How to Stage a Kitchen Countertop

how to stage a kitchen countertop

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They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and there’s no doubt that our kitchens get a lot of use, so lets spend a bit of time focusing on decorating kitchen counters. We’ll explore kitchen counter decor ideas for 2024, including tips on how to accessorize a kitchen counter and make the most of kitchen storage to stay clutter-free.

Often utilized for way more than just cooking, the kitchen may be a place to gather with family or friends, to eat, or simply pass the time with a coffee.

It can double up as a workplace, a place for hobbies and crafts, and is often a hub of activity as busy families convene in this most popular of rooms or hungry teens sneak in to raid the fridge.

Being such a versatile and well-used room, kitchens can easily become cluttered. With culinary equipment, from pots and pans to electrical gadgets and herbs and spices, kitchen countertops are often overcrowded.

Then of course there’s the chance that your beautiful kitchen worktops become everyone’s dumping ground. Your kid’s sports kit waiting to be washed, your partner’s work presentation, the little ones’ drawing that they brought in to show you.

Even the most spacious of kitchens can soon become overwhelmed and untidy. So it’s time to bring the beauty back to your kitchen countertops, without sacrificing functionality.

Whether you’re staging your kitchen to showcase it to potential buyers, or you simply want to update your worktops to benefit you and your family, read on and make use of tips for more beautiful, and practical countertops…

Note: This article focuses specifically on the kitchen countertop. We’ve written another dedicated guide to staging the entire kitchen, so if you’d like to learn more, check that article out next!

First step – clear up!

First things first, let’s declutter.

It’s time to move anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen back to its rightful home.

This will instantly make the countertops look more attractive and it’ll give you more space to play with when it comes to staging. And of course, by minimizing the items on your worktops, you’ll also find it much easier to clean your surfaces.

Take the time to deep clean your countertops

Now is the perfect time to get your countertops looking their best, polished and sparkling. If your worktops need specialist treatment, such as the oiling of wooden countertops, then now’s a good time to get this task done.

Find a balance with your kitchen equipment

Small electrical appliances, utensils, bottles and jars, all clutter up our worktops.

When you’re in ‘declutter mode’ it can be tempting to put everything away and create a chic, minimalist look in your kitchen, but unless you’re staging a house for sale that you’re not actually living in, then you need it to be practical.

If you have coffee and toast every morning, it really doesn’t make sense to put the coffee maker and toaster in a cupboard out of sight.

These regularly used appliances do need to be accessible on the worktop, but what about that waffle maker that you only use once in a while, or the large jars of pasta when your family rarely eats it? These could certainly be placed out of sight without hindering your daily life.

Allocate working areas

If you’re working with a functional kitchen, you need space to prepare food.

Decide which areas of your worktops you need for food preparation. Where is most practical? How much space do you need?

Once you’ve earmarked these spots, you know not to place any ornamental features here.

Assess the rest of the space

With the worktops cleared, your room will look more spacious, but it likely looks a little bland and lacking in character.

So now it’s time to pick out the spots where you could add some interest or little color, or discover ways to improve the style of existing items such as storage jars and boxes.

Update your storage

In a kitchen, especially a smaller one, adding purely decorative items to the worktop can quickly make the room look cluttered, and in a working kitchen, you’ll have a constant battle against moisture and grease.

A great way to add a modern, colorful theme to a kitchen, is to give your storage solutions an overhaul.

Most of us have some storage containers on show. Perhaps for tea, coffee and sugar, pasta, cereals, herbs and spices or bottles of oil and vinegar.

By renewing your containers, you can bring a whole new look, and a splash of color to your kitchen.

Pick one color to create a unified feel to your worktops, or the same design in different colors for a more eclectic vibe.

Greenery adds a natural look

Kitchens have a habit of looking stark, with sharp lines.

Of course, you want your kitchen to look clean and hygienic, but you also want it to look homely and welcoming.

In other rooms, we’d add soft furnishings, but this just isn’t practical in a space that’s used for cooking.

Plants can certainly help to soften a surface, but if your kitchen is on the smaller side, or you’re short on worktop space, it may seem like a waste of space.

So instead of a plant that’s purely decorative, why not grow herbs?

Fresh herbs look gorgeous on a kitchen windowsill, and they’re perfect for adding flavor and freshness to your dishes. 

A splashback can be a work of art

Adding artwork to a kitchen can be problematic.

Kitchens can be steamy, there can be cooking fats in the air, and so it’s certainly no place for your antique works of art!

Prints in glass frames can become greasy quickly, leaving you with the regular task of cleaning them, and canvases soon degrade in damp air.

One solution to add color and interest to your kitchen is with your kitchen splashback.

You can choose splashbacks in any color of the rainbow, a pattern, a famous work of art, a photographic scene of the ocean or countryside, or even your own favorite family photo.

However, this does come with a word of warning. If you’re staging your kitchen for sale, or if you think you may sell your home in the upcoming years, a splashback is neither inexpensive nor simple to replace, so consider this when you make your choice.

A complementary shade of pale green may be fine for any potential buyers, but a giant-sized photo of your kids or pets may not!

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