The term "breakfast nook"—also known as an eat-in kitchen—is one of those phrases that lights us up when we come across it in a home. Sure, a formal dining room is nice, but for more intimate gatherings like quick family meals, WFH lunches, and of course, those eponymous weekday breakfasts, there's no need to adjourn to another room. Breakfast nooks can easily become the de-facto spot for dining, especially when they're styled in the laid-back, comfortable style that we love.
What actually qualifies as a breakfast nook is a little more nebulous: does it need to have banquette seating or be nestled under a window? Can it technically be a breakfast bar? Our intuition says it can be any of the above. It's about the feeling of the space and the functionality of gathering your immediate family—and maybe a straggler or two—for a casual midweek dinner. The rest is really up to you.
One thing is for certain: these adorable breakfast nooks and eat-in-kitchen setups are rife with inspiration for your own home, whether you use it for an elevated, Instagrammable brunch, or just homework-and-snacks time after school. Scroll on to view a few of our favorites.
Even a minuscule cafe table can become your new favorite place to sit—so don't be discouraged if you only have room for a tiny surface to start building our your breakfast nook. Even if it does't become a de-facto home for every meal, an airy, effortlessly chic space like this can do a lot to enhance your morning rush—or evening cocktail routine.
Glam Up Your Galley
Galley kitchens and eat-in kitchens are normally distinct concepts—but if you can swing it, devoting a small corner to a little seating and a slim pedestal table can completely change the look and feel of your space.
This setup is pure sophistication thanks to a minimalist light fixture and the perfect mix of textiles along the banquette. It may not be enough space for a dinner party, but it's more than enough to lend some elegance to your morning cup of coffee.
Float Your Furniture
Most built-in banquettes will close off the space below the seat to create a more finished look or add storage. But, we're partial to this open, airy design. Not only does it make for easier cleanup—thank you, vacuum clearance—but it brings a little more levity to the small bench and keeps it from looking to closed-in or claustrophobic.
Bonus: underneath your nook is prime real estate for your family's furry friend to sit and snap up stray crumbs that may go flying during mealtime.
Conceal Your Favorite Channel
In the 90s, TVs were suddenly an ever-present fixture in the kitchen—we probably have cooking shows to thank for that fad. Nowadays, we prefer to confine them to the living room or bedroom, but if truth be told, we do sometimes miss the convenience of watching our favorite shows over a midnight snack.
Solution: this ingenious breakfast nook that conceals a slim-profile TV right in the wall—with a Scandi-chic wooden wall treatment, no less. We'd happily sidle up to this table for an episode or two, and we'd savor never having the "no eating in front of the TV" argument again.
Pull in Some Poufs
The built-in banquette solves a lot of seating dilemmas, and by placing benches nearby, it rounds out the breakfast nook setup. But, there's always a chance an unexpected guest will pop by—or decide to stay for dinner.
Enter the plush pouf. Stashed stylishly nearby during the day, it transforms instantly into extra seating come nighttime. Just slide it up to the side of the table—or better yet, opt for an oval-shaped dining table for maximum elbow room.
Light It Right
A dramatic chandelier or pendant light is perfectly suited for making a statement in your breakfast nook, but don't forget to supplement it with a little bit of task-oriented lighting too.
Sleek sconces bring a little more brightness to your meal, and make it easy to customize the lighting depending on the vibe: bright and well-lit for late lunches, or moody and muted for winding down at dinnertime.
Shop the Whole Home Store
There's no thrill of satisfaction quite like repurposing something from another room and making it work in a brilliant, unexpected way. And while we're partial to built-in banquettes, there's definitely something wonderful about thinking outside the kitchen when it comes to seating.
This gorgeous curvy couch is a revelation when used in place of a traditional bench to round out this breakfast nook. The eclectic combination of a tulip-style table, Hans Wegner wishbone chairs, and an art deco-inspired splash of millennial pink is pretty irresistible—and yes, more than ready for its Instagram closeup.
Double Your Drawer Space
Any opportunity for some concealed storage is a good one in our book, but when it comes to banquettes, how often are you really going to pull out the whole table to access that space?
That's why this design is such a game-changer. It trades the more common, shallow drawers at the back of the banquette for two long, boxy drawers that are easily accessible from the sides—no furniture moving required—so you're much more likely to actually use them.
Cozy Up a Corner
Your breakfast nook's banquette doesn't have to turn a corner, but we think it's so much cozier—and actually, more spacious and adaptable—if it does.
We're big fans of using bench-style seating to accommodate more guests as needed, and putting a little bend in the banquette really helps make the most of every extra inch. Plus, it's a perfect perch for some stylish throw pillows that you can swap out seasonally.
Situate a Shelf
This "why didn't we think of that?" idea takes its cues from our favorite entryway designs, pairing a built-in with some sleek shelving overhead. An ideal perch for plants, cookbooks, and stylish knickknacks, it's pretty much a no-brainer way to make use of overhead space.
Swivel With It
There's so much to love about this adorable breakfast nook, from the artfully arranged pillows to the vintage-meets-modern furnishings. But, our favorite element might just be the articulated arm sconce. Its long reach lets you put light right overhead when you need it, or swing it out of the way when not in use.