How To Style Your Kitchen Island

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Besides being utilitarian, kitchen islands can serve several other purposes in today’s kitchens. Perhaps the most obvious use, is how kitchen islands provide a valuable food prep area.

The additional work area comes in handy when I am baking with the kiddos, need additional counter space, or if there are multiple cooks in the kitchen. I also love how the kitchen island in both our Chicago home and 30A beach home have become the usual gathering spot in the kitchen.

Whether it’s just the daily drop spot, the place where we gather for our meals, or the place people gather when I am entertaining, it’s important to style my kitchen island to be aesthetically pleasing while serving all its many functions.

white kitchen cabinets with counter stools and brass lanterns
How to style a white kitchen island with rattan vase with greenery

How To Style Your Kitchen island

Here are 10 quick and easy tips on how to style your kitchen island.

Add Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

One of my favorite ways to style my kitchen island is to use seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables. I love to fill a pretty bowl with fresh apples or oranges to instantly add a pop of color.

Having the fruit front and center on the island also serves as a reminder for my kiddos to eat the fruit!

Create a theme

Have fun and create a theme with your kitchen island décor. Use décor items from the season or accessories that fit the general style of your home.

Showcase rattan and wicker (baskets, candle holders) during Spring and Summer months and incorporate metals ( tray, candlesticks) in the Winter and Fall months.

Decorate with Flowers

Flowers are one of my absolute favorite decorative elements for my home. I love that you can use real flowers while they’re in season or faux options during the winter!

The kitchen island is the perfect place for a beautiful vase of flowers because they provide a fresh lively vibe to the space and add some color as well.

Style a white kitchen island with serena and lily riviera counter stools and hanging lanterns

Add just enough

Sometimes less is more when it comes to styling your kitchen island. Often times a large bowl or vessel is all you need to showcase items that you love while still adding interest to your island.

You’ll want to add just enough decor to add interest but not so much that it makes the area cluttered or nonfunctional.

Display Your Cutting Boards

Another way to display items on your kitchen island, is to use a pretty cutting board. I love the way the wood in a cutting board helps to add warmth, particularly in white kitchens.

I like to stack a few cutting boards of various sizes and shapes to create some interest and dimension to the overall look.

Go for collected not cluttered

Keep your collected items in odd numbers for a more intentional look. Since I like clutter at a minimum in my kitchen, I generally go for no more then three items or one big item on my island.

bowl and vase on kitchen island

Keep function and purpose in mind

Remember it is your kitchen island, the heart of your home, not just a display area. I love to see items like baked cakes placed on pretty cake stands, scented candles, or a shallow basket for keys as kitchen island décor.

You can try looking for interesting ways to display handy items you use on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes when I want to change things up, I will use a mini cake stand to place my kitchen dish and hand soap on!

Tips To Style Your Kitchen island

Decorative Trays For Kitchen Island

I love to use trays on my island to easily style items like tall vases, candles, and small vignettes. Not only do trays provide additional texture to a smooth counter surface, but they’re also easy to move when cleaning and free up when you need additional counter space.

Kitchen island styling tips

Display linens and dishes

I have walked into many beautiful kitchens that will display some of their favorite dishes and table napkins on a tray. Whether it’s for the next meal or purely decorative, it symbolizes the love the homeowner has for these items and sharing it with their guests.

Display Your Best Kitchenware

You know those fancy plates that are hiding in the back of your cupboard? Why not bring those out and display them in your beautiful kitchen?! Kitchenware is a wonderful way to decorate your island because they add a touch of elegance to the overall look while also being functional.

Kitchen Island Decor Ideas


Baskets are always a great option for decor pieces because they look beautiful and they can be used to display other smaller decorative items as well. This lovely basket from Target would look wonderful on your kitchen island, especially if it was filled with some yummy baked goods!


Vases are another one of my favorite decorative items. You can use them in basically every area of your home but I especially love to use them as my kitchen island centerpiece.

This beautiful vase comes in a lovely neutral color that will match with any kitchen and makes a gorgeous statement on a large kitchen counter.

Cookbook Stand

If you love to cook then a cookbook stand is the perfect piece of decor for you, but if you’re not a fan of cooking then this stand will at least give the impression that you do! Your guests will love seeing your favorite cookbook proudly displayed on this gorgeous wooden cookbook stand that looks beautiful even on its own!

Salt and Pepper Shakers

Is it just me or are salt and pepper shakers getting fancier and more beautiful every year?! There are so many options out there now that are so decorative but also functional!

This set from Amazon would look beautiful on a kitchen island or try out this gorgeous Bloomingville stoneware set for a really elegant look.

Decorative Bowls

Similarly to decorative baskets or trays, decorative bowls can be both functional and ornamental. I love to use large bowls as kitchen island decor because they’re eye catching but they can also be used to hold various kitchen essentials!

This gorgeous bowl from Target would work perfectly as a fruit bowl on a large island. The beautiful colors of the fruit would pop against the cool neutral tone of the bowl and I love that the bowl itself is slightly elevated.

Wooden Cutting Boards

As mentioned above, I love to decorate with wooden cutting boards! They look beautiful displayed on a kitchen island and its also helpful to keep them within reach if you use your island as a prep space.

This round wooden cutting board is a favorite of mine and is a perfect example of natural kitchen island decor. Or this mango wood option from Amazon would be another great option to spruce up your kitchen!

Even if you have always considered your kitchen island to be more of a storage space like your kitchen cabinets, there are several ways that are easy and simple to incorporate a stylish aesthetic as well. I hope some of these tips will help you when styling your kitchen island.

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  1. Hi! I’d love to know which size kitchen pendants yours are. I see they come in a few sizes. Thank you!!