20 Kitchen Island Decor Ideas to Liven Up Your Space

branches in clear vase on island

Design: Noelle Interiors / Photo: Molly Rose

The kitchen island is a total workhorse. It's a place to prep meals, set out appetizers when hosting, pack those school lunches—and yes, display some decor. If you're not sure what you should showcase on your kitchen island, you've come to the right place, as we're full of ideas as to how you can make this little area shine, no matter your design preferences. Below, you'll find 20 kitchen island decor ideas that are currently inspiring us.

  • 01 of 20

    Choose a Stylish Fruit Bowl

    fruit bowl on island

    k+co LIVING

    A fruit bowl is a decor item to keep on a kitchen island, but yours doesn't need to be boring. Consider choosing something sculptural so that the piece doubles as art while housing your apples and bananas.

  • 02 of 20

    Decant Soap and Lotion Into Pretty Bottles

    soaps on tray on island

    @insidenumber100 / Instagram

    If your kitchen island features a small sink, you'll want to keep hand soap and possibly some lotion nearby. But don't just settle for plastic bottles from the store and call it a day. Instead, decant these liquids into sleek looking, reusable vessels that will add a sophisticated touch to your space.

  • 03 of 20

    Brighten Things Up With a Lamp

    lamp on island

    Design: Wiseman and Cromwell / Photo: Rosielle Co

    Need a little extra light in the kitchen? If your island features an outlet, then go ahead and plug in a table lamp. This brass one is show stopping and stylish.

  • 04 of 20

    Place Some Fresh Blooms in a Charming Vase

    vase of flowers on island

    k+co LIVING

    Fresh flowers will liven up your island and bring a smile to your face every time you step into the kitchen. Whether you pick up blooms at the farmer's market or clip some from your own backyard, you can't go wrong with this simple trick.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Arrange Small Items in a Woven Basket

    woven basket on island

    k+co LIVING

    If you choose to display multiple accessories on your kitchen island, consider placing everything in a woven basket or tray with handles. This is easy to lift up and move when it's time to wipe down the island or set out serving dishes when entertaining.

  • 06 of 20

    Opt for a Show Stopping Vase

    clear vase with branches on island

    Design: Noelle Interiors / Photo: Molly Rose

    Branches and greenery will always add a welcome dose of life to a simple kitchen. Whether you opt for real or faux stems is up to you, and don't forget to select an eye-catching vase!.

  • 07 of 20

    Keep a Green Friend Nearby

    plant and watering can on island

    @where_is_home_46 / Instagram

    The island is a great place to place a small plant or succulent—or even a collection of several. Keep a watering can nearby so that you never forget to take care of these green friends.

  • 08 of 20

    Give Your Pastries Some Extra Love

    cake stand on island

    @bricks_and_dreams / Instagram

    Give pastries the royal treatment by displaying them in a glass cake stand like this one. Every morning when you come downstairs for breakfast, you'll feel like you're dining at a charming B&B with freshly baked goods.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Make It Peppy With a Bowl of Citrus Fruits

    lemons and limes in basket on island

    @catrin.stuarthome / Instagram

    Lemons come in handy for all kinds of recipes, whether you're baking, whipping up a cocktail, or just adding something extra to a glass of water. But citrus fruits will also add a peppy touch to your island thanks to their vibrant hues, making them a win-win.

  • 10 of 20

    Set the Scene for the Holiday Season

    table setting on island

    @giannamo519 / Instagram

    If you have stools that slide under your island, set up a little breakfast bar. Bonus points if you liven things up with seasonally appropriate decor and a sweet centerpiece.

  • 11 of 20

    Keep a Delicious Smelling Candle Handy

    candle on island

    @homeinteriors.byastrid / Instagram

    The kitchen is certainly filled to the brim with smells of all kinds, so if you're looking to neutralize your space after you cook, lighting a scented candle is a no fail solution. Keep a large one on your island so that you're always prepared to freshen things up.

  • 12 of 20

    Create a Small Yet Festive Vignette

    seasonal decor on island

    @dana_luv4decor / Instagram

    Decorating for the seasons can be fun and festive without being over the top. Why not set out a few holiday decorations on the counter in addition to displaying them on them mantel and outdoors?

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Light Up Your Life With Candles

    kitchen island with candles

    @my.millennium.maison / Instagram

    Pillar candles aren't just for the dining room table. Keeping a cluster of unscented pillar candles on the island will add a touch of luxury to your kitchen in no time.

  • 14 of 20

    Carve Out a Baking Station

    faux island with baking supplies

    @prettyinthepines / Instagram

    If you live in a smaller space or apartment without an island, you can always purchase a freestanding kitchen island. This island doubles as a baking station in addition to providing another surface for day to day food prep.

  • 15 of 20

    Design the Coffee Bar of Your Dreams

    faux island with coffee maker

    @mariannesides / Instagram

    Islands can also double as coffee bars. A setup like this one is bound to get you excited about being your own barista at home every morning. Hang a shelf nearby to house mugs, coffee grounds, sugar, and other essentials.

  • 16 of 20

    Maximize Your Kitchen's Storage Potential

    small island with storage

    @zaxassmallhouse / Instagram

    This freestanding island features bottom shelves that are excellent for food storage. Using clear containers makes it easy to see exactly how much of each ingredient you have on hand.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Set a Table for Two

    small table setting on island

    @edwardian_on_sea / Instagram

    Maybe you don't want to turn your entire island into a dining station—and in that case, arranging just two place settings at the end is the perfect solution. There's a spot to eat and sip coffee in the morning, but you'll still have plenty of room for all of the essential food prep you need to tackle.

  • 18 of 20

    Add Height With a Pedestal

    plant on pedastel

    @life_at22 / Instagram

    For some added flair, consider placing your plant pot on a pedestal to add some height to your island. You could also use a pedestal like this one to hold salt and pepper shakers, a candle, or other small items.

  • 19 of 20

    Carve Out Time for Tea

    teacups on island

    @lovely.cuppa.tea / Instagram

    Love to sip tea in the kitchen? Place a decorative teapot (or a real one) on the island to bring that cozy cottage feeling into your home in a snap.

  • 20 of 20

    Display Favorite Snacks Like a Pro

    snacks in containers on island

    @myhomedesigns_nicole / Instagram

    What's a kitchen without some snacks? Place your faves in oversized glass jars to add a welcoming—yet organized—touch to the island. Everyone is encouraged to help themselves.