FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

I always say that my kitchen is the workhorse of my home! If you are like me, kitchen counter space is precious. Have you ever cleared everything off your counters and thoughtfully decided put back only what you need before adding anything else? Kitchen counters need to work for you and not just be places to decorate or put lots of clutter or small appliances! I’m clearing mine off and sharing the process of making my kitchen counters work for me. I believe a kitchen can be both functional and fabulous!

Today is DIY TIPS AND TRICKS. I’m teaming up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you brilliant home and garden ideas. Make sure you check out the other posts at the bottom of the post.

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!


Whether your kitchen is tiny or expansive, countertops seem to fill up quickly! And countertops are a precious commodity! Let’s make and keep those countertops free of excess kitchen items and clutter.

First, ask yourself some questions to determine how you use your counters. Do people in your household drink coffee or tea? Do you like to bake? Is your kitchen used for something other than traditional kitchen activity? Do you avoid cooking at almost all costs?

We need to make “stations” on our countertops for the way we use our kitchen.

For example…

We are big coffee drinkers at StoneGable. So it is important to us to use part of our countertop for a coffee station. We chose the countertop nearest the breakfast nook and close to our mugs.

I took everything off the counter and here’s how it looked. Pretty plain!!! I did not take away the Daily Grind sign or the mug rack. But you get the idea. While the counter was empty I have it a good scrub and oiled it with mineral oil because the counters are soapstone.

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

Back came one thing at a time. First the coffee maker then the galvanized tray and galvanized tins that hold our K-cups.

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

That looks better. And I even had a little room on the tray to add a pretty pitcher of white tulips!

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

Okay, my coffee station is in place, and it is not only very functional it’s also fabulous!!!! This counter is mostly used to get down dishes from the cabinets above. Once in awhile, when we are not expecting family or overnight guest or company I do add another little decoration to the counter. But it can be whisked away easily to make more room for drinks!

Nothing else goes on this countertops. It is now fabulous and functional and I want it to stay that way!!!!

You can do this too! Start with one countertop and decide if and what “station” needs to go there. Add all the functional things first and then… only then… if you have room add a little embellishment! And DO NOT let anything else sneak and creep back on to that counter!

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN-COUNTERS-clean-kitchen-counters-stonegableblog-2


The countertop on the other side of the sink was next! Even though we have a dishwasher (to the right of the sink) I still handwash some pots, pan, etc. And I use the countertop for drying the dishes. It was important to me to keep this counter empty. 

Big glass jars filled with flour, sugar, and granola to play double duty there. They are functional and also fabulous and they don’t get in the way of my dish drying area! The breadbox is used for …. bread!!!! Again, it’s out of the way, hides a phone and looks… you got it… fabulous!

Occasionally I do put a plant or a vase of flowers there that are easy to take away when I wash dishes.

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

The third station in my kitchen is my cooktop station. Here it is cleared off. As you can see the countertops are small so I have to make the very most of them. 

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

I use the left side of the counter to keep cooking oils and salts and pepper.  I found a very interesting galvanized farmhouse container to keep them all neatly in! 

On the other side of the stove, I keep a big pitcher of wooden spoons and a fun spoon rest. This area stays free from any other kind of clutter! I went vertical to make the most of this space and add a little plant!

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

The last station in my kitchen is my prep station aka the kitchen island. It’s so well located!!!! I usually stand a the end of the counter to prep all my food. Can you see the floormat? It really saves my legs!

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

My kitchen counter can be a real magnet for clutter if I’m not careful! This is where I spend much of my time. If my island is messy I am too!

I try to keep the decorations on it to a minimum. And if I do decorate, I use the end far end of the counter!

FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!

Did you notice that none of my small appliances are out on the counters? I don’t use my toaster or stand mixer or juicer or food processor or tea kettle every day. I have enough cabinet space to stow them out of sight. I don’t mind getting them out when I need them.

I do use my blender almost every day to make a breakfast smoothie, but I choose to grab it out of the cabinet and put it away when I’m done. 

You will need to decide if you want appliances on your countertops. If you don’t have the cabinet space the counter might be your only place to keep them. Remember to keep them neat!

Just keep in mind, they are real space hogs and do tend to make a kitchen look cluttered.

Here are 3 rules to remember to keep your kitchen countertops functional and fabulous:

  1. Create “stations” on your counters
  2. Nothing on the counters that don’t belong there
  3. What you get out, put away

Now, go make your kitchen fabulous and functional!!!!

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FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL-How to have clean, clear kitchen counters and keep them that way!


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  1. Denise Moraris says:

    Thanks again for a great blog. We just bought a condo (vacation home). I have been rereading many of your blogs for decorating tips. It is a small 1 bedroom with a small sunroom. So clutter can not happen.
    Thanks again Denise

  2. You have a ‘dream kitchen’, Yvonne, and it’s always a pleasure just to see pictures of it. It makes you want to be there and have a cup of coffee from your coffee station. Thanks for all the great tips!
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  3. Yvonne,
    I would love to put a similar chalkboard behind our stove. How do you keep it from becoming splattered with food, grease, etc.? Is it sealed? I love your posts. They’re always so informative.

    1. I love your chalkboard too. I would also love to know how you keep it.

  4. I love the form and function you incorporate into your kitchen! Do you have a post outlining your design/installation of your vented hood and stove backsplash? thanks!

    1. Hi Courtney, those were installed on our kitchen update about 5 years ago. Sorry I don’t have anything like that.

  5. Karen VanLoo says:

    Thanks for the tips! Your kitchen is my favorite! We are getting ready to pick out and install granite countertops (getting rid of the old blue laminate) and a new backsplash, so I know I will want to clear everything and keep clutter at bay. Love your coffee station, it’s my favorite!

  6. Hi Yvonne
    Love your home and your blog! Can I ask where you bought that sign over your stove! It’s so nice! I also love that chalkboard. Thank you for all of your tips!

  7. Oh I would love to have your countertops! My space is so limited that I have very little sitting out so I totally agree about putting small appliances behind doors. I love doing this with you every month…thank you!

  8. So beautiful! Where did you get your art pieces and decorative touches? Please share?

  9. I just love your gorgeous kitchen, Yvonne, and enjoyed the post. It is hard remaining disciplined when you want to add more “decor” items but find if you go too far, you have no room when deciding to bake something! Just this week, I read a great blog about leading a minimalistic life; the subject was the toaster. The (male) blogger said he always puts it away and asked readers (after many complained saying it was a pain in the neck to do that) to really think about how few minutes it actually takes to do that. It was amusing as he said he timed it – say 3 minutes per day to lift it out and put it back on a cupboard shelf x 7 days a week x days in the month and so on. It was fun to think of how little time it actually took to put it away versus having the thing sitting out and hogging valuable counter space every single day of every single year. I’ve forgotten the name of the blog or I’d pass it on as he made a lot of valid points.

    1. We might use our toaster a couple of times a week. When we are done, we shake the crumbs out into the sink and put it away. Easy peasy!

  10. Just a PS, Yvonne – but do you have trouble keeping the chalkboard clean from grease splatters? When I buy a new stove, I’d like to copy your idea but wonder about the porosity of chalkboards. Thanks!

  11. Robbie Douglas says:

    Where did you get your Daily Grind sign and how long ago

      1. Robbie Douglas says:

        Thank you, so much!!! I won’t tell my husband I got the link from you!!! Hahaha! Your home is beautiful and just my style!!! Seems like your not afraid to mix, whites, creams, tans, together and looks amazing, I’m not quite there yet but you sure are helping! Thanks, again!!!

  12. Where did you buy your bread box? I absolutely love it. Thank you!

  13. Love your kitchen and the black/white rug in front of cabinets. Can you tell me where you purchased as i have mackenzie childs decor in my kitchen and your rug would be perfect. I have received so many fabulous ideas from your blog. Love reading it. Thank you

  14. Your kitchen is just fabulous, Yvonne! I have a question for you now about your layout. I agree the counter space can be real precious! My husband and I are selling our home and moving to a very small cottage. We’ll be updating the interior, and the kitchen area is a huge concern. Having your kitchen the way it is now, do you like having your frig next to the stove? Or would you rather it be closer to the sink? Thanks so much for your help:)

  15. What a great post!! Thanks for the tips.
    Be Blessed

  16. Yvonne,
    Great tips and advice on keeping our Kitchen Counters stylish and functional, dear friend!
    I do have “stations”, but as you stated. . .there’s n e v e r enough counter space!

  17. Your post came just in time!! I am in the process of decluttering my kitchen and I needed your insight! My cabinets are off white with black granite counters, so I can relate a little better to they way you decorated. Even though I have a very large kitchen, it has been a curse to me because I felt I had to cover every inch of space…now I have the know-how to back off with the clutter!!!!
    Thanks so much!!!

  18. I have become a daily reader of your site and I so admire your talents, plus your personal and spiritual blogs…thank you! Now, I’m really into your recipes and can’t wait to make the parmesan asparagus…oh, my!!!!!

  19. Jan Painter says:

    I love the entire look of your kitchen, country though still very chic and elegant!
    Would love to know where you store the paper towel holder. I always find it takes up so much room. I have very little counter space so prefer a clean, uncluttered look as well.
    I love your blog and all your decorating ideas!

    Cheers…Jan ??

    1. Hi Jan, I put my paper towels on a roller on the left door under my sink.

  20. Hi Yvonne – I could easily move into your home and not change a single thing! I’ve always loved a white kitchen; your kitchen has a “clean country” look (in my opinion) with no frills, bunnies, hearts – in other words, there are no “cute-ies” … it’s absolutely perfect! I’m buying a new stove and have a large frame that will fit in the spot above it so I will be making a chalkboard. Whenever you get the time, could you please share with us how do you deal with grease splatters on the chalkboard? Is it difficult to clean? Thank you!

  21. My kitchen is very similar to yours, also with white cabinets and black granite. I absolutely LOVE the bun feet under your island!! I have thought and thought about how to elevate it a bit… Duh! I love that look and just might copy it, if you don’t mind!! Beautiful and practical!

  22. I love your kitchen! Beautiful and functional! I love your unique display pieces that you have. One in particular is a wrought iron two tier display piece that you had used for a fall display. Two wrought iron baskets in a tier shape that held all sorts of interesting items and can be changed to display the occasion you are celebrating. Where did you ever find such an interesting piece? I love it!

  23. Beautiful design. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Yvonne – what color is your kitchen? I’m in a quandry picking a color for our kitchen/family room. Your color looks warm .. I have white cabinets and dark gray spattered with flecks of white and caramel corian counters. We have a painter coming in two weeks and I’m stressing. Most of our house is painted beige and I like that because it’s soothing … so afraid I’ll make a costly mistake. Your help is truly valued.

  25. Diane Ruebel says:

    Love all your posts about ways to de-clutter this time of year.

    Diney on Camano Island

  26. I adore your kitchen. It’s so cozy.

  27. I love all your tips and projects. I want to use many of them in my new home. What shade of white paint have you used throughout your home? Please keep your ideas coming!

  28. Carol Seguin says:

    I love your kitchen, you have some great ideas. I wish I had that much counter space, I have a galley kitchen and I’m always looking for a way to make it more functional.

  29. You’ve done such a lovely job of creating a functional, yet beautiful, kitchen. Absolutely stunning!