11 breakfast nook ideas for a cozy yet stylish seating area

Create a welcoming breakfast nook to elevate morning dining

Breakfast nook ideas
(Image credit: Drew Michael Scott/Christine Markatos Design & Manolo Langis/Dmar Interiors & Shelby Bourne)

Breakfast nook ideas are a wonderful way to create a cozy morning dining space that's not quite as casual as island seating, but less formal than a dining room. Usually a tranquil corner in or attached to a kitchen, breakfast nooks are growing in popularity.

While dining nook ideas have proven a favorite way to create an intimate alternative to a dining room, there is now an increase of people curating small spaces dedicated to breakfast time, offering a welcoming, cozy spot to start the morning.

Whether you want to transform an underused kitchen corner, revamp an awkward alcove, or give a tiny room purpose, these breakfast nook ideas offer plenty of inspiration.

11 breakfast nook ideas

Introducing a dining space into a kitchen is a popular choice nowadays, but instead of simply adding kitchen island seating or a formal dining table, a cozy breakfast nook is an instant way to create an informal space to enjoy every morning.

1. Carve out a corner of the kitchen

Breakfast nook in the corner of a kitchen with banquette seating and a round table

(Image credit: Dmar Interiors/Shelby Bourne)

The idea of a breakfast nook is usually a small space within another room for ease of use and to maximize multi-functional spaces. As such, redesigning an underused corner of a kitchen is a fitting way to introduce a breakfast nook.

'Carving out even the smallest space in a kitchen significantly increases the chances of togetherness with family. As much as we love to design formal dining rooms, it's much more realistic that families are on the go and will stop and quickly eat together if there is space designated for it,' explains Mollie Ranize, founder and principal designer at Dmar Interiors.

This breakfast nook has been conveniently located in the corner of the kitchen by the backdoor, offering plenty of light into the space. The breakfast nook feels inviting and cozy without being completely cut off from the rest of the kitchen.

2. Add a statement table

Breakfast nook with red terracotta floor tiles and antique dining chairs

(Image credit: Drew Michael Scott)

A breakfast nook is a small space, so there are more limited ways to make a statement than in a standard dining room. A table is at the center of any breakfast nook, so it's the perfect way to add a unique design element.

'A successful breakfast nook design should prioritize comfort, functionality, and design. Incorporating cozy seating and natural light while matching the overall style of the home can create an inviting space for relaxed mornings and simple dinners,' explains Drew Michael Scott, of Lone Fox.

'I designed my breakfast nook to flow effortlessly to and from the kitchen. The star of the show is my Moroccan zellige table that gave the room a pop of color with the red tiles,' he says. The tiles add a unique touch to the table, and instantly draws the eye into the nook.

3. Stagger a worktop to create a breakfast nook

A recessed kitchen counter has been used to create a small breakfast nook with two bar stools next to a large sash window

(Image credit: deVOL)

Not all kitchens have the space to introduce a full seating and table area, but a breakfast nook can still be created in the smallest of spaces. Opting for a narrower section of countertop at the end of the kitchen can make a bijou dining space, perfect for a breakfast nook.

'Staggering the depth of your worktops allows you to create small shallow areas for seating if your kitchen is long and thin. It is the perfect solution for a little breakfast nook, as galley kitchens rarely have enough width for a kitchen table,' explains Helen Parker, creative director of deVOL Kitchens.

4. Embrace a sloped ceiling

Wooden nook, brown leather bench, wooden table

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

In a home with sloped ceilings, utilizing the side of the room or kitchen with a lower ceiling helps to create a cozy breakfast nook. While a space with low ceilings might be impractical for kitchen counters, you can create a cocooning seating area instead.

This breakfast nook has been created below a sloped ceiling using banquette seating to maximize seating space in a small area. The use of a large, statement light fixture instantly makes the breakfast nook look bigger, while also adding a lovely ambiance.

5. Create a breakfast nook in a bay window

Breakfast nook created in a bay window with stripy upholstered banquette seating

(Image credit: Roselind Wilson Design)

For many interior designers, a successful breakfast nook design requires plenty of natural light, so where better to create one than in a bay window? Often a space that's left empty, especially in a kitchen, a breakfast nook is the perfect way to make the most of the area.

'There is no better place to start the day than in a comfortable, light-filled breakfast nook. Having a kitchen and seating area within one space works so well because it is naturally sociable and reflects the fluid way we live in our homes these days,' says Roselind Wilson, owner and creative director at Roselind Wilson Design.

'The beautiful bay window in our Belsize Park project felt like a natural choice for bespoke banquette seating and an informal breakfast nook. We chose a striking striped fabric to compliment the monochromatic scheme and draw the eye line toward the elegant curve of the bay,' she explains.

6. Zone the breakfast nook with a joyful color

Breakfast nook with a yellow accent wall

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Zoning is an effective way to create distinct areas in an open-plan space, so why not introduce a splash of color to a breakfast nook that feels welcoming and joyful? In this breakfast nook, a pastel yellow accent wall has been added to add instant interest to the scheme.

'Bright and cheerful, Hawthorne Yellow HC-4 sets a positive tone for the start of your day. Consider layering various shades of yellow, from ochre to creamy off-whites, to add depth and interest. Complement the palette with natural wood tones to ground the vibrant colors,' suggests Hannah Yeo, senior manager of color marketing at Benjamin Moore.

7. Opt for banquette seating

Breakfast nook with blue banquette seating

(Image credit: Christine Markatos Design/Manolo Langis)

Maximizing seating space is key to ensuring a breakfast nook is comfortable and useable. As they are usually tucked into the corner of a room, there is often not enough space for traditional dining chairs. Instead, opt for banquette seating to add plenty of seating, as well as the option of additional storage.

'The key to a successful breakfast nook design is to create an inviting space for the family to convene and spend time. A built-in banquette provides a comfortable hang-out space to sit and chat. Upholstering the banquette in a performance fabric keeps the maintenance low-key,' explains Christine Markatos Lowe, of Christine Markatos Design.

8. Keep it simple with a table and two chairs

Simple breakfast nook with a small mahogany round table with two wicher dining chairs. A seagrass rug has been added beneath the seating area to add coziness and a built in green cabinet stores tableware and decor

(Image credit: Alex Yeske Interiors/Tina Michelle)

If ample seating isn't necessary for your breakfast nook, consider more simple, paired-back breakfast nook ideas. A simple small round table with two dining chairs in a corner offers the same effect but with a less built-in feel. This also means you can have more fun with cozy elements such as rugs and decor.

'This dining nook is right off this home's kitchen and living room so I wanted it to feel connected to those other spaces. I brought in a seagrass rug, vintage furniture, art, and dishes to make it feel cozy and inviting. These elements tie back to materials and colors used in the other adjoining spaces,' explains Alex Yeske, of Alex Yeske Interiors.

9. Add personality with pattern

Breakfast nook with a patterned wallpaper and pillows

(Image credit: Isy's Interiors)

Just because a breakfast nook is part of an existing scheme doesn't mean you can't add fun decor to the space. In this scheme, a pretty patterned wallpaper has been applied to one wall, instantly making the space feel more inviting.

'The wallpaper and chandelier add a touch of whimsy and elevate the space,' explains Isy Runsewe, of Isy's Interiors. 'This design is successful because it offers beauty and functionality in a small space, allowing for a spot to have coffee on the cushioned bench as the morning sun pours in, or light candles for an intimate dinner with a few close friends,' she adds.

10. Add drama with architectural details

Breakfast nook located in a Victorian house's turret

(Image credit: Roger Casas for Alexandra Loew Studio)

In a traditional style home, the kitchen can often feel more contemporary than the rest of the interiors, so a well-designed breakfast nook can instantly re-introduce some of the historic character. Subtle architectural details and designs that offer a nod to the property's history and location give this breakfast nook plenty of charm.

'This addition to a historically landmarked Victorian home in Santa Cruz was designed to look as if it had always been a part of the whole, with its spaces modified over time,' explains Alexandra Loew, founder and creative director of Alexandra Loew Studio.

'The kitchen is a newly constructed part of the structure, we soffited and domed the ceiling in its corner to give the breakfast nook a sense of belonging within the long vaulted space, and added faux beams to imply the underside of a turret; the turret being typical to this Queen Anne style of Victorian architecture,' she adds.

11. Add a casual feel with decor

Breakfast nook painted light pink with red patterned seating cushions o the banquette seating. A white square table topped with a plant sits in the middle while a large abstract artwork hangs on the wall

(Image credit: Roger Casas for Alexandra Loew Studio)

With inviting colors, playful patterns, and interesting artwork, you can add instant appeal to a breakfast nook, like in this design. 'The pink walls and Deco-ish motif on the red poly-coated fabric bestows the cozy corner a formal-yet-festive quality,' explains Alexandra.

'The notes of black lacquer on the butler's door and Vienna Secessionist chair amplify the charm and formality of the space, while the offbeat color palette and motion-capture image of exploding porcelain figurines undermine with a sense of wry humor and a touch of chaos,' she adds.

The mix of decor chosen for this space adds a fun atmosphere, instantly creating a more casual feel typical of a breakfast nook.

Breakfast nooks are a great solution for creating a stylish yet cozy space for relaxing and dining. These spaces prove a breakfast nook can be created in almost any space, from kitchen corners to alcoves and bay windows.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.