7 Kitchen Island Decor Ideas That Are Equal Parts Simple & Beautiful

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Rebecca Deczynski

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Published on November 1, 2022

It’s pretty safe to say that kitchen islands are a real workhorse, providing ample space for recipe testing, hors d’oeuvre serving, cocktail mixing, and more. But just because this feature has a function doesn’t mean that it can’t also serve a decorative purpose. In fact, the right kitchen island decor ideas can instantly make your space feel that much more personalized.

We’re not talking about covering your island with all kinds of knick-knacks that will get in the way when you feel compelled to bake a few dozen cookies. But select decorative objects can lend some refinement to your island without disrupting the flow and organization of your space. Think of kitchen island decor ideas as a cherry on top to your design scheme. These flourishes make a big impact, without completely overwhelming your overall set-up.

Best of all, kitchen island decor doesn’t have to be overcomplicated — it’s truly a case of less is more. You might even have a few decorative items around your home already that can work perfectly in this space. Here, Havenly designer Kasee Smith breaks down a few ideas to get you started. 

1. Wooden Utensils

wood utensils on kitchen island

One of the easiest kitchen island decor ideas is as functional as it is beautiful. Simply fill a vase with your collection of wooden utensils (stash plastic ones in a nearby drawer). Not only does this create a warm, lived-in aesthetic, they’ll be conveniently at hand the next time you’re prepping your family’s favorite pasta sauce. 

2. Elongated Branches

Kitchen island decor ideas

If there’s one trend you’ve seen all over your feeds lately, it’s this – elongated branches! Arrange in an asymmetrical form in an artisanal vase for added height and texture to your kitchen island. You can opt for a minimalist green palette, or even something floral and with color like this cheerful yellow blossom above.

3. Cutting Boards

Kitchen island decor ideas

This is another one for the pragmatic decorators out there (ourselves included). There are now so many stunning cutting boards on the market, from rich wood grains to eye-catching herringbone patterns. Simply arrange on your kitchen island for a layered aesthetic, and effortlessly toss a pretty tea towel over one corner. Bonus points for adding home baked sourdough to the scene.

4. Fresh Fruit

Kitchen island decor ideas

There’s something classic about displaying fresh fruit, particularly citrus, on your kitchen island (queue the coastal grandmother trend). This kitchen island decor idea is functional, practical, and beautiful. Level up your display with a beautiful serving bowl and sculptural branches in a tonal vase.

5. A Statement Stand

Kitchen island decor ideas

Here’s proof that serving ware can be a real show-stopper on top of a kitchen island. Spotlight your favorite glass cake stand or pedestal bowl, either as a solo decorative element or filled with artichokes, apples, bananas – perhaps even fresh pastries for the weekend. 

6. A Decorative Tray

Kitchen island decor ideas

When it comes to multi-functionality, serving trays are pretty much the MVP. Think of them as the perfect foundation for a little grouping of decorative items. Pair together objects like candles, fresh flowers, fruits, or trinkets atop a serving tray, and they’ll look more cohesive and deliberately styled. 

7. Fresh Florals

Kitchen island decor ideas

Depending on your style preferences, you can use fresh flowers to bring in vibrant colors or play up a cool monochromatic look. Smith suggests arranging a bouquet on your kitchen island alongside other accessories, like linens and coasters.

Looking for a way to overcome your unique home dilemmas? Work one-on-one with our expert interior designers for just $129 per room. Get started today with our style quiz.

Words by Rebecca Deczynski