Designing kitchens is one of my all-time favorite things about flipping houses. I love the way my designs can completely transform a space to make it feel totally updated and gorgeous. Of course, if I’m working with a smaller kitchen, I sometimes have to think outside the box and imagine myself living in the house every day. This has helped me create a lot of really fun ways to add informal dining space so that our homebuyers can feel more comfortable and relaxed as they get ready for work in the morning, cook dinner at night, or just hang out on the weekends.
Imagine that you’re rehabbing a house with a kitchen that’s too small for a kitchen table. It’s obviously not going to be an eat-in kitchen for the whole family, but do you really want to make your buyers go to the dining room for every meal? Especially if they’re just having coffee in the morning? Of course not. That’s why I love adding breakfast bars to just about all of our kitchens, and why I’ve figured out a few different ways to do it creatively to add counter space and seating without stealing space from the rest of the kitchen.
Come Around the Corner
If you have a smaller kitchen, especially if it’s a galley kitchen, but you have an open floor plan, you can extend one of the counters just slightly out of the “kitchen” space of your first floor layout and then make a 90-degree turn and extend it a couple of feet out from the wall. When you do this, you’ll essentially add space to the kitchen, give your buyers more drawer and cabinet space, and have plenty of room to add an overhang on the countertop there so that you have a cozy breakfast bar.
Add a Floating Bar on a Free Wall
Another idea for an open floor plan – this time, instead of extending the kitchen, add a floating bar to an adjacent wall. Then, your buyers can decide to use it as a breakfast bar, a cool space for the kids to do homework, or even just as more shelf space for the kitchen or living room. This is one of my favorite design options because it’s really versatile and leaves a lot of room for imagination, so it’ll appeal to a wide range of buyers’ tastes.
I especially love this option if you have an unused corner in the kitchen or next to it because you can build the bar into the corner itself. It won’t take up much space, and it’ll give plenty of room for your buyers to hang out with a cup of coffee, eat breakfast, or do some homework for work or school.
Knock Out Half a Wall
If you have a closed kitchen and you want a more open space where your buyers can enjoy each other’s company while they cook and hang out in the kitchen, you might want to knock out the upper half of one of the walls. Then you can install a countertop with an overhang, and you have an instant breakfast bar that also opens the kitchen up and makes it feel more spacious.
These are just a few of my favorite ways to add a breakfast bar to any kitchen. Next time you walk into a new fix and flip house, take a minute to think like your buyers and consider where you can put some living space in the kitchen. You might be surprised at what you come up with!