Kitchen Tour

No Dining Room? No Problem! This Smart Breakfast Bar Is the Perfect Solution for Small Kitchens.

published May 30, 2023
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living room space before being renovated into a kitchen. White walls, large windows, white sofa and pink loveseat, flat screen-look fireplace

Name: Justine Guillermou; husband, Paul; and two cats
Location: Bethnal Green — London, United Kingdom
Rent or own: Own

If you rent or own a small space, you might understand the struggle of not having a dining table. I’ll be honest — in my five years of living in New York City, I’ve lived in three apartments where the only seating option was on my couch. Now that I have enough space for a small dining table, I’m grateful for how it allows me to bring friends together, lessens the chance of staining my couch, and makes me feel like I’m genuinely adulting (although it still doubles as a desk!). 

While I didn’t necessarily mind eating on the couch, I wish I could’ve seen Justine and Paul Guillermou’s ingenious solution for lacking a dining room, which is why I’m sharing the inspiration with you. When they moved into their London apartment, they appreciated its beauty and industrial aesthetic (it’s situated in a Victorian school!). However, being the founder of an interior design company called Rainbow Shaker, Justine knew she wanted to put her stamp on the space. 

The kitchen is the center of the home — mainly because of one wise design decision.

Originally, the kitchen was in the apartment’s mezzanine area, but Guillermou moved it downstairs to create a more open-concept area. The kitchen is adorned with the interior designer’s signature vibrant color scheme, and it has a wraparound breakfast bar attached to the island to provide a dining space. 

“As a French person, I would say that the kitchen is THE most important space of the house; it’s the heart of a home. My husband loves to cook and recently passed his French bakery exam. So I really enjoy watching him cook from the breakfast bar while I’m enjoying a glass of wine. I also love the terracotta and lemon yellow color palette I used to make the space warm,” Justine writes in the full home tour on Apartment Therapy. 

This kitchen’s breakfast bar seats four people.

Even though the house has no dining room, it’s no problem. The breakfast bar is long enough for four people to sit comfortably, and the table area is wide enough to have place settings and glassware. And on special occasions or holidays, I imagine the couple could use it as an extra-large prep station to cook big meals. 

So if you find yourself in a situation (like me!) without a dining table, don’t fret. If your space allows, take notes from this brilliant kitchen and consider adding in a breakfast bar to accommodate all your entertaining and cooking needs. 

Resource List

  • Unfold Yellow pendant lights — Muuto
  • Stools — Tiptoe
  • Art frame — David Dehainault
  • Merlin mirror — Roche Bobois