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How to decorate your kitchen counter – without sacrificing space

Ah, the kitchen counter – the ultimate decorating frontier. Even after updating the walls, windows and cabinets, decorating a space that seems too austere can seem daunting. Functional. It’s a crucially useful part of the home, meant for cutting things, holding dripping dishes, and rolling out dough. Bits of decor that make it to the counter often feel overdone — or at risk of being splattered with cooking oil. So, how about making counters look like the rest of your home on purpose, and without Lose valuable space?

First, ask yourself what you can get off the counter and into another storage area. The sides of the fridge, inside the cabinets and just above the stove Begging should be used Second, keep the rest of the clutter contained (and hidden) in trays and baskets as much as possible. Finally, add some decorative elements here and there (looking pretty And Functional items like crocs, cutting boards, and dish racks also help)

Here’s how to do it all:

1. Get the items from the counter

Before you reorganize or go on a spending spree, try to get every unnecessary item off the counter. No more piles of mail, giant air fryers and loose pill bottles on the counter. That bowl of fruit can also look great as a centerpiece (more on that later) or on the kitchen table. Once that’s done, you can start repurposing what you already have.

Just like storing items in a pantry or cabinet, countertops benefit greatly from existing bins, utensil holders, and shelves and risers to elevate dishes. In most kitchens, there’s more than a foot of space between the countertop and the bottom of the upper cabinet, and it’s easy to take advantage of that space by adding height to your countertop items.

2. Keep the essentials handy on the stove

Did you know that the space above your stove is a storage goldmine? It makes sense, especially, when you think about all the different things you reach for when you cook. A simple rack that fits snugly over the stove keeps essentials like salt and pepper, measuring cups, and olive oil right within reach.

3. Put things on the walls and the fridge

Another hidden storage area no one thought of? sides of the fridge. An unused surface like this is the perfect place for a magnetic storage rack that holds everything from tea towels to measuring spoons. Also use the walls to get things off the counter (and make room for more decorative pieces).

4. Stick to the theme

Put down all that neon cookware you’re still hanging on to from college (or, theme neon if that’s your thing!) and find a color scheme to stick with. All utensils, tools and accessories match the color scheme. Try all wood, black and white, a single metallic finish, or do a purposeful mix ‘n’ match. . . Making this simple change will ensure that everything on the counter hangs well together and looks stylish without clutter.

5. Invest in a collection you really love

If you’re going to keep flour, sugar, and salt on the counter, put them in plenty of containers. Even items like a dish rack or knife block don’t have to be an eyesore. When the pieces are color-coordinated and more design-forward, your counter will look less cluttered in practice.

6. Refund items purchased from the store

Anything from the store with a label (dish soap, pepper grinder, bags of coffee, etc.) is transferred to a container that blends in with the rest of the kitchen. . . Unless, of course, the packaging isn’t already pretty.

7. Use trays

We’ve already explained our love of trays for tall stacking of clutter, so we don’t need to get into it again. Suffice it to say: a roomy tray or lazy susan is perfect for holding all kinds of things (plants, olive oil, salt cellars, utensils, etc.) and smaller trays hold keys, sunglasses and other small bits.

8. Display the cutting boards

Instead of hiding behind oiled acacia and expertly joined bamboo, lean your cutting boards against the wall and display them.

9. Lean small pieces of art against the wall

Like cutting boards, small pieces of art against the wall and on floating shelves can elevate a kitchen from strictly functional to design. If you’re worried about cooking splatter, be sure to use an easy-to-clean frame like painted wood or metal.

10. Style with plants

Don’t be afraid to style the kitchen with plants. . . Think: droopy vines trailing from the sink with open shelves and sturdy succulents. It’s no secret that plants bring life to any room, and kitchens are no exception. Try placing a plant on top of an under-used container or hanging it from a hook from the bottom of a cabinet.

11. Make fruit a showpiece

Your bananas can serve as the perfect display piece (think of how many fruit bowl still lifes you’ve seen in museums!) or place lemons in a visible bowl – fresh fruit always makes a kitchen more vibrant and lived-in.

12. Choose a countertop lamp

Sure, your counter space is limited, but is there anything that can replace the glow of a table lamp? (The answer is no.) “There’s nothing like a soft, slightly-yellow glow to make your home — and any room in it — feel completely welcoming and warm,” writes Home52 contributor Alyssa Longobucco, “and nowhere is it harder to achieve that vibe than in your kitchen.” Where harsh top lighting or single pendants rule the island.” The answer, of course, is to place a petite table lamp on your counter, adding ambiance and convenient task lighting. Be sure to keep it away from the stove, where there is a risk of it spilling.

13. Choose statement-making appliances

This is somewhat controversial, as there are staunch camps on both sides of the aesthetics vs. function debate when it comes to kitchen gear and appliances. But we say: Why choose one? There are a lot Brands that make subtly-hued and luxuriously-finished appliances like this retro-style Smeg espresso machine, this copper-toned electric kettle, and this sleek, minimalist coffee grinder.

No need to buy them all at once. In fact, we recommend buying your most sought-after pieces over time, as your taste and color preferences continue to evolve and variations in color add to the collected experience.

14. Stock up on seasonal florals and greens

Just like your dining table or bedside stand, kitchen counters (and your kitchen in general) can be brought to life with some seasonal flowers and greens. Autumn and winter branches are ridiculously easy to maintain, but spring tulips and summer daisies keep the space feeling fresh.

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