The Breakfast Bar
A breakfast bar is a kitchen island or peninsula that can be purposed for dining. Usually, it would have the same countertop material as the rest of the kitchen, and you would place chairs or stools around or on one side of the breakfast bar for people to sit on when they eat. This can offer a casual, convenient place to eat a quick meal, and the counter space is still there if you need it for food prep. While this option could work for a kitchen of any size, it is a good option for small kitchens because it adds the dining area without taking up a lot of space.
The Breakfast Nook
Adding a breakfast nook can be another nice option for creating an eat-in kitchen. Usually, a breakfast nook is still a part of the kitchen, but the area is clearly separate from areas that are for food preparation. Typically, this is a light dining area with a small table and chairs. Most breakfast nooks can seat up to four people, and homeowners have several design options to choose from. One popular option is to place the breakfast nook near windows so natural light can come in to brighten the space. Furthermore, most breakfast nooks would have their own lighting that is separate from the primary light fixture in the kitchen.
The Full Eat-in Kitchen
Both a breakfast nook and a breakfast bar can be great for offering a space to enjoy a quick meal, but neither of them can replace the function of a traditional dining room. With a full eat-in kitchen, you are creating a larger dining space that could fit a full-sized dining room table. While this is an area in the kitchen, you do want it to be set apart from the main cooking and food prep areas of the kitchen. This can offer a nice convenient dining experience because you have the full dining space, but you have better access to things like food, beverages and tableware. You obviously need more space for a full eat-in kitchen, but some homeowners enjoy designing this integrated space.
While these are your three basic options for designing an eat-in kitchen, once you get into each different option, you have an almost endless array of design styles to choose from.