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Last updated on April 29th, 2023 at 03:08 pm
30+ Decoration Ideas To Mix & Match On A Kitchen Island
Wondering what type of items you can use to decorate your kitchen island? Well, look no further because I have your answer!
Kitchen islands look best when they are decorated with a few simple items such as a large vase full of flowers or branches, a large bowl or basket of fruits or vegetables, or a combination of the two.
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s break into the details further so you can easily decorate your kitchen island.
Let’s dive in!
Quick Navigation: Items To Decorate A Kitchen Island With
- How To Use This Guide
- Tray Or Lazy Susan
- Fruits Or Vegetables
- Baskets (Wire, Wicker, etc)
- Towels Or Linens
- Cooking Utensils
- Knife Block
- Cutting Boards
- Mugs & Mug Tree
- Soap Dispensers
- Framed Photos
- Pour-Over Coffee Pot
- Drying Pad
- Cake Stand
- Rolling Pin
- Salt & Pepper Shakers
- Alexa/Smart Home
- Bread Box
- Nothing At All!
- Other FAQs About Decorating Kitchen Islands
- Final Thoughts
- Related Kitchen Island Articles
How To Use This Guide
Before we dive into the various items you can use to decorate your kitchen island, I wanted to touch base on how to best use this guide.
This is meant to be a giant list of items that you can combine together to add a little bit of decoration to your island. I recommend choosing 1-5 items (or none at all if you are a minimalist like me!) and combining them to make a little decorative moment.
Choose items that you will get the most functional use out of daily (such as a tray or basket full of fruit, cutting boards and salt & pepper shakers, a jar full of cooking utensils, or simply a soap dispenser and drying pad). That will give you the biggest bang for your buck while also adding a ton of style to an otherwise plain-jane area in your kitchen.
Each item will also have a list of other suggested items that would pair well with it to help you choose the 1-5 items that you will decorate your island with. Hopefully, this guide will give you tons of ideas to use on your island!
Flowers are one of my favorite ways to decorate a kitchen island! Occasionally, my husband will purchase flowers for me for my birthday or our anniversary and I love to showcase them right on our kitchen island.
Flowers are beautiful, organic, and large-scale, so they make perfect decorations for kitchen islands. They don’t last as long as other decorative items on this list, but for two weeks, you’ll have beautiful flowers that will put a smile on your face every time you enter your kitchen.
This item combines well with: A vase by itself or sitting on a tray
Two: Tray Or Lazy Susan
Trays are probably one of the most versatile and widely used kitchen island decorations. You can a variety of items on top of a tray to create a little decorative moment on your island.
Placing items such as vases or figurines or cookbooks on a tray (not just the countertop) creates a small boundary around the items that help them look grouped together and intentional.
If you are having trouble grouping together decorations on your island, I recommend starting with a tray you love the looks of, then finding items that complement and fit on the tray.
Lazy susans are trays that can spin. These are both pretty and really nice to use if you have several items on it and need to access all sides easily.
This item combines well with: Fruits, flowers/branches in vases, figurines, salt & pepper shakers, jars, canisters, framed photos, candles, plants, cookbooks, bowls, baskets, and pretty much anything in this guide can be placed on top of a tray to automatically elevate the looks of it
Three: Fruits Or Vegetables
I love to decorate my kitchen island with fruits or vegetables. Not only are fruits colorful and beautiful on their own, but placing them in the center of the kitchen also encourages everyone in my family to eat them more often!
We keep oranges and apples in a tray on our island. Because of this, my husband and I eat a piece of fruit every day. Also, whenever our friends come over, they always end up eating a piece of fruit as well because it’s right in front of their faces.
It always makes me laugh when they ask to eat a piece because I know my tray being in the center of the room is tempting them to eat the fruit. I feel like I’m sneakily encouraging them to eat something healthy, which I love haha! If you want to encourage your family to eat more fruits or vegetables, then use them as decorations on your kitchen island.
This item combines well with: trays, bowls, baskets
Canisters are a great way to use something already in your kitchen as decoration. If you get 3 pretty canisters and fill them up with spices, baking goods (chocolate chips, brown sugar, regular sugar, flour, etc), or other foods you eat daily (cereal, oatmeal, flavored water packets, protein bars, nuts, etc) then they can be the decorations themselves.
Filling decorative canisters with foods you eat daily or use often will make it easier for you to access or prepare them and it will encourage you to use them more often because you’ll see them daily.
These canisters could also be filled up with cookies or candies, but I don’t recommend doing this unless you want to be tempted to eat them more often haha!
If you place these canisters on top of a tray or a lazy susan, then your island will look intentionally put together.
This item combines well with: spices, baking goods, other foods you eat daily, trays, lazy susans
Candles are great items to add as decorations on kitchen islands. They help keep your kitchen smelling nice, are relatively cheap to purchase, last a long time, and come in all shapes and sizes to fit every kitchen design theme.
If you want something simple on your countertop, but don’t want too many items, then a simple candle on the corner edge can do the trick.
Or you can pair a candle with two other items of varying height and width on top of a tray or some cookbooks to create a decorative moment in the corner of your island.
We love to light a candle on our island right before guests come over to freshen up the room.
This item combines well with: flowers or branches in a vase, figurines, cookbooks, trays, framed photos
Plants are even better decorations on kitchen islands than flowers in my opinion because they last longer than two weeks (as long as you don’t forget to water them occasionally haha).
You can purchase a small plant that does well in low light for less than $20 and watch it grow to a large and beautiful size over time. Or you can purchase a fake plant and never worry about watering it.
Either way, the organic shape and greenery of a plant will add life to your kitchen island. Put the potted plant on top of a tray, lazy susan, a cake stand, or some cookbooks and you’ll add some height and natural beauty to your kitchen island.
This item combines well with: trays, lazy susans, cookbooks, figurines, cutting boards (wooden), ceramic salt and pepper shakers, cake stand
Figurines and little knickknacks make great decorations throughout your entire home. These can be small ceramic animals, metallic-shaped statues, a cast of you and your loved one holding hands, etc.
Anything that is small and has a unique shape or material can be a figurine. Figurines are the best way to add a little bit of uniqueness to any space you are decorating in your home, including your kitchen island.
The best way to use a figurine as a decoration on a kitchen island is to pair it with 2-4 other items of varying size, shape, and material. Oftentimes, the best combination is one tall (vertical) item, one wide (horizontal) item, and one figurine (randomly shaped) item. These items can also be placed on top of a tray, lazy susan, or cookbooks to make them look grouped together.
This item combines well with: trays, lazy susans, cookbooks, figurines, cutting boards (wooden), ceramic salt and pepper shakers, cake stands, plants, flowers or branches in vases, candles
Ever read or looked through an interior design magazine or book and notice that books always seem to be used in decorations? That’s because they add width to a decorative moment (and height if you stack things on top of them).
Also, books can be functional as well as decorative (which is why cookbooks can make great decorations). Use your cookbooks as decorations while you are storing them, then have them within easy reach whenever you need to use them.
That’s a win-win in my book (pun intended haha!)
This item combines well with: bowls, dishes, figurines, flowers or branches in vases, plants, framed photos, candles, trays, or lazy susans, pretty much anything on this list can be paired with a couple of stacked cookbooks
Bowls are fantastic for holding small items. If you want your bowl to be super functional, then fill it up with fruits or vegetables, or with frequently used items such as keys, wallets, or sunglasses.
Having your fruit and veggies out on display will encourage your whole family to eat them more because they will be right in your face. Oranges, apples, and bananas are excellent options to keep in a bowl on your island.
Alternatively, keeping your keys and wallet in a bowl on your kitchen island will help to keep these everyday items from looking like clutter. And they will always have a home in the basket, so you will lose them less often!
Bowls come in a variety of colors, sizes, and patterns so choose one that complements your kitchen island the best. When in doubt, choose a larger bowl because the larger size will make the bowl and island look more expensive. Plus, you’ll never run out of room for your fruit!
This item combines well with: fruits, vegetables, marbles, stones, seashells, frequently used items such as keys, wallets, sunglasses, etc
Ten: Baskets (Wire, Wicker, etc)
Just like a tray, baskets are also extremely versatile and help several decorative items feel grouped together and intentionally placed.
Plus, baskets can come in a variety of styles to fit any kitchen design style and color scheme. These styles can include wire baskets for an industrial vibe, wicker baskets for a boho vibe, ceramic for a farmhouse vibe, or glass for a modern vibe.
If the basket has a lid, then it also can be used to store papers, keys, wallets, and other random items that tend to find their way onto the kitchen island in a more decorative way.
This item combines well with: fruits, vegetables, marbles, stones, seashells, cookbooks, frequently used items such as papers, keys, wallets, sunglasses, etc
Related Kitchen Island Articles
- How To Style A Kitchen Island With A Few Simple Decor Pieces
- How To Choose Stools For A Kitchen Island (5 Things To Consider)
- Fool-Proof Guide To Mixing Knobs & Pulls On Kitchen Cabinets (With Pictures!)
Coasters are an easy and simple item to decorate a kitchen island with. If you have a marble or butcherblock countertop and want to encourage your family and guests to use coasters more often, set them out as decorations.
At our family lakehouse, we have coasters set out on our bar table as decorations so our guests can easily set their drinks down on them without much thought.
If you don’t want to have them set out all of the time, then find a set in a cute holder so the entire set looks like a decoration and pair it with a vase full of flowers or branches, a taller plant, or some taller jars or canisters to add some height next to it.
This item combines well with: trays, lazy susans, cookbooks, figurines, cutting boards (wooden), ceramic salt and pepper shakers, plants, flowers or branches in vases, candles
Twelve: Towels Or Linens
If you want to do a full-blown table setting at your kitchen island as they do in the magazines, then linens or towels can be a great addition to your kitchen island.
I personally don’t like to keep my home looking magazine-perfect like that, but the islands in the magazines do look beautiful. So I added those items to this list just in case you want to replicate it.
This could be a great option to have the island already set for dinner AND have it looking decorated. Another dual-purpose win-win for me.
This item combines well with: Dishes, bowls, silverware, cups
Just like the canisters, you can fill up jars with foods you eat daily and set them on your island for decorations. Many people fill up jars with nuts, cinnamon sticks, lemons, limes, oranges, apples, potatoes, or any other item that you use regularly.
Jars (such as apothecary jars) can be filled up with pebbles, sand, seashells, decorative soaps, or other pretty items to add more texture to your island. Group 2 or 3 larger jars together on a tray and you have a pretty scene in your kitchen!
This item combines well with: fruits, vegetables, trays, lazy susans, flowers or branches in vases, pebbles, sand, seashells, decorative soaps, cooking utensils, figurines
Fourteen: Cooking Utensils
To me, cooking utensils are always the most functional and easy to reach for when they are in a jar on the counter. Why not put that jar on a pretty tray on your island with the salt and pepper shakers next to it?
Cooking utensils are something you use daily and look like decorations when they are resting in a jar, so you don’t even have to purchase something extra for this decoration.
This item combines well with: jars, salt and pepper shakers, decanters, trays, lazy susans, cutting boards, cookbooks, framed photos, vases full of flowers or branches
Fifteen: Knife Block
Knife blocks are made to sit on your countertop. Set one of these on your kitchen island (especially if you have an island with a sink) along with some salt and pepper shakers or a jar full of cooking utensils and call it a day.
Or you can lean some cookbooks up against the knife block as well!
Placing a knife block next to a kitchen sink or stove on an island adds a pretty decoration and makes using the knives (or putting them away after doing the dishes) much more convenient.
This item combines well with: jars, cooking utensils, salt and pepper shakers, decanters, trays, lazy susans, cutting boards, cookbooks, vases full of flowers or branches
Sixteen: Cutting Boards
Cutting boards (especially wooden or glass ones) can be used just like trays. Set them underneath a few other objects to make all of the items look like a set.
The great thing about using cutting boards over trays is you can also use them while you cook. Pull the cutting board out to cook with then store it back on the island with the other decorations.
If you use a cutting board as your base, choose a higher quality, more decorative-looking, large-scale cutting board.
This item combines well with: Almost everything on this list can be set on top of a cutting board
Seventeen: Mugs & Mug Tree
If you use coffee mugs frequently, you can use them as decorations on your kitchen island as well. Set up a tree mug on your island and fill it with simple white or clear mugs to have another pretty, yet functional decoration.
This item combines well with: Use by itself or set on top of a tray, cutting board, or lazy susan
As I mentioned with the linens above, you can have a fancy dinner placement setting using dishes set up at each seat on your island.
You can also simply use some small, decorative dishes as one of the items you place on a tray or cutting board. Dishes are great for grouping together small, loose items such as rocks or seashells (a small bowl could also be used here).
This item combines well with: Towels or linens, bowls, silverware, cups, trays, cutting boards
Large vases are one of my favorite items to decorate a kitchen island with. You can fill them with flowers, stems, or branches for a tall centerpiece. Or you can fill some glass vases with stones, marbles, or seashells to add some texture and dimension.
The larger the vase, the more upscale your kitchen island will look. The vase can be used all on its own (such as when you have flowers) or it can be combined with other items on a tray or cutting board (such as when you fill it with stones or marbles).
This item combines well with: flowers, stems, branches, stones, marbles, seashells, knife blocks, cutting boards, trays, baskets or bowls of fruit, jars, canisters, cooking utensils, most of the items on this list
Want a free decoration to add to your kitchen island? Go outside and gather some sticks then put them in a vase.
Not only are they completely free and available year-round, but they also last years before you need to swap them out (much nicer than flowers). They add that extra texture and organic shape that looks fantastic in a vase on a kitchen island.
This item combines well with: vases
Twenty-One: Soap Dispensers
Kitchen islands with a sink can have a pretty soap dispenser as decoration. I love the looks of amber soap dispensers on white or light kitchen islands. They add a beautiful contrasting element to an otherwise bright kitchen!
Whatever decorative, refillable soap dispenser that fits your kitchen design style will be good option here.
This item combines well with: drying pad
Twenty-Two: Framed Photos
Love looking at pictures of your family? Add a simple framed photo to your kitchen island!
Any of the pairings I’ve mentioned above could be enhanced with a small 2×3 frame of your favorite photo. It’s an easy way to add personality and uniqueness to your kitchen, and it will bring a smile to your face every time you look at it.
This item combines well with: vases full of flowers or branches, bowls or baskets of fruit, cookbooks, cutting boards, trays, lazy susans, most of the items on this list
Twenty-Three: Pour-Over Coffee Pot
Glass pour-over coffee pots look like decorations themselves, so why not set them out on a tray or cutting board on your island and show off their beauty?
Any coffee connoisseur can appreciate using this item as a decoration on your kitchen island. Plus, it’ll make preparing your morning brew a breeze!
This item combines well with: tray, lazy susan, cutting board
Twenty-Four: Drying Pad
Just like the soap dispenser, if your kitchen island has a sink then a drying pad can be a great decoration.
Your dishes will need somewhere to sit while they’re air drying before going into the cupboard (even if you have a dishwasher). That’s where a stylish drying pad can be both functional and decorative on your island.
Look for one that fits your color scheme and design style to get the most benefits out of this decorative item.
This item combines well with: soap dispensers
Twenty-Five: Cake Stand
Cake stands are another item that we use occasionally, but mostly just keep stored in a cabinet. Instead of keeping it in storage for most of the year, you can turn it into a stylish piece of decor that can be used year-round. (And you can still use it as an actual cake stand when you need it.)
You can use a cake stand to add height to another piece of decor you want to use. Setting a shorter plant or a smaller figurine on top of a cake stand can be an excellent way to add height to your decorative moment on your kitchen island.
If you want to go for a complete “Baker” vibe, then place a rolling pin near the cake stand to add to the effect.
This item combines well with: plants, figurines, smaller items that need raised up, rolling pins
Twenty-Six: Rolling Pin
Another item frequently used in the kitchen that can also be used as decoration on a kitchen island is a rolling pin.
For most kitchen islands, I wouldn’t recommend using this item because it will probably be too big and bulky on your counter. But if you have a huge kitchen island, then maybe it can fit in with some other decorations you’ve chosen!
This item combines well with: cake stand
Twenty-Seven: Salt & Pepper Shakers
Salt and pepper shakers are a great item to use as decoration on a kitchen island. They are small, frequently used, and come in a variety of shapes and colors.
Setting some salt and pepper shakers next to a vase or bowl of fruit on a tray can be a perfect, simple, and functional way to decorate your island.
I recommend choosing some pretty glass or ceramic salt and pepper shakers so they look like a decoration themselves.
This item combines well with: vases full of flowers or branches, plants, bowls or baskets of fruit, trays, lazy susans, cookbooks
Decanters can also be used like salt and pepper shakers are used. If you often have guests over and want to make your wine and liquor look like a decoration, pour them into a decanter and set them out on your island.
Or you can set the entire wine bottle out as a decoration.
You also can pour olive oil and vinegar into decanters and set them on a wooden lazy Susan on your island as well. If you often reach for these items, also make them a decoration!
This item combines well with: lazy susans, salt and pepper shakers, plants, trays
Twenty-Nine: Alexa/Smart Home
We all seem to have Alexa’s or smart homes located throughout our homes. Why not put one centrally located in your kitchen on your island?
Smart homes are sleek and modern looking and can make using them a little easier if you are in a large, open-concept room because the device will be located closer to all sides of the room.
If your decorations are near an outlet on your island then the charging cord can be masked pretty well by using other decorations around it.
This item combines well with: trays or lazy susans and any other decoration on this list that can help hide the cord
Thirty: Bread Box
Bread boxes are another functional and decorative item that works well at the ends of kitchen islands. They are pretty to look at, add a wood element to your kitchen, and keep your bread conveniently located in the center of your kitchen.
This item can be a great decoration if you already have a bread box and if you use a ton of bread throughout the week.
Since bread boxes tend to be bulky, I recommend using them as a solo decoration on your kitchen island.
This item combines well with: Use all by itself
Nothing At All!
Personally, I love the look of islands with absolutely nothing on them. It makes the kitchen look super clean and lets the colors in the countertops be the star of the room.
Plus, having an empty kitchen island makes:
- The kitchen look more spacious because nothing is blocking your view
- Cleaning easier because there is nothing to remove or clean around
- Keeping the kitchen clutter-free easier because there is less temptation to place items on an otherwise empty kitchen island
- The kitchen island look more expensive because many of the design magazines we love to look at showcase an empty and clean kitchen island
So, if you needed some validation to use no decorations at all on your island, I am giving it to you now!
That’s it! There are so many options to choose from when it comes to decorating a kitchen island. Just focus on mixing and matching various colors, textures, and shapes until you get a combination you can’t stop staring at.
If this list seems way too overwhelming to you, then I recommend purchasing an oversized ceramic vase and filling it with your favorite fake flowers, leaves, or branches. That’s all a kitchen island really needs in terms of decorating.
Other FAQs About Decorating Kitchen Islands
Here are some other frequently asked questions about decorating kitchen islands to help you choose the best items for your home!
How Can I Make My Kitchen Island Look More Expensive?
You can make your kitchen island look more expensive by keeping it clutter-free and using a larger, more organic decoration such as a large vase of flowers, leaves, branches, or a large bowl of fruit. Simple and clean kitchen islands look high-end.
Do I Have To Have Decorations On My Kitchen Island?
Kitchen islands do not have to have decorations. The fewer decorations you have, the more expensive and clean your island will look and the more functional it will be. A kitchen island with zero decorations helps a kitchen appear larger and more open.
How Do I Keep My Island Clutter-Free?
To keep a kitchen island clutter-free, put a box, tray, or wall hanger near the door to keep papers off the island. Also, keep decorations to a minimum, and if you have a sink on the island, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher as soon as you are done with them.
Final Thoughts On Decorating Kitchen Islands
There you have it!
There are tons of items that you can use as decorations on a kitchen island that are also functional to use on a regular basis.
I always try to choose decorations that serve a dual purpose so I can save money and space in my home. Plus, it makes my home look cleaner, more upscale, and more welcoming, which are just added bonuses in my book!
Hopefully, this guide gives you tons of inspiration to decorate your kitchen island with ease!
Catch you in my next post!
The Best Kitchen Tools & Products I’ve Reviewed
Ravinte Cabinet Handle Installation Template (For Doors & Drawers)
This is my all-time favorite handle installation template because it has two templates (one for drawers and one for doors) with multiple pull sizes & knob placements! These templates make installing cabinet handles a breeze because you always know your handles will be installed in the same spot on all of your drawers and doors. The kit also comes with a drill bit so you can guarantee you’re using the correct size. I used this template on my entire kitchen and both bathrooms to cut the installation time in half. You can find this hardware template here on Amazon.
Franklin Brass 5-1/16 Inch (128mm) Center Bar Pull (Stainless Steel)
If you want to immediately modernize your kitchen island, then these cabinet pulls are a must. They are heavy-duty feeling, durable, easy to install, and are a large size for a great price. We put these pulls on all of our kitchen and island doors and drawers along with our bathroom doors and drawers. You can find these gorgeous cabinet pulls here on Amazon.
P.S. Use the hardware installation template I mentioned above to install these new pulls in record time!
Related Kitchen Island Articles
What To Put On A Kitchen Island For Decoration (30 Items To Choose From)
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