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​Our best breakfast bar ideas for a stylish “good morning!”

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Mr & Mrs McIver by Diane Berry Kitchens Modern
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The hottest interior design trend right now? It has to be that kitchens have gone from an ordinary (and concealed) cooking corner to an open and welcoming concept that put as much emphasis on socialising as they do on culinary delights. No wonder modern-day kitchens are nicknamed “the heart of the home”! And at the heart of this social setting is that little space where we start off each day with a cup of tea/coffee: the breakfast bar.

There is no doubt that the breakfast bar is a creative way to sneak some extra living space (and décor opportunities) into your kitchen. In addition to being a hot dining spot they are also ideal for sorting the mail, finalising some paperwork, allowing the kids to do homework, or just being a comfy seating spot for the hardworking cook to relax with a glass of wine. Just ask any professional kitchen planner about the potential that breakfast bars offer. 

But what are the options when it comes to styling your little dining/working/socialising hub? That’s where these breakfast bar ideas come in…

1. Breakfast bar ideas: Get creative

There is always something refreshing about discovering a design that dares to move away from the mundane – and the breakfast bar is no exception. Thus, don’t be limited by rigid structures and square / rectangle designs just because they’re the norm. Dare to opt for a curved breakfast bar in a striking colour or with a most prominent countertop. 

Yes, this might demand a custom design, bespoke storage units and extra work, but the results will be well worth the effort and costs.

2. Breakfast bar ideas: Extend the kitchen island

Mr & Mrs Hardman - Williams by Diane Berry Kitchens Modern Quartz
Diane Berry Kitchens

Mr & Mrs Hardman—Williams

Diane Berry Kitchens

Think that breakfast bars are only meant for big, spacious kitchens? Think again, because it’s a fact that the small, urban home benefits the most from a kitchen island which also doubles as a breakfast bar. 

Also think about tiny city flats where every millimetre of space is precious – there is where a breakfast bar which doubles as a dining area (and a desk) saves so much legroom. Simply add one to your kitchen worktop or small island, move a few stools closer and you’re set!

3. Breakfast bar ideas: Offer a moveable feast

Don’t have the budget for a built-in breakfast bar that runs seamlessly with your existing countertops? The other terrific thing about breakfast bars is that they do not need to be connected to anything – a simple freestanding wooden butcher’s block or a separate high table can be a splendid alternative! 

Simply get one which fits comfortably in your kitchen space or corner (remember to leave adequate room for moving around it), push a few stools closer, and you immediately get a great place for a cup of tea and a croissant.

4. Breakfast bar ideas: Mix up those surfaces

Luxurious White Kitchens by PTC Modern kitchen by PTC Kitchens Modern
PTC Kitchens

Luxurious White Kitchens by PTC

PTC Kitchens

Speaking of breakfast bars that don’t need to be covert, how about flaunting the fact that you do have a separate spot for informal dining by opting for mixed surfaces? 

Thanks to different worktop materials, the cooking- and eating zones of your island / breakfast bar can be beautifully established. This simple trick of mixing, for instance, wood and marble instantly makes your kitchen feel less like an everyday work zone and more like a multi-functional space. 

Just keep in mind that your choice of bar stools needs to complement the material of the breakfast bar’s top for a look that visually flows.

Speaking of which…

5. Breakfast bar ideas: Add eye-catching stools

Small U Shaped Kitchen Modern kitchen by Elan Kitchens Modern
Elan Kitchens

Small U Shaped Kitchen

Elan Kitchens

Eye-catching stools can perk up even the most boring (or tiniest) of breakfast bars. Since bar stools are available in a myriad of styles, designs, sizes and colours, you are certain to find the perfect bunch for your island / breakfast nook, regardless of which materials you’ve opted to throw together or which high table you’ve picked. 

Just don’t forget to test them out before you buy them. Make sure they are comfy enough (can you sit on them for hours and hours while socialising?), high enough (can you reach with ease for glasses and other objects placed on the counter / tabletop?), and will their dimensions work in your kitchen?

6. Choosing the perfect breakfast bar stools

Classic, yet Contemporary Classic style kitchen by Rencraft Classic

Classic, yet Contemporary


Of course we are more than happy to help you select the right stools for your breakfast bar. The existing décor and style of your kitchen should already point you in a certain direction, but keep the following four key considerations also in mind:

Size: The bigger your kitchen, the bigger stools you can get. Chairs with backs and armrests for added comfort can be great in a larger space, but may just add to that cramped look in a smaller kitchen. Remember to also focus on height – rule of thumb is to measure from the floor to the breakfast bar’s highest point. Then take about 20cm away, and that amount should indicate the appropriate height of the stool that will add enough space to sit comfortably. For the amount of stools you should get, consider that there needs to be a gap of at least 15cm between each seat to allow for sufficient movement. 

Material: Never discount the importance of materials, even when it comes to bar stools, as they immediately set up a certain look and ambience for a design and determine whether it’s right for a specific space. Some classic choices for bar stool materials include wood (great for creating a warm and rustic feel in both modern and traditional kitchens), upholstered (allowing you to choose a range of colours and patterns to complement your kitchen), and metal (we suggest polished chrome chairs for the ultra modern space). 

Style: Remember to take into account what your kitchen and breakfast bar already look like before shopping for stools. A pop of bright colour in an otherwise neutral space can ensure a great focal point. And various patterns and textures are a clever way to add character to your little breakfast nook. 

Comfort: There is a difference between using your breakfast bar for a quick meal now and again and having it be the only socialising- and entertainment spot in your home. If you plan on having guests over at that breakfast bar, consider added support like armrests and high backs. 

Want your stylish kitchen to also flaunt some positive chi? Then see How to create the perfect Feng Shui kitchen

Planning on adding a breakfast bar or upgrading an existing one? Which styles, designs and colours are you considering?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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