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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

Creative breakfast bar ideas for small kitchens

Updated: May 26

Why a breakfast bar could be the answer to your small kitchen problems...

breakfast bar for small kitchen

As any kitchen designer will tell you, breakfast bar ideas for small kitchens are all about making use of every inch of space available in the heart of the home. Small kitchens have all the same requirements as larger ones as they are needed for food prep, social gatherings, and a place to do homework and these days, people are often running their businesses from the kitchen table, too. That's where the genius of breakfast bars comes into play.

Breakfast bar ideas for small kitchens

These versatile additions can become the focal point of the kitchen and offer a great way to maximize your floor space while creating a cosy dining area. Whether you're dealing with a tiny kitchen or designing a contemporary open-plan space, breakfast bars are a popular choice for their ability to blend functionality with style. From freestanding options to integrated kitchen islands, there's a perfect fit for every layout. Let's take a look at the best breakfast bar ideas to transform your small kitchen into a social hub with enough space for quick meals and easy access to your coffee maker or espresso machine.

1. Opt for a freestanding breakfast bar

You might choose a freestanding breakfast bar if there is more than one location in your kitchen where it would work. A freestanding model gives you the flexibility of moving the breakfast bar around, whereas a built-in model doesn’t. 

Freestanding breakfast bars are a great option for small kitchens because they provide a convenient and versatile dining area without requiring the commitment of built-in kitchen cabinets, making them ideal for smaller spaces where the layout may change or where a breakfast nook isn't feasible.

2. Minimalist breakfast bars for small kitchens

Minimalist wood and metal kitchen breakfast bar
Image credit: Naked Kitchens

Minimalist breakfast bars had to feature in our round-up of kitchen breakfast ideas because it often follows that small kitchens embrace the breakfast bar because there isn’t room for an island, therefore a minimalist style will help the space feel larger as it won’t be dominating. 

In a small kitchen, minimalist breakfast bars with sleek design ideas and a pop of colour can serve as a great place for a casual breakfast or quick meal, offering ample space for storage units underneath and providing extra seating with just a couple of stools, while complementing the contemporary aesthetic of the rest of your space.

3. Concrete-style kitchen breakfast bar

microcement breakfast bar in modern kitchen
Image credit: Claire Douglas

Well, I couldn’t write a post about kitchen breakfast bar ideas and not mention my microcement one, could I?! This little DIY project was super easy to create and cost-effective too. Here's the DIY breakfast bar tutorial .

In a small kitchen, concrete breakfast bars offer a minimalist yet striking design element, seamlessly blending into the contemporary aesthetic of the space while maximizing functionality. Their sleek surface and clean lines create a fresh, modern look, enhancing the room's feel and making it a focal point of the kitchen. Additionally, the durability of concrete ensures longevity, making it an ideal material choice for busy households.

4. Panelled breakfast bar

Panelled breakfast bar with tall brown leather bar stools
Image credit: Cult Furniture

This example in the list of kitchen breakfast bar ideas would fit in a modern kitchen with lots of plants and natural materials to complement the wooden panelling. There are lots of ways you could create this in a DIY project, as there are so many types of panelling available these days. You could opt for tongue-and-groove or beadboard panelling. Check out my post about how to install beadboard for tips. 

5. Natural stone breakfast bar

modern stone breakfast bar with grey imitation leather bar stool in front
Image credit: Danetti

There’s no denying how popular natural stone has been in furniture, kitchens and bathrooms over the past year or two. You only have to scroll through Instagram to see a million beautiful examples of natural stone statement pieces. If your budget doesn’t stretch quite this far you might be interested in reading my DIY marble side table tutorial that I made from marble tile offcuts.

6. Sage green

grey and sage green kitchen breakfast bar idea
Image credit: Danetti

Sage green has been such a popular colour in interiors over the past few years and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. It works well with neutral palettes but can be paired with more striking colours for a bolder look. Sage green is a great colour for kitchens so it figures that sage green breakfast bars would be on this list of kitchen breakfast bar ideas.

7. Wooden breakfast bar

wooden kitchen breakfast bar
Image credit: Benchmarx Kitchens

Wooden breakfast bars have been around for years and years but are becoming more popular again because we are embracing natural materials in interior design for a few trends, biophilic design, minimaluxe, farmhouse and vintage to name a few. Wood is cost-effective, easy to cut into bespoke shapes and sizes and can be stained, varnished or painted to suit your colour palette.

8. Tubular breakfast bar

white tubular breakfast bar and modern bar stools
Image Credit: Cult Furniture

Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of tubular, reeded or fluted textures. In the first part of my kitchen makeover, I added strong postal tubes to the side of the kitchen worktop peninsula to create a budget version, so I was always going to love this tubular breakfast bar. It’s so modern and flowing with the large curved design and feels playful and not too serious, which appeals too. 

9. Raised breakfast bar

Raised kitchen breakfast bar attached to a kitchen island
Image credit: Industville / Chris Snook @snookphotograph

This type of breakfast bar works really well on a kitchen island because it stands out as a feature. This is especially true for raised breakfast bars that are constructed from a different material to the main island. In a small kitchen, raised breakfast bars added on to the end of a kitchen island can cleverly utilize limited space, offering a handy spot for quick meals or coffee breaks with bar stools, while seamlessly integrating into the contemporary design. This ingenious solution not only maximizes counter space but also enhances the social kitchen experience, making it a great idea for families and providing a fresh start to the room's feel.

Why are breakfast bars a good idea for small kitchens?

With much less space required compared to a traditional dining table, breakfast bars become a focal point of the kitchen, doubling as a dining area and a social hub. Whether it's a small breakfast bar tucked into a corner or a freestanding option in a larger living room, they offer plenty of space for food prep and casual breakfasts. Additionally, breakfast bars can be tailored to fit any kitchen design, whether you prefer a sleek, white kitchen or a rustic feel with open shelving. With their versatility and space-saving solutions, breakfast bars are undoubtedly one of the best ideas for smaller kitchens, providing ample storage space for kitchen utensils and appliances while creating a beautiful, resilient surface for dining and socialising.

Advantages of a breakfast bar in a small kitchen

  • Breakfast bars maximize small space by providing additional dining and prep areas, which is especially beneficial for small kitchen designs.

  • They enhance the contemporary kitchen aesthetic, seamlessly integrating into the room's layout and providing a fresh, modern feel.

  • Breakfast bars promote social interaction, allowing family members to gather and enjoy meals together, whether it's first thing in the morning or throughout the day in open-plan kitchen spaces.

Breakfast bars in small galley kitchens

​The advantages of a breakfast bar become evident in a galley kitchen, where it efficiently utilizes space, providing a convenient spot for quick meals or socializing without impeding the narrow layout.

Where next?

Below are some other kitchen-related posts that you might enjoy.


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