21 Inspirational Breakfast Nook Ideas

Adding a breakfast nook into your home provides more space for family and friends to gather. You can turn a small space into a functional area with ample seating.

Breakfast Nook

Learn how a breakfast nook adds value to your home, check out 21 inspiring designs, and get answers to the most asked questions.

How a Breakfast Nook Adds Value to Your Home

The breakfast nook, sometimes called an eat-in kitchen, provides a comfortable spot where your family can gather for casual meals. The nook can also add resale value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.

Other ways it adds value to your home:

  • Additional seating area. Adding a breakfast nook is an excellent way to encourage guests to dine in the kitchen rather than in the dining room. It helps add seating for when you have a party or host a holiday event.
  • Utilize a small space. If you have a little extra square footage in your kitchen, you can squeeze a table and chairs in to make the vacant space useable. You can use a slim bistro table and stools for really small spaces. Figure out the square footage of your area before purchasing furniture.
  • Additional counter space: Add extra counter space for either food prep or setting out food during large gatherings.
  • Defining open floor plans: Contemporary kitchens have open floor plans that can feel cold. Fill up these empty spaces with a small table and chairs or even a booth.
  • Versatility. You can transform a breakfast nook from day to night by dressing up with sconces. Kids love to have fun in small spaces making arts and crafts.
  • Built-in seating. Seats built into the wall like benches or booth seats can increase the value of your kitchen.

Breakfast nooks take advantage of unusual seating arrangements like bench seating to use the kitchen area fully.

Are Breakfast Nooks Outdated?

Some people may think breakfast nooks are outdated since they gained popularity in mid-century America.

Even though it is associated with older decorating styles, a modernized breakfast nook can match contemporary ideas.  

Using fresh colors, patterns, and updated furniture can make a dated breakfast nook look new and stylish.

21 Breakfast Nook Ideas and Styles

Need some breakfast nook inspiration? Here are 21 inspiring ideas for placing one in your kitchen.

Enjoy Your Natural Light

breakfast nook Window seat blue seating designView in gallery
Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna

Placing your breakfast nook by a large window adds warmth and light to your dining experience. Place a window seat, and pull up a table and chairs. You can place fresh flowers or live plants on your table in the natural light.

Built-In Breakfast Nook Ideas

Breakfast Nooks Can Be Built-InView in gallery

You can build a bench right into the space if you have three adjoining walls. Building your bench into the walls gives it a sense of permanence. The bench seat provides a clean look that can be decorated with throw pillows and cushions.

Utilize Open Floor Plans

Use a Breakfast Nook to Define Your Open Floor PlanView in gallery
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Contemporary kitchens have open floor plans that can feel cold. Fill up these open spaces with a small table and chairs or a matching booth.

Decor Accents

Add Purpose to Odd SpacesView in gallery

Fill in odd little nooks and crannies with furniture that complements the architecture of your kitchen. A small curved tulip table can fit into most small spaces.

Add Patterns to Your Design

Inject Some Pattern into Your DesignView in gallery

Infuse your breakfast nook with patterns that complement your style. This extra space is a clever place to add some personal touches into the mix. You can stick to classic stripes or go for more abstract prints in modern kitchens.

Corner Breakfast Nook Ideas

Breakfast Nooks Can Serve as a Smaller Dining AreaView in gallery

The most important part of setting up a corner nook is making the area comfortable for people to lounge in. Booth seating works well in corners. Add blue and white accents into the corner for an alfresco dining room vibe.

Brighten Up a Dark Alcove

brighten up a dark alcove with a breakfast nookView in gallery

Brighten a dark alcove with a table and booth to create a cozy morning coffee space. Choose a style of furniture that makes the room feel lighter and go with fresh whites and light cream colors. Hang a beaded light pendant for a warm sparkling glow.

Room Length Dining Nook Ideas

a Breakfast Nook Can Span the RoomView in gallery

Create an extended dining area that spans an entire wall by adding bench seating, a long rectangular table, and chairs. You can add a single stool to each side of the table for more seats. This modern style makes the room look sleek.

Add a Pop of Color

You Can Use Breakfast Nooks for a Pop of ColorView in gallery

Bright accent colors are a great way to add one way for home interior designers to give their breakfast nook a more contemporary vibe. Use one of the colors in your home, like red in the photo example, and use it as an accent or furniture color.

Enjoy a Shady Spot

Breakfast Nooks Offer a Shady SpotView in gallery

Create a shady spot that allows in natural light with linen window coverings. This neutral-toned nook is something you might find in your grandmother’s country dining room. You can also use shades of blue to make a cool and relaxed environment.

Build a Reading Nook

Breakfast Nook Can Give You An Extra LibraryView in gallery

Installing a bookshelf gives you easy access to your favorite reads and is a good conversation starter. It adds a cool modern look to your kitchen.

Add Extra Storage

Breakfast Nooks Provide a Place for Extra StorageView in gallery

Adding storage like floating shelves or built-in drawers underneath a bench adds more utility to your nook.

Transform Bay Windows

Breakfast Nooks Work With Bay WindowsView in gallery

A nook is a smart way to take advantage of the natural lighting and the view of a bay window. Use a round table to fit the curved area. (from OneKindDesign)

Booth Seating Breakfast Nook Ideas

Make the Most out of Booth SeatingView in gallery

Fit many guests in a small kitchen space with booth seating. Booths are great for everyday use. (from MyMove)

Reiterate Your Interior Design

Give You a Place to Reiterate Your DesignView in gallery

Repeat accent styles or colors used throughout the rest of your kitchen. You can extend patterns and colors onto chairs and cushions or add decorative items that match your design theme. (from Jenna Kate at Home)

Casual Nooks

Breakfast Nooks Keep Things CasualView in gallery

Add a cozy, casual atmosphere to your dining space where you can sip on morning coffee and enjoy a nice break.

Use a Nook to Transition Between Rooms

Breakfast-Nooks-Can-Help-You-Transition-Your-Living-SpaceView in gallery

If your kitchen and living room are close to other spaces, a breakfast nook is a good transitional area. (via Ballard Designs)

A Nook With a View

Breakfast Nooks Help You Take Advantage of the ViewView in gallery

Enjoy viewing the outdoors by placing a nook looking outside. You can bring the outdoor flow into the nook with live plants. (via Home Stratosphere)

Create a Smaller Dining Area

a Smaller Dining AreaView in gallery

A breakfast nook can serve the same function as a formal dining room by using a smaller dining table. This small table and chair set is better suited for smaller casual social gatherings. (via Chris Loves Julia)

Add an Intimate Ambiance

Breakfast Nooks Add a Cozy AmbianceView in gallery

Create an intimate setting with natural materials like hardwood, giving the kitchen an earthy, rustic, country home feel.

Create a Focal Point

 a Focal PointView in gallery

Dramatic statement features like a rustic timber frame make an eye-catching part of your home design and is a conversation starter for a party. (via The Lily Pad Cottage)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What is the height of a breakfast bar?

The standard height for a breakfast bar is taller than countertops and islands by six inches. Use breakfast bars while sitting or standing. 

What is the average size of a breakfast nook?

Depending on the size of the kitchen, the table can seat as many as six people. A two-person nook needs a 5’x5′ area space minimum, while a six-person nook needs at least 7’x10′ to fit a large enough table.

How deep should a breakfast nook be?

The ideal depth depends on whether a bench is on one or both sides. For a bench on one side, 21 inches is deep enough. For a bench on both sides, the depth should be 42 inches.

What can you do with an unused breakfast nook?

You can use the area for an indoor garden, extra storage, arts and crafts, office space, kids’ play space, use it as a small dining room, turn it into a mudroom, or build shelves on the wall.

What is the difference between a booth and a banquette?

A booth is seating you sit in, and a banquette is seating you sit on. Note that banquettes do not have a backrest like booths. You can build storage under your banquette by adding drawers.

Conclusion

Building a DIY breakfast nook is easy. Find a small dining set and place it into position in your kitchen. Add shelving, cushions, and pillows to stylize your space.

You can find a breakfast nook dining set at most big-box retailers or order online. They are small and light enough to ship and assemble by yourself.

With all of this inspiration, you can achieve the breakfast nook of your dreams.