How To Step Up Your Kitchen Bench Styling

Jan 24, 2022 – 3 min read

The kitchen bench is often the heart of the home, a place to come together, interact, eat and entertain. But how to make it inviting and practical while also looking great? “It’s about choosing a few key essentials – a mix of small appliances and decorative accessories – to display on the countertop,” says Tania Grillinzoni, The Good Guys Buyer – Portable Appliances. “The good news is that some of the latest devices are design pieces in their own right, meaning you don’t need to hide them away.” Here, we share expert kitchen styling tips and ideas to try at home.

Potted plants add a lush green element to a corner of a modern kitchen

Find Your Kitchen’s Style Story

Benchtop appliances and adornments are the finishing touches that tie a look together. So before you start styling, consider the mood and aesthetic of your existing kitchen. Is it mid-century modern? A fabulous retro kettle from Smeg might be a match. Is it dark and moody with a matt black fridge and dishwasher? Complete the scheme with a striking Nespresso coffee machine – or create a contrast with lighter coloured gadgets. “Just make sure all your benchtop pieces are cohesive and from the same ‘world’,” explains interiors stylist Jono Fleming. “Keeping your styling choices unified will create a story and a sense of consistency.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the endless choices, try making a moodboard or playing on Pinterest to fine-tune your vision.

Styling With Accessories

Functionality plus flair is a simple equation for benchtop styling. “I like to make sure that pieces like fruit bowls or jugs can be displayed and used daily whilst also looking beautiful,” says Jono. “An arrangement of three items, playing with different heights and sizes, will lend a point of visual interest to the end of your bench.”

Stylist Fiona Gould suggests injecting character into a kitchen, with small artworks leaning on the counter and stacked vintage boards. “Greenery is always welcome in the kitchen and instantly brings life to the space,” she says. “A draping devil’s ivy or herbs in pots can make all the difference.”

“An arrangement of three items, playing with different heights and sizes, will lend a point of visual interest to the end of your bench.”

Benchtop Beautiful With Small Appliances

Toasters, kettles, coffee machines and stand mixers can deliver a dash of colour or form a focal point on a benchtop. “I prefer a clutter-free look in the kitchen so I tend to only keep the kettle on display – therefore I like to splurge and find a kettle that really suits my style,” says Fiona Gould. “I love creating a styling moment around my kettle, with chopping boards stacked behind and a beautiful dish or vessel filled with coffee.” Alternatively, if you want all your small appliances to be tucked away, consider a designated gadget space (kitted out with power points) hidden behind a cabinet or roller door.

Looking for appliances that deserve to be displayed? Cue the black and white beauty of the KitchenAid Limited Edition Shade And Light Mixer; the handsome looks of the Breville The Toast Select Luxe; and the vintage appeal of the Smeg 50s Retro Style Coffee Machine.

Chef accessories, a small potted plant and a cutting board are grouped in a striking display on a timber benchtop

Look-At-Me Kitchen Lighting

If you’ve styled up your kitchen benchtop to magazine-worthy standard, you’ll want to illuminate it properly. “It’s a key design feature to have task lighting above your bench, whether that be downlighting or decorative pendants,” says Jono Fleming. The latter presents an opportunity to make a design statement – with sculptural glass pendants or a dramatic chandelier – although right now there’s also a trend towards under-cabinet lighting. These subtle mounted strip lights or bulbs are super practical (especially when you’re cooking, slicing and dicing), and are guaranteed to make your countertop shine.

A cleverly styled benchtop will not only make your kitchen more beautiful, but also make life that little bit easier (especially during the morning rush!). Visit us in store or online to shop for the small appliances in this article – and for more kitchen styling ideas, inspiration and planning tips, head to our Kitchen Design Guide.

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