They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so shouldn't it follow that it also deserves a special spot to be enjoyed? Unlike a formal dining room, a breakfast nook is designed to be completely approachable and, well, informal. It's also an easy opportunity to embolden the kitchen while giving it a touch of refinement.
Imagine for a moment clean lines, on-trend decor, high-impact seating, and lots and lots of natural light to bask in while you sip on a morning cup of joe. If we've just described the contemporary breakfast nook of your dreams, take note of the 22 examples below to inspire your own space.
For a dose of inspiring energy in the morning that doesn't come from caffeine, outfit your breakfast nook in playful patterns, bold colors, and invigorating décor. Mix and match styles and colors with abandon and don't be afraid to create contrast. We'd even dare you to go all-in with both a statement light fixture and statement artwork. Why not?
Wow With Wallpaper
Believe it or not, a breakfast nook is the perfect place to have fun experimenting with that bold wallpaper you've been eyeing. Because it's not as formal as the dining room and takes up less square footage, you can splurge on something large scale that demands attention. Finish the space with more muted pieces to let that wallpaper do all the talking.
Hang a Statement Light
A statement light fixture offers clutter-free décor so your breakfast nook table has ample room for plates, bowls, mugs, and then some. Opt for a fixture that complements your existing style or go in the opposite direction to create an eye-catching contrast.
If your breakfast nook isn't serving up enough drama for you, consider defining the space further with a statement-making ceiling treatment. Anything from contrasting paint to wood planks to patterned wallpaper can take a lackluster nook over the top.
Rather than searching for extra seating for your breakfast nook, invest in custom furniture like a built-in bench to ensure the space you had in mind for your nook is used efficiently and that the furniture is seamlessly integrated. While you're at it, why not tack on some accent shelves for styling, too?
Build a Floating Bench
If you don't need the extra storage of a built-in bench, keep sightlines clean and contemporary with a floating bench instead. It'll add plenty of extra seating without weighing down the space.
If you end up needing extra storage down the road, you can always slide baskets or bins underneath to gain back that space.
Round It Out
Maybe things are feeling a bit too straightedge in your nook? Break out of the mold with a rounded table and similarly curved booth or bench. You can reinforce the look with even more rounded accent pieces or introduce some square edges for contrast.
Use the Space You Have
Those scrambling for square footage can look to an existing island or a roll-in kitchen cart for breakfast nook inspiration. And you don't have to have a sprawling island to take advantage of this concept. Try pulling up two or three chairs to create a quick drop-in spot with just enough space for a bowl of cereal.
Add an Ottoman
Need an extra seat at the breakfast table? Try pulling up an ottoman. It's the perfect perch that can be pushed aside or moved to another room and can even double as extra storage.
Bring in Fresh Buds
Topping your table with a vase of fresh flowers is a quick and easy way to style any space, including a breakfast nook. Pick up a bouquet from the store or wander through the garden to snip a few stems of your own. This simple touch of life and freshness will brighten up your morning as you nurse that second cup of coffee.
Utilize Existing Architecture
Sometimes the perfect spot for a casual dining nook is hiding in plain sight. Take a look at your existing architecture for things like bay windows, irregular walls, or even forgotten corners that can be transformed with little more than a table, chairs, and a light source.
Build It In
Have you got a little extra square footage in your kitchen but you're not sure how to fill the space? Or maybe you're just tired of plain, boxy rooms? Turn that wasted, cookie-cutter space into a completely built-in booth-style banquette for restaurant-style dining every day. Squeeze in a little extra storage on top to make the most of the space.
Stick to Straight Lines
Sleek, simple, and oh-so-sophisticated, a minimal contemporary breakfast nook makes a great impression without feeling too fussy. Stick to neutral colors and opt for straight, clean lines to keep your dining area feeling ultra-modern and ultra-chic.
Showcase Your Personality
Let us reassure you that you don't have to decorate with super-sleek formal furniture and neutral colors to create a stylish space. Embrace your playful side by layering patterns, utilizing unexpected colors, and opting for eclectic art. The resulting look will be packed with personality to make your mornings a little brighter.
Even though a breakfast nook is, by definition, supposed to be in a nook, you can still create a cozy and casual dining space floating in the center of a room. If you have a sunroom or butler's pantry or even just an open end of your kitchen, opt for a round table to avoid interrupting the flow of the space.
Add a Rustic Element
The key to designing a modern-rustic space is to balance homey, unpretentious pieces with more contemporary ones. For example, warm woods and industrial blacks are naturally rustic, especially when set against a fresh, white backdrop. Dress the room up with a striking light fixture for an extra modern touch.
Keep It Cozy
Don't need all those excess chairs or simply don't have the space? Skip the massive table and big bench and opt for a cozy two-person bistro table instead. It's the perfect spot to enjoy your morning cup of tea as you scroll through your feed or linger over dessert after an intimate date night.
Extend Your Counters
As much as you might want to, sometimes there's just not enough space to dedicate to an island or even a small table. But you might be able to squeeze out an extra square foot or two of functional space by simply extending your countertops. Remember, it only needs to be deep enough to tuck a couple of stools underneath and out of the way.
Add an Accent Wall
Set your nook apart with a textural accent wall to add depth to your space. The options are endless, but we've got a few ideas for you: Add a subtly industrial vibe with concrete, build luxurious layers of texture with grasscloth, or give off a sophisticated air with tile.
Pile on Pillows
It's no secret that we're big fans of the humble throw pillow. (They're beautiful and functional—what's not to love?) So why not add a few pillows and cushions to your breakfast nook to make it the coziest spot in the house? Enjoying your first cup of caffeine here will be the next best thing to sleeping in.
Stick to a Neutral Color Scheme
If you appreciate the austere elegance of minimalistic spaces, a neutral-hued breakfast nook will be up your alley. But just because it's neutral doesn't mean it's boring—natural wood hues and a simple but colorful photograph warm this space up and add just a touch of personality.
If you don't have a large window that lets in natural light, try hanging a large-scale photograph, which will enliven your breakfast nook and make it feel more modern without creating clutter.
When in doubt, create contrast with bright whites and dark accents to add a sense of drama. Layer in some shiny metallics and rich reds to up the sophistication and achieve that perfect aesthetic for someone who wants a touch of elegance that can complement a variety of styles throughout the years.