How to Style Your Kitchen Counters and Shelves Like a Pro

Do you want to up the decor points in your kitchen with professionally designed style? Today I’m sharing 11 beautiful examples of kitchen counter and shelf decor created by the pros at my local Street of Dreams.

You can emulate all of these looks to beautify your kitchen.

I never miss Portland’s annual Street of Dreams, a home tour of modern mansions stuffed with the latest home trends. Last year I shared some of my favorite decor ideas you could copy from the tour. This year I noticed the kitchens all had perfectly styled counters and shelves.

If you’re feeling stumped about how to decorate your kitchen, check out this Street of Dreams inspo…you might even call it kitchen porn.

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Kitchen Counter Decor

You can style your kitchen counters by grouping pieces together, placing items on trays or in caddies, and adding natural materials like plants and wooden dishes. Try these ideas, or scroll down further to skip to the open shelf decor ideas!

Cutting Board Display

The combo of black, white and wood tones makes for a stunning contrast on this counter. Layer a few unique wood cutting boards or serving planks against your backsplash, then add a tray of spices in matching jars plus an easy-care houseplant.

More: See my favorite easy houseplants and how to care for them

Cutting board display idea for styling kitchen counters

Easy-to-Reach Utensils

Gather your frequently used utensils in a marble utensil holder for a look that is practical and attractive. Then find modern salt and pepper shakers and place them on a slate tray alongside an olive oil dispenser.

Tray and utensil holder idea for styling kitchen counters

Collection of Rolling Pins

Showcase a collection of your favorite baking tools. You could look for vintage rolling pins to collect in a wooden bowl on your counter.

Stack up your favorite cookbooks and top them with a mortar and pestle next to your rolling pin collection. A cutting board adds height in the back to finish the look.

Collect rolling pins in a bowl for a pretty display

Pantry Canisters

How sweet is this little chalkboard sign featuring a weekly dinner menu?

You could DIY a sign with chalkboard paint or order one like this. Place pretty canisters of pantry staples in front. And of course give them chalkboard labels, because cute.

Kitchen counter with chalkboard menu and pretty canisters

Tea Station

Tea drinkers need this adorable tray of supplies. You might want to purchase a tray, or you could make a DIY serving tray if you’re up for a fun project. Then display an attractive tea kettle, a pair of mugs and your favorite teas.

Display tea kettle and tea supplies on a tray on the counter

Baking Tools

I love these precious little measuring cups and rolling pin. Find a display-worthy set of measuring cups, set them on top of a cake stand, and place your rolling pin in front. And of course, add a pretty plant!

More: Find the cutest mid-century modern kitchen accessories

Measuring cup and rolling pin display idea for your countertops

Kitchen Towel Caddy

Confession: This is actually a laundry room, and those are dryer sheets. But I couldn’t help thinking this would be adorable in a kitchen. Find a decorative tray that fits your style. Add a pop of color with fresh flowers and a felt bin or basket of kitchen towels.

Style kitchen counters with a towel caddy and fresh flowers on a tray

Kitchen Shelf Decor

I’m obsessed with open kitchen shelves right now, and it seems like most of Pinterest feels the same. My revamped kitchen will have a few open shelves, so I’ve been looking for ideas of what to fill them up with and how to style them. The Street of Dreams did not disappoint.

Industrial Kitchen Shelves

These modern shelves offer lots of ideas. You could highlight your favorite pottery pieces, like a set of black and white bowls or flower pots. Stack up your dinner plates, bowls and food storage canisters, and display one or two of your most beautiful cookbooks.

Also, that top row has jars of mossy vase filler similar to this.

Modern open shelves in a kitchen with black, white and green decor

More: See how to install a DIY floating shelf

Warm Wood Shelves

Here’s a pretty way to arrange your cookbooks. Set a few books on their sides to add visual interest and hold up the rest of your collection. Then place a set of modern canisters on the lower shelf where they’re easy to reach on a regular basis.

Cookbook display with modern canisters on pretty shelves

Shelves Full of Bar Supplies

The little sign on the lower shelf here says “Where troubles melt like lemon drops,” and this bar area is the perfect spot for both lemon drops and melted troubles. Here’s a version of that sign in a wood frame.

Well styled shelves stocked with bar supplies

Stock the shelves with your favorite liquors (mine would be all tequila). Store your most used wine and cocktail glasses. Below the shelves, set out a stainless steel ice bucket and this delightful looking book, The Drunken Botanist.

More: How to set up a mid-century modern home bar

Uber Modern Open Shelves

This kitchen speaks to me. I love the clean open shelves and white counters with simple wood cabinets. These shelves are styled less for practicality and more for beauty. Because why not have art in the kitchen?

Set up a minimalist display of ceramic vases, like this etched vase or this set of white vases. And maybe throw in a bowl of moss.

Related: See the ultimate guide to mid-century modern decor

Beautiful modern open shelves decorated with pottery and a succulent

Portland’s Street of Dreams usually returns every August if you want to go check it out!

How to style kitchen counters and shelves
How to style kitchen counters and open shelves

4 thoughts on “How to Style Your Kitchen Counters and Shelves Like a Pro”

  1. Lots of clever ideas for the kitchen! I am sure the wheels are turning in your head about what you are going to do in your new kitchen remodel. Can’t wait to see the progress when we visit in a couple weeks! I know you will love the openess to your D.R. Street of Dreams is so fun and always gives great ideas for what you can do in your own home.

    • Haha! I think you could do it. You could try only putting decor on the shelves and none of your regularly used dishes, so they won’t get cluttered. Also, the more you declutter, the less you have to clean and organize!


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