Kitchens are the gathering spot of the home, so it’s only natural to want an eat-in dining space where you can grab a quick bite, kids can do homework while mom’s cooking, and guests can sit while the host is working on dinner. We love banquettes for this very reason, so we’ve gathered all our best breakfast nook ideas for small kitchens. Here’s why we think you need one:
How much space do I need for a breakfast nook?
For a dining table and chairs, you’d want to leave 36 inches around your entire table so the chair can be pulled out. That means that if you’ve got a 60″ table, you’ll need at least an 11 foot room. We don’t all have that in a kitchen, but a banquette solves this problem beautifully. Since a banquette can fit right up against the wall in your breakfast nook, you need way less space!
For super narrow breakfast nooks, you could probably get away with about 5 feet of depth. You’d use a small round bistro table that’s 36″ or less and tuck it right up next to the table.
For corners and U-shaped breakfast nooks, we suggest you use our Room Planner tool to plan it out. Measure, measure, measure. And use this cheat sheet:
- Leave 36 inches behind any chair so it can be pulled out
- The table can hang over the banquette by no more than 3 inches
- Banquette depths vary, but ours are usually 26″
A Breakfast Nook to Fit in Any Space
The great thing about all of our banquette options (and we have so many!) is that they’re all entirely modular. Wrap a corner, choose various lengths depending on how big your space is and group pieces together to suit your needs.
The most popular configurations are L-shaped banquettes, U-shaped dining spaces, and just a single long bench. Whichever works best in your space, a breakfast nook will certain become one of the most popular seats in the house.
Casual and Family-Friendly Breakfast Nook Ideas
Of course we love breakfast nooks in any shape, size, or color, and regardless of which fabric you choose, banquettes and benches have an inherently casual appeal to them. They’re just so snuggly.
If you listen to our podcast, you may have heard Susan Ferrier’s episode where she talks about her love of banquettes. She insists that nearly every single one of her clients requests a dining bench in her initial meeting! In her mind, they’re so cozy because you tuck into them and they kind of wrap around you. More so than a dining chair would. She also talks about she never uses a single chair all the way around a table. Mixing and matching dining chairs and use banquettes keep dining rooms from feeling like conference tables.
For any home that has kids, we’re big champions of performance and Sunbrella fabrics. They’re the best way to ensure you can clean up any accidents that happen, plus they’ll give you peace of mind!
Who amongst us doesn’t need more storage in their life? You really can’t have too much space for stashing treasures, which is another reason we love our banquette collections. Our Coventry and Breton Collections include hidden storage bins underneath the seat so you can stash things away!
Add Coordinating Chairs
Unless you have a U-shaped breakfast nook, you’ll want to add coordinating chairs across from your banquette. While there are tons of options for coordinating benches and chairs, there are some things you should keep in mind.
- Casual or formal — Choose a chair that has a similar feel to your bench. For example, our Coventry Collection has a skirt and is fully upholstered so it usually feels dressier than our Breton or Rosalind collections. We’d pair Coventry with Louis or Dayna chairs.
- Think About Shapes — While your pieces don’t need to match, we like having shapes that complement each other. Our Senna and Breton collection have sharp angles and square shapes, so more angular side chairs work well. Coventry, Hampton, and Bristol are more rounded so we look for round shapes.
- Consider Material — It’s important to have a thread that connects your chairs and benches. You can accomplish that with the feel, the shape, and also the material.
How else can I use a banquette?
While we love a breakfast nook, you can use a banquette in so many ways. Tuck it into the corner of a living room to break up a large space. Add one in the entry for storage and a place to sit. Float one in a small space to create seating.
Need more help designing your space?
- How to Choose Coordinating Side and Head Chairs
- How to Pick the Right Dining Chair
- Room Planner Tool