For many families, life revolves around the kitchen. From the enormous amount of time spent prepping for and cooking meals to the place where kids will sit and do their homework, the kitchen is often the center of the home. Eat-in kitchens allow for more togetherness in everyday life and while entertaining. They provide a more casual setting for enjoying the majority of meals, cutting down on the hassle of transporting food to a formal dining room.

For these reasons, eat-in kitchens are a must in most homes. CIRCLE Design places a lot of importance on incorporating an eat-in element in nearly all of our kitchen designs. We want to design kitchens that not only look great but also match the homeowners’ style and function to fit their needs.

No matter the size or style of your kitchen, there’s usually a way to incorporate one or more eat-in areas into the design. From islands to counters to breakfast nooks, there are many possibilities to ensure your kitchen is a comfortable and practical space for eating and socializing day-in and day-out.

Factors to Consider for Your Eat-in Kitchen Design

Ultimately, the type of eat-in area you choose will depend on how much space you have to work with. A larger space may allow for a breakfast nook or even a full-size table, while a smaller kitchen may just have the option for some stools at a counter. You may even have space to incorporate more than one eat-in area, depending on your needs.

You’ll also want to consider how much seating you need, and who is going to primarily be using the space. For example, if kids are going to be using the space frequently, counter height options or a table at a breakfast nook may be easier than a bar height option.

Also consider what the space will be used for (in addition to eating). It may become the hub for pre-meal conversations while entertaining or the spot for kids to study. With this in mind, think about the kind of lighting you will want for the space.

Once you’ve decided what kind of eat-in area you’re going to include, you’ll have to decide on the seating. From stools to benches to chairs, the options are endless, and the styles of each of these vary widely. Try to choose seating that matches your home’s overall style, whether that’s modern, traditional, rustic, or casual. You’ll also want to keep in mind the comfort level and ease of use for whoever will be using that seating most often.

Best of CIRCLE Eat-in Kitchen Designs

Enjoy some of our favorite CIRCLE eat-in kitchens for inspiration.


We love a great island. In addition to the work space and storage it provides, the other side can double as an eat-in space. An island can be more casual with a simple overhang for stools or chairs, or it can be made to look more like a piece of furniture, with end panels or legs, allowing it to serve as the focal point of the room.


Eating spaces on counters are space efficient while still providing a variety of styles to go with your home.


If you have the space for a breakfast nook with a small table or even a large enough area for a full-size table, that can be a great option. These kinds of spaces can also allow for seating options such as benches.


As you can see, there are many great options for a stylish and practical eat-in area for your kitchen to best fit the needs of your family’s home.