25 Eat-In Kitchens Perfect for Casual Family Dining

open kitchen dining area
Photo: Lincoln Barbour

An eat-in kitchen is a perfect spot for a quick snack, on-the-go dinners, or casual family meals. Between banquettes, breakfast nooks, and islands, there are tons of ways to work a kitchen-dining room combo into your cooking space. See how these eat-in kitchens incorporate style and practical seating for great places to gather.

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Kitchen Breakfast Nook

grey kitchen cabinets, yellow chairs
David A. Land

Turn a small kitchen nook into a cozy breakfast area. Situated in front of a window and between banks of cabinetry, a small table and bright yellow chairs form a casual spot to sip coffee or enjoy a quick meal. The round, pedestal-style table provides more legroom and is easier to navigate around than a rectangular one.

02 of 25

Modern Eat-In Kitchen

blue-gray and white kitchen with island
John Granen

Streamlined design is key to this modern eat-in kitchen. The island's long counter creates the perfect area for snack time or breakfast without taking up valuable prep space. Backless black-and-white stools—which can tuck mostly under the countertop and out of the traffic flow—help maintain the kitchen's sleek, minimalist look.

03 of 25

Eat-In Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Banquette with small round white table
Lincoln Barbour

Take advantage of large windows or doors when considering the placement of your eating area. This cozy banquette tucks beneath large windows in a corner of the eat-in kitchen. The windows are left bare and throw pillows stand in for seat backs so the views and natural light from the windows remain unobstructed.

04 of 25

Kitchen Dining Area Connection

open kitchen dining area
Lincoln Barbour

With the dining area integrated into the kitchen, using similar colors in both areas helps the whole space feel connected and open. In this eat-in kitchen, light wood finishes on the dining furniture tie in with the butcher-block countertops, and the built-in banquette is painted white to match the upper cabinets. The same patterned tile extends from the kitchen into the dining space for consistency and easy cleaning.

05 of 25

Kitchen Island Seating

kitchen with large island and wood floors
Werner Straube

Extending the countertop out from an island offers additional prep space and a place to sit. Three stools congregate around one side of the island in this eat-in kitchen. Besides a support post, the space under the countertop remains open to provide extra legroom for the seating area.

06 of 25

Combined Kitchen Dining Areas

white kitchen with round table
James Yochum

Rather than having one large dining space, consider working in two separate but adjoining dining areas. Here, a small table fits into a snug breakfast nook without crowding the space. Although it only provides seating for four, the adjoining countertop offers bar seating for more and opens the dining space to the kitchen for an airy floor plan.

07 of 25

Eat-In Kitchen Table

kitchen with long wooden dining table
Reed Davis

When planning your dining area, work with the space you have and devise furniture solutions that fit. Here, the narrow area between the kitchen island and the wall called for a space-smart solution. While a round table has its advantages, this space needed a long, narrow table and slim chairs to avoid overcrowding it.

08 of 25

Remodeled Eat-In Kitchen

white dinning nook bench
Laura Moss

The eat-in area was the only part of the old kitchen that remained after the remodel. A new banquette adds plenty of needed storage and takes up less floor space than a stand-alone table and chairs. Easy-to-clean black leather tops the banquette benches and chair seats. The fabric also adds to the kitchen's black-and-white color scheme.

09 of 25

Small Eat-In Kitchen Ideas

small kitchen two person bench
Marty Baldwin

You only need a few square feet of extra space to incorporate a dining area into your kitchen. This cozy spot consists of a small table pushed up against the wall with a two-person bench on one side. When it's not being used for meals, the table provides another prep zone for cooking.

10 of 25

Large Kitchen Breakfast Area

dining table blue chairs
John Bessler

Adjacent to this open-concept kitchen is a large breakfast area, perfect for the entire family to share a meal. By situating the table in line with the island, the room's flow isn't interrupted. Repeating blue accents tie the connecting spaces together.

11 of 25

Built-In Kitchen Banquette

banquet dining orange chairs bench
James R. Salomon

Can't decide between a banquette and chair seating? Opt for both! A built-in banquette provides plush seating for casual dining, while chairs allow for a flexible arrangement. Consider drawers within your banquette bench for hidden linen and dishware storage.

12 of 25

Rustic Eat-In Kitchen

kitchen island wooden beam ceiling
David A. Land

Metal stools add modern flair and functionality to this rustic eat-in kitchen. The island stools offer seating for kids who want to help cook or a perch for a quick dinner. The soft blue color turns the kitchen island into a focal point, while wooden beams overhead add warmth to white cabinetry and brick walls.

13 of 25

Eat-In Kitchen Stools

kitchen island barstools orange lights
David A. Land

Choose eat-in kitchen seating that suits the room's overall design. Stools with short backs invite guests to sit and stay awhile without interrupting the sightlines of an open floor plan. These industrial-style, wood-topped stools fit in with the eat-in kitchen's warm, rustic touches including rich hardwood floors and farmhouse-style pendant lighting.

14 of 25

Kitchen Table with a View

kitchen dining area blue chairs
David A. Land

Get the most out of a kitchen with a view by positioning a breakfast nook or dining area to overlook the outdoors. This eat-in kitchen's waterfront view provides a peaceful spot to start the day. The surrounding environment also supplied the inspiration for the room's blue-and-white color scheme.

15 of 25

Colorful Kitchen Nook

corner dining banquet retro bench
Brie Williams

Put unused corner space to work with a stylish and functional banquette. This space affords a view of the outdoors and is filled with natural light thanks to big windows surrounding the banquette. The neutral colors, carried over from the adjoining kitchen, are punched up with green, pink, and red seat cushions.

16 of 25

Comfortable Eat-In Kitchen Seating

white cushion dining bench
Werner Straube

A tufted bench and cushioned wicker chair offer stylish, comfortable seating in this eat-in kitchen. Patterned throw pillows help establish a laidback, blue-and-white color scheme. In an eating area where spills are inevitable, use durable, easy-to-clean fabrics for seat cushions and pillows.

17 of 25

Cottage-Style Eat-In Kitchen

kitchen brick floor rustic dining table
John Bessler

An antique wooden table and unique chairs are fitting choices for a cottage kitchen filled with cream walls and weathered brick floors. French doors lead out to a small patio and welcome in fresh breezes on pleasant days. The dining area is situated right in front of the doors to capitalize on the indoor-outdoor connection.

18 of 25

Picnic-Style Kitchen Table

grey cushion dining nook
Edmund Barr

This eclectic kitchen mixes and matches contrasting materials and styles for an unforgettable look. A wooden picnic-style table gives off a fun, welcoming vibe, while the commercial-style island and stainless-steel appliances (not shown) provide a sleek contrast. The cushioned banquette and wooden bench provide the flexibility to add extra guests around the large table.

19 of 25

Standout Kitchen Island Color

white kitchen red barstools
David Tsay

Use kitchen seating as an opportunity to jazz up a room's color. Here, bright red metal stools stand out against the kitchen's muted color scheme. The unexpected color draws attention to the island and breaks up all the white.

20 of 25

Double Kitchen Islands

kitchen island banquet grey upholstered barstools
Nancy Nolan

This eat-in kitchen doubles the gathering space with two islands. One is dedicated to dining while the other assists in cooking. Fabric-covered stools add seating for a cozy spot to gather for a sit-down meal, and the adjacent island is ideal for prep work and meals on the go.

21 of 25

Curved Kitchen Island

black kitchen island with barstools
Kimberly Gavin

A curved island edge is the perfect perch for guests or family members to sit while conversing with the cook. Here, two upholstered chairs offer a cozy dinner spot for two. A U-shape kitchen layout keeps the work zones compact and efficient, and the angled island countertop helps direct traffic flow in the clean-line kitchen.

22 of 25

Practical Eat-In Kitchen

grey kitchen island black stools
Ryann Ford

When you don't have a lot of extra space, it's important to pick island stools that are easy to stow away or fit tight against the furnishing. Here, small backless stools can easily be tucked under the counter when not in use. The sleek, squared-off design echoes the contemporary style of the kitchen.

23 of 25

Kitchen Island Eating Area

baby blue kitchen island white barstools
James R. Salomon

With a raised countertop and a table-like design, one half of this kitchen island serves as an additional eating area. Bar-height chairs are positioned around two sides, leaving the area in front of the refrigerator unobstructed. Chairs with cushions and backs offer comfort that encourages guests to linger.

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Eat-In Kitchen Entertaining

white kitchen island yellow stools
John Granen

Offering eat-in kitchen seating in addition to a dining table is particularly handy when entertaining. Stools provide space for the kids, and the extra counter space is convenient for serving food. This kitchen's layout allows guests to serve themselves at the bar without entering the main work area.

25 of 25

Kitchen Island Extension

kitchen wooden bar table barstools
Robert Brinson

In need of extra dining space but not willing to give up valuable preparation areas on the island? Place a tall bar table next to the island using complementary materials. An island extension, such as this kitchen's stained-wood countertop, offers a place for eating meals and doing homework.

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