Thursday, April 12, 2012

Styling 101: The Kitchen Countertop

I've received several emails from readers asking for ideas on accessorizing their kitchen counter tops for a look that's stylish yet functional, so I decided to dedicate today's blog post to this very topic. When it comes to styling the kitchen, there are a few rules of thumb I've come to follow...

1. Store appliances you rarely use in a cupboard and take them out only when you need them
2. Take a visual inventory of your kitchen and identify where there's unnecessary clutter - maybe it's a corner filled with paperwork and mail, boxes of cereal or bread on top of your fridge, excessive accessories on top of your cabinets, or mismatched jars and vessels? Do this every few weeks!
3. Clean out your cupboards and pantry (throw out old food & sell or donate unused dishes, etc.) to make room for the items you need to find storage for.
4. Keep it simple - leave out only the items you use on a regular basis; store spices, food, etc. in cupboards.
5. Change things up every once in a while to keep your kitchen looking fresh and updated.

I've rounded up some fabulous images along with design tips to give you some inspiration on styling your own kitchen. Enjoy!

{Accesorize the counter top or an empty corner with a bowl filled with fresh fruit, vase of fresh flowers, and /or an art print leaning up against the back splash for a decorative touch. Image source}

{If you have a large island, a big wooden or wicker tray is a great way to neatly display stacked dishes or accessories; a tall vase of fresh flowers in a bright color adds cheer. Image source}

{Keep a colorful pot or kettle on the stove for a decorative touch and neatly store cooking utensils in a simple container. Image source}

{For a long or large island, arrange colorful fruit in long vessel, like this natural wood tray. Image source}

{If you enjoy cooking with different oils, arrange them neatly on a tray, paired with your favorite cookbook displayed on a stand. Adding a plant helps complete the vignette. Image source: designed by Julie Thigpen}

{If you have any open shelving, neatly stack dishes and mugs - it looks great and is functional. Image source}

{Plate stands are a great way to stack extra dishes, especially if you have limited cabinet space. A small tray on the counter is perfect for neatly displaying pasta, jars, vessels, etc. Image source: designed by Julie Thigpen}

{Glass jars are a kitchen counter top's best friend! Store pasta, rice, flour, etc. in a simple glass jar. It's convenient and looks great. Image source}

{Again, plate stands and glass jars make great kitchen accessories. Image source}

{If you're a wine drinker and/or love to entertain, create a small vignette with a tray (or wooden cheeseboard, like the one here), styled with bottles of wine, glasses and maybe a cheese dome or small jar of wine corks. Image source: designed by Julie Thigpen}

{This kitchen counter has large jars of pasta, along with a small collection of cookbooks, where they used a picture frame as one of the book ends. Image source}

{Rattan or wooden trays are fabulous for holding a collection of bottles - whether it be olive oil, alcohol, or ingredients for a coffee bar. A plant placed in the corner brings in a touch of greenery. And another great use for plate stands is to hold fresh fruit. Image source}

{Another great idea for styling a large kitchen island - this image shows a more decorative approach with a large glass jar, tall orchid, and smaller accessories to balance everything. Image source}
Do you have a design dilemma or challenging area of your home you'd like help with? Shoot me an email or leave a comment about it. Maybe I'll answer it in a future blog post!

P.S. Don't forget to submit your design dilemma to interior designer Tobi Fairley, for a chance to win a room re-design AND gift from Modern Chic Home! Click here for details...


  1. przepiekne kuchnie - cudne zdjecia- mega inspiracja:)

  2. One things for sure - I need to invest in some wooden trays!

  3. Yep, that wood tray has captured me completely.

  4. Loved this post! I find myself always rearranging the items that make their way to our countertops! :) I also Nanny- and am in charge of clean-up. I generally love to make the kitchen feel open and fresh for when the Parents come home. :)

    Eat Cake

  5. Great ideas to keep the kitchen counters neat and clutter free without looking too stale. These are great ideas for someone trying to sell their home as well!

  6. Absolutely love this post! I am dreaming of a white kitchen for my next home and will absolutely refer back to this when it's time to style!

  7. Enjoyed this post a lot. Very informative for those who struggle. Editing the counter is very critical in a kitchen, especially a smaller one. I love using apothecary jars for my clients to store cookies, pastas and grains, even cereal. I love what you done for the olive oils. I'm going to steal that idea :-)


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