How To Decorate A Breakfast Bar [7 Cool Ideas!]

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Once you have your breakfast bar installed, it might seem a bit plain. There’s no reason your breakfast bar needs to be a barren space. We checked with home designers to compile this great list of ways to decorate your breakfast bar. In a sea of countertops, let your bar stand out and shine!
 
To help distinguish your breakfast bar, there are lots of decorative approaches you can try. These include:
  1. Pendant light or chandelier 
  2. Fun or colorful chairs
  3. Under the counter LED lights
  4. Flower vases
  5. Artwork
  6. Candles
  7. Fruit bowl
Read more for help decorating your breakfast bar, with specific tips and tricks. This article will offer advice on each of the options and how to use them in your own home. We’ll also cover how to decorate your kitchen counters and more.

A modern rustic styled kitchen with wooden dividers, kitchen cabinets, and wooden paneled breakfast bar, How To Decorate A Breakfast Bar [7 Cool Ideas!]

How To Decorate A Breakfast Bar

In many cases, a breakfast bar is designed to look similar to the rest of the kitchen counters. This helps it blend and fit in with the rest of your kitchen. However, you’ll want to decorate in a way that makes it immediately clear that this isn’t just a counter. Your breakfast bar is a special place in your kitchen, so make sure it looks that way.

To pick decor that works with the rest of the kitchen, it’s important to keep in mind the rest of the room’s color palette. If your kitchen is already blue, white, and gray, for example, you probably should stick to those colors for the bar. Otherwise, it will seem out of place and disjointed with the rest of the room.

Interior of a gorgeous contemporary kitchen area with a wooden countertop breakfast bar

Keep in mind that the color palette applies to whatever room you can see from the bar. So if the bar faces the kitchen but is technically in the living room, the colors you pick should fit within both rooms’ decorating schemes.

And, lastly, don’t forget the function of the breakfast bar. If you expect it to mostly be a place where coffee is served, that’s fine. That means you have some extra space for knick-knacks (a few coffee cups don’t require much counter space).

On the other hand, if four people will regularly eat meals here, you may want to limit the clutter. In that case, perhaps you can only have one or two pieces that are easy to move out of the way. If you want to leave the counters free altogether, stick to recommendations such as lights or colorful chairs – these are ways to add interest and not touch the counters at all.

Pendant Light or Chandelier

Adding some light to a room never hurts. Pick a colorful and eye-catching one that doubles as a decorative focal point, and kill two birds with one stone. For example:

Click here to see this light on Amazon.

Fun Chairs

Like lights, seats are an essential piece of the breakfast bar. However, that shouldn’t stop you from picking fun and colorful chairs that can do double duty. Why have just a chair, when you can have an interesting decoration as well? 

Click here to see these bar chairs on Amazon.

Not sure what size chair to get? Read here for “How Tall Should Bar Stools Be.”

Under the Counter LED Lights

If you think you have the “cool house” in the neighborhood, make your breakfast bar into a party scene with some LED strip lights under the countertop. They add a touch of fun and whimsy to make mealtime anything but boring. If your breakfast bar is used mostly for entertaining, this may be the perfect way to style it.

Click here to see these LED lights on Amazon.

Flower Vase

For an extra personal touch, try a vase full of fresh flowers. Both the vase and flowers look and smell good, delighting your guests through multiple senses.

Click here to see this vase on Amazon.

Artwork

Place a series of related art prints on countertop easels. It’s an interesting piece to both look at and talk about. Try a classic like these Van Gogh reprints.

Click here to see these prints on Amazon.

Candles

Using candles offers natural light and a calming, relaxing ambiance. Both of these things can be highly desirable for your breakfast bar, especially if frantic last-minute diners usually surround it. Light a set of candles to soothe everyone’s’ spirits while they eat.

Click here to see this tea candle holder on Amazon.

Fruit Bowl

If the idea of a flower vase doesn’t appeal to you, the more prosaic fruit bowl might be just the ticket. Not only does it add a pop of color to the counter, but it’s also functional. A fruit bowl both gives you a place for food storage and casually offers guests a snack.

Click here to see this fruit bowl on Amazon.

What Do You Use A Breakfast Bar For?

A breakfast bar is usually closer to (or part of) the kitchen, unlike a table, which may be entirely removed in a separate dining room. At the breakfast bar, casual meals might be served, countless cups of coffee, or light snacks. Breakfast bars are popular as a casual conversation place while someone is busy preparing a meal in the kitchen.

They are also a great place for kids to gather. Here, a parent can continue working in the kitchen but still supervise after school snacks, homework, or chat with the kids. Breakfast bars are also yet another surface where guests can sit, eat and socialize – we all know at a party, there’s never enough of those. In houses where a lot of entertaining occurs, that alone can make them worth the investment.

Interested in other places to eat, besides a traditional table? Try “6 Dining Table Alternatives.”

How Big Should A Breakfast Bar Be?

The standard breakfast bar is 42 inches high, although 30 or 36 inches high is a common alternative. They are about 24 inches deep (any bigger than that, and guests can’t reach easily across it).

You need to have roughly two feet of space for each seat. Use this to determine the best length for your bar. For example, if you want to have four seats, and each seat requires two feet, you will need a bar that is at least eight feet long. Read more about “How Much Should a Breakfast Bar Overhang.

What Should You Display On Your Kitchen Counters?

Decorating your kitchen counters is an absolutely necessity – no one wants to look at truly bland, lifeless countertops. Your kitchen is meant to be one of the central rooms in your home- a cozy, welcoming space. So make sure it looks like it! With that said, how much you can display is obviously limited to the space you have available. If counter space is a precious commodity, you may not be able to sacrifice any for something frivolous like a framed art print.

Interior of a contemporary kitchen with a breakfast bar made with marble countertop

Another factor is your own personal preference. Some people like leaving fairly open counters, especially if they cook a lot. Having a lot of knick-knacks in the way might make your kitchen less functional than desired. Some may find it easier to leave some kitchen hardware out, where it’s both accessible and a decorative piece. For example, a breadmaker or stand mixer might be ideal left on the counter.

The most important thing is that you have enough room to perform your routine kitchen tasks and efficiently clean up after yourself. If the “stuff” you display on your counters interferes with that, then declutter, by all means. But don’t feel like you have too much decor if the counter space is still working well. A little extra personal touch just makes the homiest room in the house that much homier.

Some ideas for items you can display on your countertops include:

  • Large wooden cutting board
  • Matching canisters
  • Nice looking countertop appliances such as a stand mixer or toaster
  • Small plants or flowers
  • Small art prints or framed photos
  • Trays for collecting items (for example, a tray that holds all of your coffee supplies)
  • Fruit bowl
  • Utensil jar or holder

 

A small granite countertop with white cabinets

To Summarize

Decorating your breakfast bar is an easy way to give it some personality and make sure it stands out from the rest of your kitchen. While the ideal decor will depend on how much free counter space you have available, some decorations such as nice hanging lights, under counter lighting, and colorful chairs take no counter room at all. If you have space, details such as candle holders, vases, fruit bowls, or art prints can add interest to a boring countertop.

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