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Charming Breakfast Nook Ideas and Our Kitchen’s Phase 1 Inspiration!

30 brilliant and functional breakfast nook ideas to make any kitchen nook a charming dining space using little square footage.

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.

kitchen nook before

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.

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.

minimalist breakfast nook idea
Credit: Willaby Way

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.

Take Advantage of Space Under Windows for Breakfast Nook Seating
Credit: BK Interior Design | Adam Potts

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.

Bay Window in a Breakfast Nook
Credit: Louise Bradley Interiors

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.

U Shaped Banquette and Dining Table
Credit: The Workroom

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.

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One Comment

  1. The only piece of furniture I’ve ever built myself has been my breakfast nook bench and it’s one of my absolute favorite spots in my house! Between the cozy seating and the art deco-style chandelier I have swaged over the table, it’s such a great spot to enjoy a meal. Also, I used a 4 inch memory foam mattress topper for my cushions for some added comfort. 😉