modern kitchen with styled countertops
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11 Budget-Friendly Kitchen Counter Styling Ideas That Look Ridiculously Chic.

Starting to feel like your kitchen counter styling is more blah than beautiful? 

Let’s fix that! Kitchen counter decor can be your secret weapon to turning that dull, functional space into a design statement.

As a new home design consultant, I’ve seen too many counters overwhelmed with clutter or dressed up with cheesy faux décor. 

Let’s just say we’re leaving the plastic grapes and fake cheese in the past. Here’s your ultimate guide to kitchen counter styling ideas, buying the right items, and arranging them with style. 

I will demonstrate how to select accessories that genuinely enhance your kitchen’s design style be it farmhouse or modern. No cheesiness allowed. Get ready to transform your counters into the centerpiece of your home!

This post is all about how to master kitchen counter styling

Decorate on a budget

Pelligrino bottles on kitchen counter

If you’re styling your kitchen counters on a budget, look no further than your pantry. In this photo, three Pellegrino bottles, retailing for about $2 each, were used alongside four drinking glasses, a tray, and faux greenery.

I imagine you already own 90% of these items. I recommend using the glass Pellegrino bottles; they’re taller, offer a deeper green for contrast, and add height variation.

Set up a Coffee Station

coffee cups

Imagine setting up your own little coffee station right on the countertop—it’s not just practical, it’s also super stylish!

In this photo the designer started with a chic round tray with a glass bottom; it’s perfect for organizing everything neatly. On this tray, place two pristine white coffee cups and a sleek aluminum espresso maker that really brings a nice sheen to the area.

Glass jars are at different heights for visual interest; they’re great for holding your coffee beans and other essentials.

And for a touch of organic charm, toss in a few biscotti cookies. The texture they bring, along with the deep, rich brown of the coffee beans, really makes the whole setup pop!

Make it Modern Farmhouse

clay pottery and modern black cutting boards

When styling your kitchen counters for a modern farmhouse look, aim for a mix of sleek modern, and rustic charm.

In the photo, you’ll see white textured ceramic vessels of varying heights and sizes arranged on blackened Acadia wood cutting boards.

This simple, minimalist setup complements the modern kitchen decor, while the rich Acadia wood and textured ceramics infuse the rustic charm that’s synonymous with farmhouse style.

Smaller Spaces

gold tray with plants and plates

When you’re in a small kitchen with limited cabinet and counter space, every bit of countertop becomes valuable. It’s important to strategize your countertop decorations to be both functional and beautiful.

This photo shows a smart use of a smaller countertop. A gold serving tray with handles neatly stores simple white plates and a matching bowl that holds three gold mesh colanders. Adding an organic touch is a topiary, and a vintage copper pitcher brings personality and a unique flair to the setup.

Olive oil makes everything better

olive oil bottles with olive oil cookbook

Here’s another fantastic example of how you can quickly channel your inner designer and stylishly arrange your kitchen counter in just 10 seconds, using items you already have.

In this photo, the interior designer used two bottles of extra virgin olive oil and placed them next to three stacked bowls, along with a color-coordinated cookbook.

To make sure your kitchen accessories look deliberate and not scattered, using a cutting board or tray can help pull the arrangement together, giving it a more intentional and cohesive look.

Make it Modern with Sculptured Art

chrome art deco sculptures

Modern kitchen design is all about simplicity, clean lines, and an uncluttered aesthetic. When choosing decor for a modern kitchen countertop, opt for items that are elegant yet understated.

For instance, consider polished silver abstract sculptures, as shown in the photo. Positioned on either side of the range, these sculptures serve as the perfect contemporary accents against the backdrop of all-white kitchen cabinets and countertops.

They add visual interest without overwhelming the space, complementing the minimalist vibe while providing a striking, artistic touch.

Use Cookbooks as a Statement Piece

cookbook on cookbook stand with plants

Cookbooks have long been a staple in kitchen countertop decor, and for good reason. After all, if they’re already out on the counter, why not integrate them into your design?

Cookbook stands have evolved significantly too, offering endless options for finishes and styles. In the photo, the wood cookbook holder with a gold metal ledge complements the faucet and soap dispenser beautifully.

Additionally, its warm wood tones harmonize with the wood flooring, creating a cohesive and inviting look.

Bring the Outside in with Organic Materials

organic wood textures and neutral color countertop decor

In this coastal-themed kitchen, the island features an oversized white oak cutting board under a sleek marble-based cloche dome.

White canisters hold oak cooking utensils, and a cookbook stand adds practical style. A single succulent in a glass container completes the organic kitchen setting.

Soften Hard Surfaces with Plants

boxwood hedge on countertop tray

As you explore these beautiful kitchen counter styling ideas, you might notice a common thread: the strategic use of plants.

Almost every appealing kitchen counter setup includes greenery. Why?

Because plants are excellent at softening the hard surfaces of countertops and backsplashes, bringing vitality and freshness to the space.

They not only add a needed pop of color but also have the unique ability to uplift moods and reduce stress.

Furthermore, plants are perfect space fillers. With their varying heights, they often serve as the crucial link in your countertop grouping, balancing the visual flow and enhancing the overall aesthetic.

Get Organized with Jars

white ginger jars on kitchen counter

Jars are not only stylish accessories for sprucing up your countertops, but they’re also practical for storing everyday essentials.

Get creative with your jars—mix prints, solids, and even clear ones.

In this transitional kitchen glass apothecary jars were used on the kitchen island with sweet treats, while the perimeter base cabinets feature elegant solid white ginger jars.

Just a tip: if you’re using clear jars, make sure the contents add visual appeal to the space and keep the glass smudge-free. Always keep the ingredients inside full for a tidy appearance. Items that look great in clear jars include:

  • White LifeSavers
  • Vienna fingers
  • Coordinating colored jellybeans
  • Coffee beans
  • Gum balls
  • Biscotti cookies
  • Cheerios

Kitchen Counter Styling Corners

Got an awkward L-shaped corner on your kitchen counter? Yeah, those corners can be a real head-scratcher. But no worries—I’ve got you covered! I’ve compiled a list of items that are not only visually appealing but also super functional for that tricky corner.

Check out the photo here: see that sleek black reclaimed wood dough bowl? It’s modeled after a bread dough bowl and fits perfectly in the corner, making it a stylish yet practical addition to your kitchen.

Kitchen Counter Corner Ideas: Top Picks for

Cookbook Nook: Arrange your cookbooks in a stylish stand or small shelf, making them both decorative and functional.

Wine Decanter: Place a stylish wine decanter in the corner, perfect for enhancing your wine-tasting experience.

Decorative Plant: Put a large vase or potted plant in the corner to beautify and add life to the space.

Mail Station Tray: Use a chic tray or organizer in the corner for storing mail and keys neatly.

KitchenAid Mixer: Position your KitchenAid mixer in the corner, ready for use but out of the way.

iPad on a Stand: Set up an iPad on a stand for easy access to recipes and entertainment.

Kitchen Countertop Lamp: Add a small lamp in the corner to bring warmth and style.

Framed Art: Display framed art on a countertop easel or angled on the counter for a decorative touch.

Bar Tools Utensil Set: Organize your bar tools in a sleek utensil set, ideal for crafting cocktails in the corner.

Incorporate the Natural Beauty of Marble

marble bowl and cutting board styled on kitchen counter

If you’re hesitant about adding marble countertops to your kitchen, try marble kitchen accessories instead. They offer a timeless look without the full commitment.

In this transitional kitchen, a marble cutting board sets the tone for more marble accessories on the white quartz countertops.

Play off of Small Appliances

Mixer and tea kettle styled on countertop

Use everyday items like small kitchen appliances to style your kitchen counters. The KitchenAid mixer is a popular choice, now available in various colors like gold, azure blue, canopy green, and almond to match your cabinet cabinets and countertops.

Stovetop tea kettles in coordinating colors are another great way to incorporate small appliances into your countertop decor.

Want to add vintage charm to your kitchen? Try the retro toaster or drip coffee machine by SMEG. Their 1950s nostalgic vibe, with curved lines and vibrant colors, creates a design statement and sparks conversations about the good old days.

Style Kitchen Counters with Trays

kitchen counter with tray

Regardless as to what items you plan to style your kitchen counters with a foundational decor piece such as a tray or cutting board helps to anchor the space and define the setup of the items.

Style Counters with Cutting Boards

black and wood cutting board on kitchen counter

I love the two-tone mixture of the black wood cutting board paired with the red undertones in the rosewood, creating a mid-century vibe.

Read my previous post on cutting board display ideas in the kitchen. I share over 20 clever ideas on how to style these boards in the heart of the home.

Kitchen Counter Styling Frequently Asked Questions

How to display things on the kitchen counter?

Start with a foundation like a tray or cutting board. Then, group three items of varying heights on the foundational piece. Common items to use include small plants, countertop lamps, jars, and cookbooks. This creates a stylish and functional countertop display.

Pro Tip– Don’t forget to add texture, like a wood cutting board with a textured ceramic vase.

What looks nice on kitchen counters?

Jars and canisters

Cutting Boards

Small counter lamps

Framed art


Butcher block knife set

Kitchen Counter Styling Recap

To style your countertops effectively, start with a foundational piece such as a tray or cutting board.

Group three items of varying heights, colors and texture on this foundation to create visual interest.

Consider using small plants, countertop lamps, jars, and cookbooks for a mix of functionality and style.

Incorporating everyday items like KitchenAid mixers, Olive Oil and Pelligrino bottles can add personality and charm.

Using woods can also bring warmth and timeless appeal to your kitchen.

With these tips, you can create a beautiful, organized, and inviting kitchen space.

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