30 brilliant and functional breakfast nook ideas to make any kitchen nook a charming dining space using little square footage.
We’ve had a BIG vision swirling around breakfast nook ideas in our kitchen lately, and in a few weeks, we are kicking off Phase 1 of a 4 phase process toward our “official” kitchen renovation!
Our final massive renovation in the main part of our kitchen is still quite a ways off, but because we need to rearrange the layout (and build a small addition) to accommodate our breakfast nook, laundry room, a new mudroom, and bathroom downstairs, it means biting off one room at a time before we can get to the main course: the kitchen.
Our Breakfast Nook Vision
Robert and I have always talked about moving that black garage access door in our breakfast nook to a different wall so that we would have room to build a corner kitchen nook banquette and help with traffic flow. So in a couple of weeks, we’re starting that process and gathering as many breakfast nook ideas as we can in the meantime!
30 Charming Breakfast Nook Ideas Inspiring Us
These 30 spaces are all inspiring us in some way to create a charming dining banquette in the breakfast nook.
If you have a funky dining spot in your house, maybe some of these details will help you make them a little more functional and beautiful.
(The following images are shared with permission by their designers and/or photographers. Images may be subject to copyright.)
1. Upcycle a Restaurant Booth for a Breakfast Nook Banquette
This is a custom banquette in Kate Marker’s project, but doesn’t it remind you of a vintage restaurant booth from an old European steakhouse? I’m just imagining the possibilities of finding the perfect old booth bench on Facebook Marketplace to fix up and add fringe. The tulip table adds just a hint of modern.
2. Use Rolling Arm Dining Chairs for Versatile Seating
Breakfast nooks often become multipurpose spaces for doing homework, at-home office work, craft projects, or just to sip a cup of coffee so it makes total sense to use a rolling dining chair here for that purpose.
3. Use a Kitchen Island as a Banquette Back
Pushing a bench all the way against this kitchen peninsula saves tons of space while making this breakfast nook feel more intimate.
4. Let an Awkward Niche Provide Breakfast Nook Seating
If you’re working within the parameters of small square footage in a kitchen, make a niche in a wall to tuck in a breakfast nook bench and maximize space in walkways.
5. Utilize Drawers in a Banquette
It’s the perfect place to store serving ware and entertaining essentials when not in use.
6. Add Fluting to Breakfast Nook Benches
Have you seen this trick of adding pole wrap to plain cabinetry? It would work so well for adding a little interest to a bench.
7. Create a Gallery Wall
I love how this vintage gallery wall gives this breakfast nook a new traditional cafe vibe.
8. Go Moody for an Intimate Breakfast Nook
The black walls in this dining nook sets the tone for a cozy ambience and great conversation.
9. Keep It Minimalist
This breakfast nook feels so functional with a no-fuss pendant light and traditional wood table that adds just enough warmth while keeping it simple.
10. Build a Bench Within Cabinetry
Storage and seating together wins! This setup sacrifices absolutely nothing – the comfortable bench, storage capabilities, and punch of color makes this wall a major workhorse in this dining nook.
11. Span the Whole Wall with a Bench
Not an inch of space is wasted here with a custom built bench exactly the width of the wall.
12. Take Advantage of Space Under Windows
Also… that stripe pattern makes a fun, bold statement and being such a classic, it will never go out of style.
13. Mount a Bar for a Bench Back
This idea of mounting a bar to the wall to hang back cushions is a very DIY-able way to get a custom look for less.
14. Let Wall Molding Steal the Show
This millwork makes a massive statement in this breakfast nook to define the space in the room.
15. Use a Nook to Prevent Blocking a Door
Without that bench against the wall, this doorway would be too crowded for traffic flow.
16. Go for Small but Mighty
Even though this breakfast nook table is about as small as you can get, it makes a massive statement with interesting furnishings and lighting.
17. Use Walls to Define a Breakfast Nook Space
In a world of open floor plans, sometimes you just need a walled in nook to make a dining table feel extra special.
18. Use Stand-Alone Banquettes
By using benches that aren’t built-in, this breakfast nook has more flexibility over time just in case one day you decide you’d prefer a sitting room or off-the-kitchen office instead of a dining area.
19. Add Wood to the Ceiling
That added touch of warmth and texture gives this breakfast nook an extra punch of hygge.
20. Oversize the Lighting
If you can’t decide on the size you need for lighting above a dining table, bigger is always better than smaller. Oversized makes a statement.
21. Slipcover the Bench
In the event of food spills, it’s helpful to be able to toss a bench slipcover right in the wash. Better yet, make it out of a stain resistant fabric like Crypton.
22. Float Your Breakfast Nook Bench to Create Space
Make space underneath the bench by mounting a bench shelf to the wall instead of building a base.
23. Create Whimsy with a Patterned Floor
Instead of adding pattern and color to the walls, let the floor do the talking. Bonus: patterned floors can help disguise food spills.
24. Add Character with Beadboard
It’s a relatively inexpensive material that can create a charming cottage vibe while also making scuffs easier to clean instead of plain drywall.
25. Nestle Next to a Bookshelf
It’s the perfect place to store cookbooks right in reach of the kitchen.
26. Use a Round Table to Help Traffic Flow
Corners on square or rectangular tables can jut out into walkways in small breakfast nooks. Use a round table instead to help tight spaces flow more easily.
27. Add Cabinet Doors to the Banquette
Lift-top benches can be cumbersome to access hidden storage, especially with a cushion on top. Cabinet doors are a more accessible solution.
28. Take Advantage of a Bay Window
Curve the bench and add Roman shades for extra function in a dining room.
29. Use Cafe Curtains
If you want to add vintage character on a budget, cafe curtains are a sweet way to do the trick on kitchen windows while still allowing natural light.
30. Embrace the U Shape
If you have a small space but need room to fit extra seating, build a u-shaped built in banquette into 3 walls rather than only 2.
I love so many of these gorgeous breakfast nook ideas that it’ll be hard to land on just one design for ours, but I am so excited to make it all happen soon!
Do you have a favorite? Or a breakfast nook banquette situation yourself? Any suggestions to make it super super functional? We’re down to hear all of the ideas.