Breakfast bars: how to make one work in your kitchen

Breakfast bars

Looking to make your kitchen island more multi-functional? Enter: breakfast bars. They are versatile and very handy to have. Plus, a breakfast bar helps take your design up a notch and provides that much-needed extra dining zone.

A breakfast bar can be used for a whole host of modern-day tasks. Think casual meals, coffee with friends, and work video calls. What’s more, the latest designs come in many shapes, sizes and styles and make for a serious show-stopping feature.

So, if you’ve been thinking about going for this practical addition to your space, you’re in the right place.

To help you embrace this trendy kitchen must-have, KBB magazine journo Charlotte Luxford has asked the experts about how this design feature can really make difference in your kitchen…

Where to have a breakfast bar

“There needs to be enough room for you to sit without infringing on anything else,” says Julia Steadman, commercial director at Brandt Design. “Make sure it’s close enough to enable socialising while respecting the working triangle of the kitchen and health and safety of anyone using it.”

Alice Pasteau, retail support manager at Schmidt UK, advises a 1m to 1.5m clearance around any breakfast bar.

Think about who will use it too. If you have a tall family member, the depth must be more than the standard 30cm to avoid hitting their knees.

dark kitchen design
Epicerie collection in Coral from Schmidt’s Loft range; the worktop is Nero Assoluto Ceramic. Schmidt kitchens start from £10,000.

Shape and orientation

Kevin Buchanan, design director of Kitchens International, says: “One option is to arrange the seating to face one another. This allows good communication and is often chosen when there’s no dining table.”

“The alternative, and possibly more common, is where the breakfast bar faces a certain part of the room, often adjacent to the cooking zone, so family and friends can communicate with the chef,” suggests Kevin.

compact breakfast bar
This raised oak breakfast bar wraps around the quartz worktop to add warmth. Harvey Jones kitchens start from £25,000.

How to actually do it

A popular way to incorporate a breakfast bar is to create an overhang at one end of a kitchen island or peninsula.

“You could also fit a 45cm raised wooden bar as a cantilever to a granite or quartz worktop as an accent piece,” says Darren Taylor, managing director at Searle & Taylor.

Wooden breakfast bar
A round breakfast bar not only breaks up a linear kitchen, it also provides a social area. Searle & Taylor kitchens start from £40,000.

Design decisions

Consider how your breakfast bar will fit in with existing features – from windows to beams. “In terms of material, it needs to be durable and hard-wearing,” says Melissa.

“Quartz is a resilient surface that’s smooth and easy to clean, while also being largely scratch and stain resistant.”

Don’t forget the smaller details, such as dimmable lighting, sockets, and USB charging points.

Statement kitchen island
The Caesarstone Frosty Carrina quartz worktop provides an overhang in this kitchen by Brandt Design, from £25,000.

In conclusion, a breakfast bar is a great addition to any kitchen. No matter the shape of your island, you can find a clever way to include a breakfast bar. Why not save the experts’ advice for later when you get to planning your new design?

Do you have enough space for a kitchen island? Find out here

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