A recent poll by DIY and home improvement retailer B&Q found that three quarters of consumers don’t yet have their dream kitchen and that if they were to make improvements, one third would love a breakfast bar in the heart of the home. The survey of 2,000 people suggests there’s definitely some room for improvement when it comes to our kitchens. The rising number of people eating breakfast on the go may also benefit from having a dedicated spot for consuming the first meal of the day. But does it really need to be a breakfast bar? What are the alternatives if your space won’t accommodate a breakfast bar or the look doesn’t fit with your personal taste? Let’s take a look at the fundamentals of creating a space that puts breakfast back on the menu.
We’re often told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but many of us aren’t making adequate time or space for it. Research from YouGov published last year indicates that while two thirds of children (66%) eat breakfast at the table, one third (32%) consume theirs while sitting on the sofa. This is of course in part because of convenience, but it means there’s less opportunity for family time and more chance for making a mess of your furniture too!
While breakfast bars have been a popular style feature in UK kitchens for decades, more compact kitchens don’t always have the layout or square footage to incorporate them. Meanwhile, in open plan kitchen diners or larger kitchens with separate dining rooms, some people prefer not to sit and eat their cereal or toast in a formal space that takes a lot of setting up or clearing away. So, the question is: where does your personal happy-medium lie? Would you love a breakfast nook or station that can be set up quickly and offer you the chance to get together before heading your separate ways for the day?
The kitchen is the obvious spot for a breakfast area, but it may not be best suited to your home or routine. By thinking of options that are a little out of the ordinary you may just surprise yourself by being able to pinpoint a far better location. This might be a quiet corner where you can leave a breakfast trolley or how about hosting a bistro table and a couple of chairs on your apartment’s balcony? If the kids insist on watching cartoons with their cornflakes, a small kid’s table that can be tucked away in the corner of the living room might be just the thing for you. Lucky enough to have a conservatory that you really ought to use more? A breakfasting table here could make for a nice light and bright breakfast spot.
Good enough to eat
Breakfast is such a mood-setting occasion, you may want to work on a distinct look for your breakfast area, whatever room it’s in. For those with storage or shelving incorporated, mason jars of cereal and lined up shelves of jams or fruit teas can bring some colour and texture. You may want to have fun with bright mats, coasters, cushions or patterned table covers too. Into your food and beverage photography? A custom canvas print of your favourite coffee brewing or a motivational typography canvas could help energise you for the day ahead. And don’t forget to add an indoor plant or vase of flowers if you have space – they’re scientifically proven to help you beat stress.
Furniture that fits
Whatever space you’re working with, having the furniture that fits can help you make the most of breakfast. In smaller kitchens, a pedestal or fold down table might be just the thing. In a compact flat or apartment? You could build small chairs to frame a window and make use of natural light and pop a small bistro table in the middle. Where a family-sized table would impact the flow through a room, extending tables can be a smart work choice.
Too short on space to think about sacrificing your kitchen island or benches for a breakfast area? Narrower benches with shelving above can provide a cute little spot to eat breakfast on tall stools that can be tucked away, or how about building storage into your breakfast bar? You could even sneak some drawers into benching if you wanted, providing you get the height just right. Need something you can pull out and put away? Did you know you can buy standalone breakfast bars that can be folded and moved into position?
Do you already have a special area for breakfast area carved out somewhere in your home? If so, what are your favourite features?