How to design a kitchen breakfast bar

Updated November 21, 2016

A kitchen breakfast bar is one of the most flexible and useful pieces of furniture in your kitchen. These items can easily multitask as several design elements at once, and the best way to get the perfect kitchen breakfast bar for you is to design your own. Even if you do not ultimately build the kitchen breakfast bar yourself, you will benefit from having a clear idea about what you want and need in a kitchen breakfast bar design. Any of the following options might work for you: your breakfast bar could be a serving place, a workplace or just a little extra room to use with appliances. You can make it as simple or as fancy as both your desire and pocketbook would like.

Figure out what you want to use the breakfast bar for. If it is just going to be for serving breakfasts or other meals, you won't need anything fancy. If it is going to be a place where you prepare, cook and then serve breakfast, or if you are going to serve off of but not eat on (or vice versa) the breakfast bar, there are a multitude of design aspects that you'll need to consider. Make a list of the things you want to use your kitchen breakfast bar for so that you can evaluate your design options.

Determine if basic is best for you. For a basic serving breakfast bar, the design can be relatively simple. A vinyl top held up by a couple of legs and attached to your counter may be all you need--simple, effective and good-looking, too.

Check out some hardier, sturdier options. For a tough and durable breakfast bar, you may want to add cabinets below for storage and get a premium countertop. Depending on your kitchen layout, you can make anything from acrylic Corian, which is incredibly durable. Slices and nicks can literally be sanded out with no ill effect on aesthetics. If you like chrome or shiny appearances, consider a stainless steel countertop. Easy to clean and take care of, it is incredibly strong and lasts forever. You could even go with a stone top, say granite or limestone, for that ultimate earthy appearance. Stone will run a premium price, but for the ultimate in natural beauty, it cannot be beat.

Look into wood options for serving and preparation. If you want your kitchen breakfast bar to be a workplace to prepare the food as well as serve it, then a butcher block wooden countertop might be just the thing. Because it is wood, it can be used as a giant cutting block, where you can show off your skills and give a good presentation of what you are making for breakfast. Butcher block is thick and heavy and would require cabinets or a solid structure beneath to hold it up, but it is easy to take care of and easy to clean.


Always make sure that your budget fits with your design before you make a deposit on a kitchen breakfast bar.

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