When you browse Pinterest, watch your favorite bloggers’ Instagram stories or binge TV shows, you likely see all kinds of beautiful homes with perfectly decorated rooms and high end decor.
All of these things might make you feel like your home isn’t good enough. Because of this, you might get the inkling to re-decorate often, paint all of your walls white and make sure that it looks like no one actually lives there.
While this is definitely tempting after you see what everyone else is doing in their homes, at the end of the day you are a real person with a real life with real stuff.
And the truth is, that blogger showcasing her kitchen on Instagram? She cleaned and styled it specifically for that photo. Same goes for that Pinterest post you’re obsessed with. Oh and that TV show? Well, it’s for TV, friend.
I’m not saying that all of social media is fake or fabricated, but many times you aren’t seeing the full picture. When people ACTUALLY live in their homes, all of the rooms and spaces have to be functional.
But don’t get it twisted – functionality does not mean that you have to sacrifice your aesthetic. You can indeed have a functional home while maintaining the look that you desire!
In this post specifically, we’re going to focus on the kitchen counter.
To achieve this, you’ll want to first determine what appliances you typically use on a daily or weekly basis.
Many times when working with clients, I notice that people tend to keep almost all of their appliances on their kitchen counter. While this might seem like the natural move, appliances take up a lot of your kitchen space and create a cluttered look very quickly if you aren’t careful.
My suggestion is to choose 1-2 appliances that you use daily or weekly that make the most sense to leave on the counter. The most common appliances for this include: coffee pot, Instant Pot, crockpot, mixer, toaster or convection oven.
Once you’ve chosen which appliances will stay on your counter, it’s time to put the rest away. Store these in your pantry or cabinets so they can still be easily accessed when you need to use them.
Next, think about the items that you are always reaching for when you’re cooking or meal prepping.
Most commonly, these items include cooking utensils, such as spoons, spatulas and whisks, cooking oils and spices, cutting boards, cookbooks, knives, paper towels or cleaning cloths.
If you do decide to leave these items on your kitchen counter, the key is that you display them neatly so that the proper look is achieved.
A few of my favorites ways to create a functional kitchen counter while maintaining a pretty aesthetic includes:
Most people already have a knife block in their kitchen, but it may be old and worn out. An easy way to up the look of your kitchen counter is to choose a knife block that matches your home aesthetic – here’s my pick if your home leans on the neutral side.
Since cutting boards tend to be an item that you almost always need when cooking or meal prepping, a great way to display them and keep them in arms reach is to intentionally use them as a part of your kitchen decor. I love to prop them up along the counter or even hang them on a kitchen wall that could use a little love.
Most people have a coffee pot, espresso machine or Keurig somewhere in their kitchen, so a great way to enhance this appliance location is to create a “coffee station” beside or near it if you have the extra space. This station can be something as simple as a basket that displays stir sticks or spoons, cute coffee napkins, sugar canisters and your favorite mug that you use daily.
Many times people already have a basket of some sort on their kitchen counter, but oftentimes it’s missing the functionality. This typically happens because people see the posts on Pinterest that include greenery, candles and recipe books that you never touch and end up with a useless basket on your counter that’s really just taking up space.
If you already have a basket on your kitchen counter, I encourage you to re-examine what it includes and adjust it so that it can function the best for you.
For these, I suggest choosing a medium sized jar that matches your aesthetic to display your most used cooking utensils – if you want to level up the aesthetic, go for wooden utensils in this space. Some other common things to include in this basket are cutting boards (these can be easily propped in the back of the basket), your most used cookbook and pretty salt and pepper shakers.
Another common item found in the kitchen are fruit and vegetable baskets. While these are perfectly fine to keep on your counter, if you want to clear this space and use it for something else, you can switch to an under cabinet hanging fruit basket like this one.
Spices can be one of those things in the kitchen that overtake your pantry or drawers and have the tendency to become very unorganized very quickly. If you struggle with how to avoid this and haven’t found the perfect space to store your spices, I highly suggest choosing a spice organizer like this for your kitchen counter or, to optimize your space, choose a magnetic spice rack that attaches to your stove.
Another great item to include in your kitchen that doubles as decor are cake stands with glass domes. Not only do they look nice, they provide an excellent way to store cookies, leftover bread rolls and other baking items throughout the week.
Finally, once you’ve determined what will stay on your kitchen counter and what will go, it’s time to examine your counter space and choose 1-3 spots (depending on the amount of counter space that you have) where the items will go.
Most of the time, you’ll place knife blocks and spice racks directly next to your stove so they can be easily accessed while cooking. For your baskets with kitchen essentials, these will typically go in an awkward corner of your counter or on your island.
Remember: the goal here is not to fill the entire counter. You want to make sure that you’re keeping the areas that you most commonly use for food prepping to be clear of clutter, so that it’s 1) visually appealing and most importantly 2) functional for you on a daily basis!
My hope is that you feel confident in creating a clutter free kitchen counter that is functional while maintaining an aesthetic that matches your home and makes you happy!
If you need additional help achieving this, that’s what our team is here for. Click here to connect and let’s make your home “Pinterest-worthy” together!