Five ways a COVID-19 breakfast bar can stretch your kitchen

Cooking and eating meals in a kitchen with limited counter and storage space is frustrating — especially now, with our new focus on kitchens.

Ingredients pile up, pans and dirty dishes fight for room, and sticky counters are a pain.

But kitchen islands in the time of COVID-19 can make all the difference. If you don’t have enough space for an island, there’s a simple way to make a new place to prep food and engage those in your home: with a breakfast bar.

Here’s how this popular mainstay can change the way everyone feels about your kitchen — especially you.

1. It saves space. Breakfast bars are usually created by extending a countertop in some way, or installing a wall-mounted table. They differ from a kitchen island bar because they’re attached to something else, not freestanding. This gives you three usable sides you didn’t previously have in your kitchen, and it adds a layer to the decor. A quick search provides plentiful inspiration for how the addition might fit into your specific space, as well as ways to play up your kitchen’s existing features.

Breakfast bars can easily hide a pull-out cutting board or offer up space for an inconspicuous shelf.

2. It’s affordable. The cost of breakfast bar installation is a little different from other types of kitchen upgrades because it doesn’t require a significant investment unless you want it to. Homeowners report paying as little as $ 100 for a ready-made island with breakfast bar capabilities, via HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide. Others pay significantly more for a custom, expert touch that may require electrical work or construction. A kitchen remodelling professional can provide clarity on what type of cost you can expect based on the type of breakfast bar that fits best in your space.

3. It’s versatile. A major asset of the breakfast bar is that it’s dynamic. One moment, it’s covered in cutting boards; the next, a pile of homework. It becomes a natural centrepiece that people in your home will gravitate toward to eat, converse or show what they’ve been working on, no matter how large or small your space might be. It’s also easy to install. Seeking impermanence? Nab a ready-made bar. Already completing a kitchen remodel? It won’t take much to tack on a countertop extension. Building a house? Talk to your designer about a wall-fixed table. The limit on this is your budget and imagination.

It's versatile. A major asset of a moving breakfast bar is that it's dynamic. One moment, it's used for kitchen implements. The next, it can be a desk.

4. It’s customizable. Breakfast bars supply an extra few feet of counter space, but it’s possible to turn them into your kitchen’s most adaptable feature. If you’re pining for storage, opt for a bar with drawers built into the unit. Breakfast bars can also easily hide a pull-out cutting board or offer up space for an inconspicuous shelf. If you need the counter space but want to open up the room, ask a pro to build you a floating breakfast bar. The end result should complement your space and serve your unique needs.

5. It’s both stylish and functional. It’s undeniable that breakfast bars add an entirely new layer to a kitchen — especially galley or small kitchens that are difficult to add depth and space to. Adding a dose of design with a fundamental base in practicality can make a uniquely shaped or tiny kitchen the most interesting room in the house. If you aren’t sure where to start, a kitchen pro or handyman can help to answer your questions.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

TORONTO STAR

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