Home Decor

10 Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen Island—Beyond a Bowl of Fruit

Not just a prep station or casual dining zone.

May 26, 2021
Photo by Wil Taylor

Kitchen islands serve a number of purposes: They’re a valuable food prep station, serve as a dining space, and provide a home for appliances that don’t fit on the countertop. But by no means does that mean that they can’t be aesthetically pleasing while also serving these other functions. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite ideas for kitchen island decor—no matter your style, you’re sure to find inspiration.

1. Vintage Touches

Photo by Will Taylor

The kitchen island at Will Taylor’s beach house makes for a cozy dining space but also looks elegant with the addition of classic decorative items, such as a framed picture and brass candlestick. Decor doesn’t need to be loud or overwhelming to make a stylish statement. Sometimes, as demonstrated here, less is more.

2. Tray Chic

Photo by Studio M Kitchen & Bath instead

Kelly Davert added a walnut island to this kitchen space and kept accessories simple. Placing a long, narrow tray that complements the island’s wood tones helps keep the space looking cohesive yet simple.

3. Bold and Boho

Photo by Stephanie Watkins

Stephanie Watkins’ boho island adds plenty of pizzazz to the kitchen! Here, she embraced vibrant hues in the form of fresh flowers, bright fruit, and colored glass.

4. Functional Fun

Photo by Amy Dowling

If you’re going to store fresh fruit atop your island, why not make the display extra interesting? Amy Dowling did just that in her kitchen, and the storage piece she chose adds to her space’s farmhouse charm.

5. Creatively Curated

Photo by Heather Bein

Heather Bien made her kitchen island ultra functional by placing a chic collection of cookbooks on top and installing hanging shelves off to the side. In smaller spaces, creatively maximizing space in this way is extra key!

6. Woven Wonder

Photo by Christina Dennis

Corralling essentials using a woven tray is a simple yet ever-useful hack, as seen in Christina Dennis’s space. Not only do trays add texture and style to an island, they’re easy to grab and remove to quickly free up counter space.

7. Storied Finds

Photo by Mary Ann Pickett

Mary Ann Pickett used her island to display favorite items she’d picked up on her travels. A pitcher from London and ceramic accessories from Mexico take center stage—talk about instant conversation starters.

8. Everyday Elegance

Photo by Shannon Acheson

Take that cake stand out of your cabinet and use it to corral a sponge and dish soap a la Shannon Acheson. Giving necessary items like these a stylish home will make your space feel more luxe—and maybe it’ll make chores sting less, too.

9. Green Goals

Photo by Abby Lawson

Abby Lawson set up a darling succulent display on her kitchen island, and we couldn’t love the idea more. Succulents require such little maintenance and they’re petite size makes them excellent for a busy space like the kitchen.

10. Festive Delight

Photo by Heather Metzler

Why not use your island to celebrate the seasons? Heather Metzler created a fall centerpiece out of gourds and grapevine-lighted pumpkins. Such a display is easy—and budget-friendly—to recreate every year.

How do you style your kitchen island? Or is is strictly functional? Tell us below!

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Sarah Lyon

Written by: Sarah Lyon

Freelance writer and interior design enthusiast