what to put on a kitchen island

Are you looking to find inspiration for what to put on a kitchen island? It’s a common thought process. To begin with, you should be aware that there are other artistic possibilities outside the standard fruit bowl.

Now, a striking single item on the island counter can occasionally bring the entire kitchen together, and we are here to provide you with a variety of options for your kitchen island.

The kitchen island is the focal point of the kitchen and needs to really bring the attention of the eye. This space will present and complement the room’s style, so the display needs a great deal of thought and consideration.

Have a read at our top tips for decorating a kitchen island to update the look of your kitchen.

Prefer to watch a video? We got you covered.

Kitchen Island Decorating Ideas

The Fruit Bowl? Add Something Extra

Now let’s address the easy option on how to decorate a kitchen island: the fruit bowl. This is popular but perhaps outdated for today’s kitchen style. However, we cannot deny the fresh atmosphere that a fruit bowl brings. And so we suggest that you enhance the style with additional flair.


Next to your fruit, why not add a handy display of cookbooks? This is useful and practical and adds a nice aesthetic to an active kitchen. Cookbooks suggest creativity and innovation or those delicious recipes you may be whipping up on the counter space. You could place a cookbook on a stand, as well, so that you can choose a recipe to showcase.

Three is Better Than One

Alternatively, you could separate the fruits. If you often eat or cook with the fruit in the bowl, you could invest in three bowls to display them. The trio is a concept that is proven to be pleasing to the eye and brain.

You could effectively display your collection of fruit by having glass bowls or three different textured bowls. We recommend that you get different-sized bowls – don’t duplicate the same bowl as this is too uniform.

The Tidy Tray

Within each of these options in this article, you can style them in various ways. You might like a mirror tray for this option – this looks especially classy against a marble kitchen island. The reflection of the light will brighten the marble island prep space and double the effectiveness of the tray’s contents.

You might prefer the wicker tray on your kitchen island for a more natural look. Fill this with fresh goods or flowers for a rural style. For a full look, you might let the leaves of a plant hang over the side or place one stray fruit outside of the basket. You can keep your kitchen space organised and look beautiful with a tray.

Cutting ‘In Process’ Board


This option aims to look like the kitchen is in use at all times by displaying a ‘frozen’ image of food prep. All you need is a chopping board – preferably wooden or slate – and your chosen decor item.

Once you have placed your cutting board on the kitchen island, top the board with leafy vegetables and knives, such as carrots or turnips, for an outdoorsy, pastoral style. In kitchens with smaller spaces, this is a handy way of storing your most-used vegetables, as the vegetables stand as kitchen island decor until they are used. That way, they don’t take up any space in your kitchen cabinets.

Practical Amenities

You might choose not to have vegetables or fresh fruits on display but instead have practical amenities out. If your board is quite large, you could place a proportionate vase with fresh flowers or artificial flowers if you are looking for low-maintenance tips.

If you have a sink embedded into your kitchen island, then here you could place your kitchen roll, soap and a folded soft cloth. This is an effective way of optimising your storage space whilst presenting it neatly.

Vase, Plus Complements

flower vase on a counter

Having a large vase with a glorious flower display is a great way to enhance the room through kitchen decor. Whether this vase is on a coffee table, a console table, or a dining table, the feature will give a superb element to the space.

If you have a round table for your kitchen island, then putting a vase display in the centre brings the focus of the room to one point. With a marble surface, this will indeed look grand. Use a matching marble vase to extend the theme even further.

Cake Stand

Kitchen islands are where creations are made, so why not try a baking style? If you often create scrumptious delights, a cake stand is a perfect opportunity to show off your skills and delicious creations.

You don’t need to just put a cake in; you could place cookies, scones, cinnamon twists, buns, or anything you want to showcase inside. Any of these will surely elevate your kitchen island decor.

Opt for a cake stand that adds a little bit of height from your kitchen island surface so that you have different levels on show. To keep your baked goods fresh, use a clear domed lid. This dome can be either glass or plastic. Opt for plastic or a more durable material if you think children might be handling the lid.

If you have kitchen island seating, then this close-by snack opportunity is great for entertaining guests at the kitchen island.

Dishes & Linens

a granite countertop

One thing a kitchen needs is something to mop up the liquids. It would be really useful to have the linens at a reachable distance at all times. You could have a dishcloth, a hand towel, or even napkins displayed on your kitchen island. Pair this with a tray and hand soap or cream, and your kitchen island decor will look neat and orderly.

Another option for ease and practicality is having a selection of dishes stacked on the island. Choose your favourite and best pottery and stack them just off the centre of the island. Accompany this with a vase of flowers or a candle, and this will bring out the kitchen island decor.

Candles will also bring warmth to the display and a cosy atmosphere during the evening. Turn your kitchen into a romantic setting with the simple steps of adding flowers and some candles.

Kitchen Island Decor: The Final Assortment

Of course, when it comes to kitchen island decorations, you can always select a few of these ideas and place them together. We call this the assortment style. Kitchen islands can be styled in different ways and look fabulous, but an empty one will always be just that – empty and, perhaps, a bit boring.

Are you a minimalist with a cool marble finish or a rustic agrarian style with warm wood tones? There are endless ways to express your style.

Now that you have been given a whole range of ideas for ‘what to put on a kitchen island?’, why not try some of them out and figure out which one suits your space best? It might take you some time, but it will be worth it once you have your masterpiece.

We would love to hear your opinion on which combinations or choices look effective. Let us know in the comments below!

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