In many homes today, there is an area in the kitchen where families gather to eat most of their meals. It is sometimes called the eat-in kitchen but more commonly, it is known as the breakfast nook. The table where these gatherings take place is called the breakfast table. However, if people eat a majority of their meals there, why is it only associated with breakfast? The reason dates back to when these tables were first used. The previous generation was used to sitting down at the dining room table for the evening meal. Today, we only gather there for special occasions, usually. However, once families ate supper at the dining room table. Breakfast tables were for a quick bite in the morning before work or school. Hence the name – kitchen breakfast table.
While the breakfast room table is usually small, the table can be one of many shapes. Some of the most common breakfast table shapes are round, rectangular, or square. The shape of your small breakfast table depends largely on the shape of the breakfast nook area. If your kitchen has an end that sticks out in a half octagon shape, then breakfast table furniture of the circular nature would fit best. You can use the maximum amount of the space with a round table. If your kitchen just has an end that does not have any cabinets or counters and stays the same rectangular shape, then a rectangular breakfast table set will work best.
After you decide on the shape that fits best in your kitchen, you will want to consider the materials of construction. The materials that will work best for your breakfast table are ones that continue the decorating style of the rest of the kitchen. Since the breakfast nook and the breakfast nook furniture within it are just an extension of the kitchen, the décor should be consistent. For example, if you have a country theme kitchen with oak cabinets and a copper sink then your breakfast nook table should probably be oak or stained to look like the oak of your cabinets as best as possible. You will tie things together even better if you find a way to tie in more subtle connections like some inlaid copper tiles on the table top.
Some of the most common breakfast table materials are wood, glass, granite, stainless steel, aluminum, Formica, or other hardened plastics. The tabletop and the table base do not have to be made of the same material. In fact, it is usually nice to have a difference. You do not even have to be consistent within the tabletop. It is quite common to find a combination of metal and glass or wood and tile in a table top. Materials like glass, metal, or plastic have one advantage over wood in that they are not porous. Wooden breakfast tables can absorb spills and odors and it is harder to clean than the smooth surfaces provided by glass, plastic, or metal. That is why many wooden tables explore the many breakfast table color options by painting the tabletop. The paint provides a layer of protection and the wood is less likely to absorb stains.
There are several different styles for the table base to choose from. You can have a traditional dining table style with four legs in each corner, but this is usually reserved for square or rectangular breakfast tables. Those legs can be tapered or straight, thin or thick, or freestanding or permanently installed. Some stereotypes that seem consistent are that wooden legs are usually thicker and straight, while metal or plastic legs often taper and are thinner. Sometimes bars or supports connect the breakfast table legs. Their function is most often decorative rather than structural. An alternative to the four-leg breakfast table is a pedestal table. These work best for square or round tables because the weight can be evenly distributed around the one center leg. A pedestal breakfast table will have a large center leg, typically with an X or tripod design at the bottom for support and stability.
While most breakfast nook table sets are meant for sitting at the normal dinner table height, there is one breakfast nook table idea that is quite popular that strays from that standard. Breakfast bar tables are chest high tables meant to be used in conjunction with bar stools. Sometimes, the breakfast bar is just an extension of the kitchen island and you can pull right up to the island to eat your meals. A breakfast table with stools is reminiscent of an outdoor café or bar and works well in a newer house with a more modern feel. They are usually meant for smaller kitchens because they typically only seat two to three people. Breakfast table stools are usually higher than normal chairs and you have to step up into them.
Many people think that you can use any dining room table in the breakfast nook and that there is no difference between the two. However, some dining room table attributes are not appropriate for the breakfast nook. For example, a drop leaf breakfast table is uncommon. Usually you choose the largest table that you can for your breakfast nook. Having extra leaves that can be added to the tabletop is pointless if the room cannot accommodate anything larger. In addition, breakfast nook tables are usually considered less formal so ornate wooden carved legs and dark woods like cherry or teak are not common for breakfast tables.