How to Style a Breakfast Nook

Cozy and comfy, breakfast nooks make great gathering spots in your dining room or kitchen. A breakfast nook is also one of our favorite dining room design ideas because it’s stylish and minimizes floor space. We also love breakfast nooks because it’s so multipurpose—you can use it for meals, homework, or your WFH office.

Whether it’s a table and two chairs that make up a dining nook off to the side of your room or a long dining table and benches in a corner window area, you can easily create a breakfast nook in your home with just a few pieces of furniture.

Scroll through for inspiring breakfast nook designs and our tips for creating your own.

breakfast nook

A Mid-Century Breakfast Nook

Simply furnished with mid-century modern style pieces, this is a great example of a breakfast nook design because it doesn’t require any built-ins. It’s also the perfect way to make the most of window nook designs in a home.

How To Style It: You can easily do this in any space by pulling two benches and a table into a corner nook. Fill the other side with a dining chair to optimize seating and use for this space.

The Vibe: Natural wood and pops of blue make for a cool palette that’s comfy and calming.

Great For… homes with window nooks or combined living-dining spaces.

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breakfast nook

An Eclectic Eat-In Kitchen

Take a page from the most iconic breakfast nook kitchen from the Friends apartment! This is one of our top dining room layout ideas since it creates a central spot for morning coffee, cooking prep, and all kinds of drop-in conversations.

How To Style It: This is a great way to incorporate a breakfast nook right into your kitchen. All you have to do is pull in a dining room table that’s proportional to your space. A bistro-sized table with two to four chairs always works.

The Vibe: Think of this kitchen dining set up as the poster child of all eclectic style breakfast nooks, with its open layout, green-painted cupboards, and quirky accents everywhere.

Great For… small apartments or studios where the kitchen has to work double.

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A Traditional Breakfast Nook

You can take an elegant approach to your breakfast nook with classic furnishings. Here, the traditional pieces and accents create a polished sitting corner perfect for breakfast and tea.

How To Style It: You can fill any corner of a room with a pair of chairs and a round table to create an extra eating area. This can even work in a large corridor. If there’s a window, center your table in front of it for a sophisticated look.

The Vibe: Keep to refined pieces, like dark wood furniture, classic lighting, and an ornate rug for a totally trad and elevated feel.

Great For… Large living rooms and homes with wide hallways that have extra space.

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A Rustic Breakfast Nook

This relaxed and rustic breakfast nook creates an open dining area that can easily function as an extension of your living and kitchen spaces. The best part is it doesn’t require any built-ins.

How To Style It: Add a repurposed church pew for a cozy and kid-friendly seating option. Then, put spare dining room chairs alongside it to expand your kitchen and dining space. Anchor it all with a neutral patterned rug and surround it with vintage home decor mixed with new pieces.

The Vibe: Farmhouse style breakfast nooks like this are instantly homey, warm, and welcoming. You can’t go wrong with a breakfast nook that’s bold on rustic decor.

Great For… any family home or small suburban house with an open living-dining space.

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breakfast nook

A Contemporary Breakfast Nook

Streamlined with a hint of rustic, this contemporary breakfast nook is the most multipurpose out of the bunch, meaning it’s just as functional for meals and doing work as it is for things like crafts and homeschooling.

How To Style It: Start with a corner upholstered bench for comfy seating, then add a round table so you have extra leg space and can fit more people and chairs in the nook. Pull in a rolling car for school and work supplies. It will turn your nook into a perfect WFH/dining spot.

The Vibe: Contemporary and rustic, this dining nook is visually minimal but feels endlessly cozy and inviting. The perfect balance of style and function.

Great For… a corner nook that needs to seat a lot of people—and work for many different uses.

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A Modern Rustic Breakfast Nook

If you have an open concept kitchen, this is the ideal breakfast nook design. A mix between modern dining pieces and rustic elements, this is our idea of a perfect communal dining nook.

How To Style It: A large drop leaf table for big gatherings is perfect for a spacious breakfast nook. Pair it with modern dining chairs that offer some texture and padded seating. Top them off with lots of pillows piled on top of built-in benches. Even better if there’s storage in the benches!

The Vibe: Open and laid-back, this brings a balanced mix of casual comfort and modern style.

Great For… any family home or large breakfast nooks that can fit comfy built-in benches.

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breakfast nook

A Classic Glam Breakfast Nook

This is an easy way to instantly glam up any corner in a kitchen, hallway, or living room. The design for this breakfast nook is minimal yet chic, and the gallery wall adds a touch of sophistication and personality.

How To Style It: A dining nook can be as simple as a set of glamorous upholstered chairs paired with a classic bistro table in a corner. Round it all out with a mix of art pieces to play up a modern glam collector’s look.

The Vibe: Millennial pastel pink with eclectic art gives this spot curated and collected appeal.

Great For… any small corner in an apartment living room or dining space.

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A Minimalist Breakfast Nook

The high contrast look can be great in a breakfast or dining nook in a small space. It can add tons of visual impact while distracting from the size of the room, like this modernist spot.

How To Style It: Place a free-floating bench along a wall to mimic a built-in bench. Mix it with contrasting black chairs for some extra seating and a sleek touch. Anchor the whole look with an equally minimal picture ledge of black-and-white photos and art above.

The Vibe: High-contrast style with a cool edge—without sacrificing comfort.

Great For… a compact breakfast nook that’s minimal, open, and easy to pull together.

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breakfast nook

A Retro Breakfast Nook

For a retro and sleek take on the kitchen that doubles as a dining space, this eclectic nook design offers a solution with vintage pieces that can work in any style room.

How To Style It: Center your kitchen with a retro metal or laminate table for an eclectic focal point. Then try mixing in materials, like wood and leather chairs and colorful vintage-style rug and art, for an eclectic spin.

The Vibe: It’s all about a retro, funky spin with a dash of old-school cool here. Which basically means vintage style with a ’60s and ’70s feel.

Great For… an open or eat-in kitchen with room for a dining table.

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Dine in Style With These 10 Dining Room Layout Ideas

This just in: dining rooms are making a major comeback in 2020. For too long, we’ve eaten dinner while watching Netflix, with our plates perched on our laps. Too many takeout meals have been consumed while standing at the kitchen counter. It’s time for a change! Time to unplug and connect with family and friends while we nourish our bodies. It’s time to design our dining rooms to be places where we actually want to spend time.

For most of us, our dining rooms are probably not the first space we design in our homes. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore them altogether! While designing this space may seem simple at first—all you need is a table and chairs, right??—they can turn out to be trickier than you might think.

That’s because the physical space you have for a dining room hugely impacts the design. Are you designing for a dining area in a studio apartment? Working with a large, open living room/dining room space, a formal dining room, or even a pass-through dining space? There are a lot of variables to consider!

But don’t worry—we’ve got your back. Below, we’re featuring dining room layout ideas for all kinds of spaces, room layouts, and styles. Because this is your year to bite the bullet and design your perfect dining room! And hey, designing your dining room may even inspire you to get some friends together for a casual, fun dinner party!

Formal Dining Room Layouts

In a formal dining room, you have a space where the whole room is dedicated to one thing: dining. These spaces, where the dining room table is the focal point of the room, are perfect for entertaining, as they typically have space to accommodate a larger table and 6+ seats. Other design elements formal dining rooms tend to have? A statement light fixture and a credenza or console for china and linen storage. Keep reading for some of our favorite approaches to formal dining room layouts!

dining room layoutThe Essential Dining Room

This space is what dining room dreams are made of. It has all the classic dining room elements—a table, chairs, and storage. But with simple shapes and clean edges throughout, it has a contemporary look that feels anything but traditional.

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The Key Elements

A spare, minimal layout makes the space feel open and functional—and makes the most of an amazing view. But it also lets you be bold with foundational pieces, like this stunning, sculptural dining room table.

To keep this space feeling decidedly contemporary and minimal, we used a mix of textures, materials, and finishes, giving it a layered and dynamic look. We love the mix of the concrete table with metal and upholstered chairs and a wood credenza. Upholstered dining chairs are perfect for long dinners or for work-from-home days when you don’t have a home office.

Also key to this space: plenty of lighting options. With a mix of overhead lighting and table lamps, you’re able to set the ambiance for any mood or situation—whether that’s a late-night dinner party or homework time with the kids.

This Look is Perfect for…

Those with a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic. It might not be the best for households with youngsters. But if you have kids and still can’t get enough of this look, simply opt for a performance fabric in a darker color or for chairs made of wood for those inevitable spills!

dining room layoutAll About Those Bay Windows

This is a fun, bohemian take on the traditional dining room, with bold colors and rich textures throughout. But, style aside, what this space is really focusing on is those bay windows and making the most of that architectural element in the space!

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The Key Elements

Taking full advantage of bay windows doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice other key dining room design elements. Rather than a traditional credenza, in this space, we opted for a bar cabinet in the corner so it doesn’t block the beautiful view but still gives you space to store alcohol, barware, and extra dishes! This upright cabinet is perfect if your dining room doesn’t have a lot of wall space.

A sleek table and slender chair legs help make the overall space feel larger and more open—great for small spaces that can’t afford a lot of visual clutter. And opting for various wood tones in the furniture keeps the space family-friendly and approachable.

This Look is Perfect for…

Family dinners—or even casual dinner parties!

dining room layoutThe Refined Connoisseur’s Dining Room

This is a dining room made for formal entertaining. With a mix of traditional and contemporary shapes, along with clean, smooth surfaces, this look is refined and intentional. But, despite its formal vibe, it has a relaxed finish that keeps it approachable.

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The Key Elements

This space takes a minimal approach to styling—aka, there’s not a lot of stuff in here. This leaves room for more traditional and ornamental foundational pieces. A neutral color palette keeps this smaller dining area from feeling cluttered. To lean into the formal and traditional vibe, incorporate plenty of natural touches—like a rustic wood dining table, flowers and woven accessories to add a fresh feeling to the space, and a marble-top* credenza.

*Cleaning tip for marble: Make sure to use gentle, non-acidic cleaners on marble surfaces, as harsh cleaners will stain the surface. To clean, wipe down with a damp cloth, soaked in warm water.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone wanting an approachable yet refined space for entertaining.

Dining Room + Kitchen Layout Combo

Small layouts can present a challenge for dining spaces. Sometimes you need to sneak in a dining area as part of your kitchen. This is often the case in small apartments and studios, or even if you have a home but it doesn’t have space for a formal dining room. But being short on space doesn’t mean you have to forego a dining area. Below, you’ll find a few examples of ways to approach this type of layout, along with tips for how to make them shine!

dining room layoutThe Look: Le Petit Dining Room

This dining space is small, but it’s certainly not lacking in style! With just a corner off the kitchen to dedicate to formal dining, there’s not a lot of space to work with. But the wall color and thoughtful design elements make this space feel intentional and oh-so-chic.

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The Key Elements

A round table gives you more flexibility to squeeze extra seating around the table—and it also won’t draw attention to any awkward angles within the space that could emphasize how small it is. To maximize seating in a smaller area, pair a bench with chairs. You could even opt for a storage bench to maximize this space even further! Overall, opt for furniture with open bases, which will be visually airier and make the space feel less cluttered.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone who won’t let a small space keep them from having the glam dinner party they deserve.

The Look: The Breakfast Nook

Have a small corner? That’s all you need to create a cozy breakfast nook! We love the bright and airy vibe of this space. And you know what? It’s not just for breakfast. Who says you can’t host a small dinner party in a breakfast nook??

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The Key Elements

The key to a breakfast nook is appropriate and ample seating. Our favorite solution is a corner banquette bench. It provides plenty of seating and makes the best use of the space. A mobile bar cart next to the dining area is great for storage, but can also be used as a serving station for brunch! And a round rug is great for awkward spaces or corner set-ups, as it doesn’t draw attention to the shape or size of the space!

This Look is Perfect for…

Making the most of a small corner and bringing the breakfast nook of your dreams to life!

Living Room + Dining Room Layout Combo

Open living room/dining rooms are a very common feature in modern homes. And as wonderful as open layouts are, it can be difficult to design two rooms in one! These living room/dining room combos appear in many different types of open floor plans—from large and expansive to small and cozy, or even split-level. The key to nailing this look and making the entire space feel complete is knowing how to place your dining area within the context of your open space. Keep reading for more tips!

dining room layoutThe Look: The All-In-One Space

This space has it all: a living room, a dining room, and even a kitchen! Completely open floor-plans can feel intimidating to tackle, but the openness also gives you the opportunity to create some major flow and cohesive style in your space!

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The Key Elements

In an all-in-one space, a larger dining table is key—and leaving ample space around the table creates flow and allows for easy movement throughout the room. In this space, we opted for a rectangular shape, which echoes the shape of the room. This larger table easily seats six, which is great for entertaining. A consistent color scheme throughout all three areas makes the overall space feel cohesive. With varying shades of grey contrasting with bright whites, this space feels contemporary, polished, and considered.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone with a large, open floor plan who wants to create a cohesive space for living, dining and evening entertaining.

dining room layoutThe Look: The Long and Narrow

Some open living room/dining rooms are long and narrow—which creates a whole new design challenge to contend with. These spaces can be tricky to design. But they’re certainly not impossible.

The Key Elements

Start by dividing the two spaces into zones, using your sofa. By floating the sofa between the two spaces, with the back of it facing the dining area, you’re making it feel like it’s own space. Round dining tables work well in this type of space. With no hard angles, it creates easier flow in tighter spaces and doesn’t feel as rigid in the space as a rectangular table would. And this particular table has a visually interesting base which makes this space feel unique and considered. The addition of a hanging plant adds dimension to without taking up precious floor space.

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone who wants to maximize a long and narrow living room/dining room without sacrificing any style.

dining room layoutThe Look: Two’s Company

When it’s just you and a roommate or significant other, a sweet, small dining corner is all you need. And sometimes, that’s all the space you can afford in a small house or apartment! Even if your home only offers one, smaller space for both living and dining, you can certainly maximize what you’ve got to give your space a dual purpose.

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The Key Elements

In this type of space, think small: an apartment-sized sofa and a petite dining table. This will allow you to create two zones without the space feeling cluttered or overwhelming. Then, look for small but mighty storage options to maximize functionality and minimize footprint. A mirror helps reflect and light and can help open up a small space, and a light fixture over the dining table helps that space feel intentional. Finally, a rug in each area helps create distinct “zones,” but the addition of a cowhide rug layered over the edges of both connects the spaces and keeps the overall room feel cohesive!

This Look is Perfect for…

Sneaking in a dining space in a small home or apartment—a perfect arrangement for dinner for two!

Dining Area In A Studio Apartment

Studio apartments are tricky spaces to design, no matter what. You’re trying to fit all the elements of a home into one small, open space while keeping it from feeling cluttered. Add in a dining area and it might feel impossible. Might as well just eat dinner on the sofa, right? No, don’t give up! If you want a distinct dining space in your studio, rest assured that it can be done. You’ll just have to combine it with other functions to get the most out of your small space. Keep reading for some of our best small-space dining tips and tricks!

dining room layoutThe Look: The Corner Table

This cute dining space is made possible by clever design tricks that not only complement the fun and eclectic feel of this space, but even enhance it! This small space is big on style and creative layout solutions.

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The Key Elements

For a small, eclectic space, cash in on a few pieces that will help your space feel lighter and brighter! Namely: a large mirror and clear dining chairs. You can also cut some (literal) corners by going for a round table, which is more suitable in a tight space. The tulip base allows chairs to tuck neatly under the table. Tucking the whole arrangement in the corner helps you take advantage of a space that might otherwise go underutilized or unused!

This Look is Perfect for…

The studio apartment-dweller who still likes to entertain! (Or just wants a dedicated space other than the couch to eat dinner.)

dining room layoutThe Look: The Work-Dine Station

Dual-purpose furniture is an absolute necessity in a small space. Combining a dining and working area is perfect for students or if you often work from home. And placing the table in a corner nook makes the dining space feel like it’s own cozy zone!

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The Key Elements

For this set-up, we love the idea of using a bar-height table. Varying heights in a small room helps the space feel more dynamic and less visually cluttered. And if you opt for stools rather than bar chairs, you can even tuck them completely underneath the table to save on floor space when the table is not in use!

This Look is Perfect for…

Someone who likes to work from home—and therefore needs a desk set-up—but who doesn’t want to sacrifice the option of having a friend or two over for dinner!


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