Today’s hectic households and active families require comfortable spaces to grab a quick breakfast or gather for an evening meal. Dinettes and breakfast nooks provide the ideal spot for daily dining or family gatherings.
Ideal for small kitchens or tiny apartments, dinettes, and breakfast nooks are small kitchen tables or kitchen table/chair sets. These versatile pieces come in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and styles to fit your space and taste.
You’ll discover a world of possibilities when shopping for dinettes and breakfast nooks. To help you find your perfect table or set, we’ve created this handy buying guide to get you started. The terms dinettes and breakfast nooks are often interchangeably used, so we use both below.
What is the difference between a dinette and a regular dining table?
Dinette tables fit in small spaces and typically sit between two to six people. Regular dining tables come in a wide range of sizes and seating capacity for 4 to 12 people.
What are the types of dinettes and breakfast nooks?
There are several choices in dinette types to suit any space. Fortunately, any size space can be accommodated by the dinette types below to create the perfect dining spot.
- Fixed Dinette Tables in Standard Shapes
These are typical dinette tables with a fixed four-leg, pedestal, or trestle style base. The top does not extend or fold down. You’ll find these dinette tables in smaller sizes and in common shapes of round, oval, square, or rectangular.
With its ability to expand outwards and accommodate more guests, an extension table allows for both casual dining and entertaining. Depending upon your space, expanding dinettes come in square and rectangular styles and expand to different lengths. For this type of table, you’ll want to have extra chairs tucked away to use when entertaining additional diners.
- Folding or Drop-Leaf Tables
These handy dinette tables come in wall-mounted and free-standing designs to accommodate different size spaces. These tables fold up when not in use and fold down for dining. Wall mounted tables are great to use in the tiniest of kitchens or efficiency apartments. The drop-leaf tables require a bit more space to operate and come with a single drop leaf or two drop leaves on either side of the table. They come in round, square, and rectangular styles.
What size dinette do I need to fit my kitchen?
The dimensions of your space should be used to determine the size of your dinette table or dinette set you will need. A general rule of thumb suggests leaving at least 36 inches between the table’s edge and the wall or other furniture. This allows enough room to walk around the chairs and those seated around you.
What materials are available for dinettes and nooks?
Many exciting material and finish options are available for dinettes and breakfast nooks. From wood to glass, you’re sure to find something to suit your décor style and tastes from the most common choices below:
- Wood Dinettes & Breakfast Nooks
A classic choice for the dining room, you’ll want to consider other wood elements in your kitchen to either provide high contrast or match the wood of the table. Dark wood dinettes with a fine grain such as cherry and mahogany tend to be more traditional and formal, while rough-hewn woods with a natural finish lend themselves to a rustic or industrial vibe. Sitting in between the two options above are medium to light woods such as oak or maple with a transitional aesthetic that tends to be more casual.
- Glass & Metal Dinettes & Breakfast Nooks
The dynamic duo of glass and metal makes for a contemporary or modern style dinette ideal for today’s new homes and apartments. The glass top allows light to flow in and through the room, making it appear larger. The metal base can be found finished in polished chrome or stainless steel for a sophisticated look or raw metal or steel for a more industrial vibe. Glass tops come in several colors including clear, smoke, frosted, or black.
Can I use booth or bench seats with my dinette or breakfast nook?
If your kitchen dining space happens to be in a corner, bench seating can be added against the wall to create an L-shape. A bench with a high back makes cozy seating, while a backless version is suitable for smaller corners. If using bench seating, a square table will need to be used to accommodate diners adequately.
Best Tips for Dinettes & Breakfast Nooks in Your Eat-In Kitchen
When it comes to choosing from all the dinettes and breakfast nooks out there, remembering a few simple guidelines and relying on the tips above will help you select the perfect dinette for you and your kitchen.
- Dinettes are made to seat 2 to 6 people.
- Be sure to allow 36 inches from the table to the wall to allow for ease of movement.
- Bench seating can be used to create an L-shape corner nook ideal for smaller kitchens.
- The terms dinette and breakfast nook are used interchangeably.
- Dinettes are sold as an individual table or a set with matching chairs.
- Choose a wall mounted fold down table for tiny kitchens or studio apartments.
- Select an extension table if you plan to entertain as it will expand to give you more dining surface.
- A dark wood with fine grain makes for a more formal dinette style.
- Lighter woods are used for casual style breakfast nooks.