresh ground flavors into more complex recipes. Thai recipes, in particular, make heavy use of mortar and pestle.
A stone mortar and pestle is one of the most useful things you can have in your kitchen. The recipes it unlocks are endless — you can use it to make many things, from the traditional garlic aioli to Thai green curry paste, classic caesar dressing, authentic basil pesto, or homemade chili powder. For more mortar and pestle recipes, check out our article on the 15 things to prepare with your mortar and pestle.
Even though mortars and pestles come in a variety of shapes, materials (ceramic, wooden, or even stainless steel), and sizes, a big solid one that is made from natural stone is better for crushing and mixing. We recommend the KROK mortar and pestle. The natural cavities provide an abrasive surface that eases the process immensely; meanwhile, the natural stone is gorgeous and will look amazing on your countertop.
If you need more inspiration before you pick out your mortar and pestle, we have some excellent recommendations for you.
A Bamboo Steamer
If you love East Asian cuisine, you must know a bamboo steamer is just the right cookware to prepare and serve some delicious dim sum. Bamboo steamers consist of interlocking baskets waved from peeled bamboo. The baskets stack on top of each other and end with a lid.
Bamboo steamers are traditionally used in Chinese cuisine. They are a very versatile kitchen utensil that can be used to steam dumplings, rice, bread, vegetables, or even fish. Steaming is a moist heat cooking technique that uses very little to no oil, preserves nutrients, and amplifies the natural flavors, which makes it one of the healthiest ways to cook a delicious meal.
Bamboo steamers don’t come in elaborate designs or artwork on them like tajine pots or cezves. Still, they have the elegance and simplicity of the handwoven bamboo patterns, which are guaranteed to add authenticity to your kitchen.
Replace Old Appliances
You can easily change the look of your kitchen countertop by simply curating the items on it. But there is always some stationary kitchenware that you have to keep on the countertop simply because you use it every day — your old-timer toaster, coffee maker, electric kettle, or food processor.
So why not replace them with ones that are stylish as well as useful? You can keep an eye out for cute kitchen electronics that are easy to use and bring a touch of novelty to your space.
Choose Aesthetically Pleasing Items
If you decide to go for a minimalist style, you can make your countertops pop with a statement piece. This way, your kitchen will look clean, uncluttered, and stylish at the same time.
If you want to experiment more and mix and match different styles, the best thing you can do to make your job easier is limit your color palette. That way, your kitchen countertop space will look cohesive even if you mash up two different styles, like rustic and modern.
Here are our recommendations.
A Pretty, Oversized Bowl
This is both decorative and pretty – great for storing fruit.
Cute Salt and Pepper Shakers
Upgrading your salt and pepper shakers is one of the easiest things you can do to liven up your kitchen countertop. It’s a tiny change with a pretty big impact.
When it comes to mugs, our view is — the more, the merrier! Plus, finding authentic and good-looking mugs is easier than you think. You can get beautiful handmade mugs while supporting a local pottery shop.
Over and Out
There are many things you can do to decorate your kitchen. A full renovation is usually expensive and time-consuming, but there are also smaller steps you can take to brighten things up a bit and give your kitchen countertops a makeover while keeping your space functional.
But the easiest way to make your kitchen countertop look its best is to decorate it with an authentic homecooked meal, like a traditional Vietnamese glass noodle salad or a Thai sour and spicy soup with shrimp.