Kitchen Ideas Breakfast Nook

The kitchen island is changing like the Transformer character Optimus Prime, morphing to include a breakfast nook attached to one side as homeowners look to get the most out of their homes.

At the heart of the kitchen-island-with-breakfast nook concept is the banquette, or bench, providing communal seating on the island side of the nook. Then a table and, on the other side, kitchen chairs that round out the seating.

"It's a useful way to create a little seating area without a freestanding table," says Sallie Smith, owner of Sallie Smith Decor and Decorating of Lower Macungie Township. The concept allows easy serving from the island, she notes. "And little kids can stand and watch what you're doing on the island."

The concept puts the table and chairs in a compact form and would work well for people who have relatively smaller kitchen–great room combinations or enough space in a kitchen, says Joanne Kostecky Petito, owner and design coach for House Scape Design Consulting, LLC of Lower Saucon Township. "There's so much more room left to develop the rest of the space — a larger family room or a sitting area [in the kitchen] where the table and chairs would normally be."

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