For those of you who are hoping to remodel or change your kitchen, you may be encountering the age old dilemma of the choice between a kitchen table or a breakfast bar. They both have their good and bad points. Both can easily be accommodated into most kitchens, even if you are simply replacing your kitchen doors and worktops. So what are the things you will need to think about before you make your choice?

Available space

This is pretty clear cut. If you don't have the room for a kitchen table, you simply cannot include one into your kitchen design. You might be able to squeeze a small table and two chairs into your new kitchen, but it may be at the expense of worktop or kitchen cupboard space. It all depends on what you are willing to give up.

Most kitchens however can accommodate a breakfast bar. You can still have a cupboard or two above and simply leave a space below for stools. The worktop can be carried over from the rest of the kitchen, giving the room a seamless look which is still very functional. You have no loss of work surface and the convenience of being able to sit down.

Kitchen alterations

If you are simply replacing your kitchen cabinets doors and doing very little else to your kitchen, you may prefer to get a kitchen table. This can be in any material and will fit in perfectly with your new kitchen.

A breakfast bar may be harder to fit. It will mean adding new cupboard space, removing lower cupboards or extending your worktops. Of course all of these things are easy to do but will require extra work and more money. For example, if you remove a lower cupboard to give you leg room you will need to replace your flooring so the space matches the rest of the room. You may also have trouble finding matching worktops, so you will need to replace your worktop as well as your doors.

Flexibility of a breakfast bar

Both the kitchen breakfast bar and kitchen table can be flexible. A table can be moved from the middle of the room to the side when not in use. It can be used as an extra work surface and for easy family meals or homework areas. Having a table in the kitchen  turns the room into the heart of the home.

However a breakfast bar has its own flexibility. You can use it as a worktop, because that is essentially what it is. It can be used as a place to work, to rest or to sit with friends. It may not be suitable for eating meals however for a larger family, unless it is designed with a seating area on both sides – such as a central island.

Storage space with a breakfast bar

A breakfast bar has the unique ability to provide you with extra storage space. While a kitchen table will take up space in the kitchen and the chairs will fill the void underneath, a breakfast bar can house cupboards above and below. A central island in particular will allow cupboard space with a protruding piece of worktop above with enough leg room for sitting.

You may need to extend your worktop with a breakfast bar. This is easily achieved with a replacement worktop and then cupboards can be added using replacement kitchen doors and cabinets if required. You can create substantial extra cupboard space by adding a few feet of worktop.

Generally a breakfast bar improves your kitchen. Just make sure you have an eating area elsewhere in the house. If you don't have a dining area, a kitchen table is a great idea. But a breakfast bar cannot be beaten for flexibility, storage space and ease of design.