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Kitchen Breakfast Bar Designs

Updated on September 28, 2016

Sink in a Breakfast Bar:

Kitchen Breakfast Bar Designs:: Kitchen Sink in a Breakfast Bar.
Kitchen Breakfast Bar Designs:: Kitchen Sink in a Breakfast Bar. | Source

Kitchen Breakfast Bar Designs - What Types Are There?

I don't know about you, but the idea of a breakfast bar is high up on my list of priorities for my next house. I am currently between homes, renting, but at some future point soon I'll be looking around houses to buy - and having an open plan kitchen/living room, with a breakfast bar dividing them is key to my decision.

I live alone, so having separate rooms for everything can be annoying. If I am cooking I don't want to have to get up and go to a completely separate and different room and stand there while food is being prepared, heated or cooked.

I want to be able to move easily between the kitchen and my main living room, having a breakfast bar instead of a dividing wall.

Like most people, I will watch a lot of house programmes, where houses are renovated or revamped - and sometimes I see some quite bad designs.

Below are some kitchen breakfast bar designs to think about

A Breakfast Bar With Integral Sink:

I have just one question: why?

I see a breakfast bar as being a large space that has many uses. You can use a breakfast bar when you're baking, kneading dough, rolling out pastry. You can clear the space and use it to work from home - a huge great big workspace/work desk for spreading your papers out on.

A breakfast bar can enable you to be baking while a friend is sat on a stool the other side and you're chatting.

A breakfast bar in a small home can mean that you don't need to waste space with a dining table as you can eat at the breakfast bar.

So why would somebody use this space to put a sink? It really seems to me to be the oddest choice somebody could make. Especially if after a meal you want to put things in the sink and not wash them up right away.... if you've just used the breakfast bar to eat a snack at and are now enjoying coffee, you'll be fighting for space alongside your dirty pans.

Kitchen Breakfast Bar Designs: On Two Levels
Kitchen Breakfast Bar Designs: On Two Levels | Source

A Breakfast Bar With One High Side

I can never decide if I like this type of breakfast bar or not.

If you have one high side to the breakfast bar, then it can create a good hiding hole for essential clutter, but it does prevent the breakfast bar being used as an informal eating space. It can restrict the way you use the breakfast bar for baking too as kneading bread, rolling out pastry, all generate quite a lot of mess to be cleared away, mess which will find its way to the back of the hidey hole.

On the other hand, if you're looking for open plan, without the clutter of the kitchen being so obvious, a high end will block the view from the living space.

Sometimes a two level breakfast bar will work - it's all to do with how you would use your breakfast bar. Do you use it to socialise, or work?

Breakfast Bar with a Shelf Over

While I will admit these might seem a good idea, again I think these breakfast bars lose half their functionality.

You are probably quite limited as to what you can put/keep on the shelf over a breakfast bar, before it either keeps falling off or looks a mess.

The shelves are usually supported on four upright chrome legs.

I've not actually seen one of these breakfast bars in real life, but have certainly seen photos of them when I've been browsing around.

The alternative to this seems to be a much higher shelf over the breakfast bar, suspended from the ceiling... I couldn't even reach up there!

Definitely not on my list of wants!

Breakfast Bar Stools:

Choosing a Breakfast Bar Design: Breakfast bar stools under the breakfast bar.
Choosing a Breakfast Bar Design: Breakfast bar stools under the breakfast bar. | Source

Breakfast Bar Stools

I think breakfast bar stools is a major area for consideration.

So often I've seen overly large breakfast bar stools - and sat on some really uncomfortable ones. Buying cheap breakfast bar stools probably isn't the wisest thing because they'll just be uncomfortable or a bad fit.

I like the idea of stools that fit under a breakfast bar, but on the other hand I like the idea of having a back and arms on them.

So those are the two choices I think: back/arms on the breakfast bar stools, or not

Certainly picking a breakfast bar design that has space to fit the stools under neatly is best for a small space.

Breakfast Bar Stool Materials

There's also the question of what breakfast bar stools will be made from.  The main choices are wood, chrome or wrought iron.  Chrome is all the rage now, you'd think wrought iron would last a lifetime, but I am tending towards wooden breakfast bar stools because I think I'd get fed up with the same design in 15 years' time, so I don't want to buy for longevity.

Wrought iton would be heavy - and if the stools are likely to get used elsewhere it wouldn't be practical to be lugging them about. e.g. if you will use them in the garden at Barbecue time and have fitted an eating shelf outside for that.

Breakfast Bar Base Units

One thing some people don't think about with breakfast bars is the units underneath them. Here are some quick pointers so you don't get it wrong:

  • If you have the top overhanging, then you can't have drawers at the top, as when you open the drawers the counter top will still be over them.
  • If you have an overhang and drawers, but the overhang is just a few inches then watch out as this is a potential finger trap (I know this as my current kitchen top overhangs the units by about 2" and I've already trapped my fingers twice).
  • If your breakfast bar is in a corner of your kitchen units, then that corner piece can be tricky to use effectively. The corner units of kitchen base cabinets tend to be places where you chuck old items and never use them, because they're out of sight, out of mind, or a pain to get out. Instead, why not turn that end unit round so it is accessed from the other side of the breakfast bar. What this means is that where a breakfast bar is 3 cupboards long, you'd have access to the two end ones from inside the kitchen - and the 3rd corner one would be a cupboard the other side. This makes much better use of the space. I hate corners of kitchen units.

Breakfast Bar Ideas

If you're looking for breakfast far ideas, then there are a number of places you can check out.

Look online at houses and apartments for sale - look at the photos for breakfast bars people have put in their homes.

New build developments - go out and visit some local new build development sites for ideas.

Ideal Home Exhibition - seek out any local or national interior design events.

Ideas are everywhere. Look at each picture and think about your lifestyle and whether the breakfast bar ideas you see would actually work the way you intended.


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    • thedoormaker profile image


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Looks elegant and convenient. I was like in a bit row of planing this one alike. :)

    • BakingBread-101 profile image


      7 years ago from Nevada

      Well, I have a lovely open floor plan and my breakfast bar does separate the kitchen. It's a high one but deep enough to put a place setting or write a letter. I have a single sink on the kitchen counter side -- I fill it with ice and beer/water/beverages for parties. The double sinks across the room under the 8' long window are where I put the dirties. The nice thing about my breakfast bar is we sit at it and have a lovely outside view. As to the cabinets, well, I REFUSE to have blind cabinets. I have all easy reach cabinets in which to store whatever. You can see EVERYTHING in them and get what you want out easily. I have wooden swivel bar chairs which fit so when they are pushed in, the seat part goes under the bar part. It's the best of all worlds. I like it so much that I will be doing the same exact thing in my next home once this one is sold. Earner, email me if you are in the market for a home in Las Vegas! I have what you want!

      Great hub. Love the pictures and the thoughts behind each.

    • whitton profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice Hub. Breakfast bars are a great addition to any kitchen. I love the breakfast bar with the sink in it. Its perfect for entertaining.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice, reminds me of what I did in my home.

    • CyFree profile image


      9 years ago from Seymour, CT

      I am designing my dream home. A lot of food for thought here.

    • shanel profile image


      9 years ago from Seattle

      I'm with you on not including a sink in the breakfast bar. It's not very appealing to be sipping your coffee over a pile of dirty dishes. I like the simple, plain breakfast bar design. Thanks, great post.

    • profile image

      clicker garage door openers 

      9 years ago

      I love this idea of a breakfast bar. It sounds so convenient! Thanks for sharing the information in this hub :)

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 

      9 years ago from UK

      I love it that you love what you're doing here. I'd go with the sink, but then I'd probably need a long one, because of one scenario you've mentioned - wanting to chat after having a meal and not wanting to clean them right away. The sink can probably accommodate that after-meal clutter, if it's deep and wide enough, which brings in considerations of space and budget. See? I'm already thinking! Now, about the color.... hmmm. Good stuff you have here. I'm into home improvement myself. Please keep it up. :D

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I agree with you. A breakfast bar with a shelf over it would kinda limit your ability to really use it for large projects. I use mine when I need to spread out whatever I am working on. A shelf would just be in the way. Maybe having shelves underneath it would solve the storage challenge.

    • beadams profile image


      9 years ago from St. Paul

      nice design.

      create more.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      I like breakfast bars but as you point out without a sink. Thank for the tips.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      10 years ago from South Wales

      We had a breakfast bar once. I really do miss it.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      This was pretty good. It outlines the things to think about before installing a breakfast bar in your home. I like the idea of it, too, to have all the rooms more open.


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