The Coffee Bar



I didn’t want a traditional dining room in our home for a few reasons. One, we aren’t fancy people and I knew if I had a “formal” dining room that we would never use it. And two, we almost never sit at our kitchen table anyway! The boys are both in highchairs still, and Justin and I will eat at the bar.

What I love most about this house is how well it works for our family. It’s a bit unusual in that it has a mother-in-law suite attached to it that could basically function as an entirely seperate apartment, but the footprint of the house is really great for making changes down the line.

Anyway, back to the dining room.

I would still consider this room unfinished. I’d love to add some club chairs and a little table to make it a bit more of a sitting room, but it hasn’t been a priority to finish it so I’ve just left it quite open. It’s funny, I’m so used to it now that I don’t “see” how empty it is, but what you see pictured below is the only thing I have in there.

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My mom forced me against my will to keep the interior of this sideboard blue. I’m kidding, she lightly suggested it and I decided to go for it to give it a try.

As it turns out I really don’t like the blue so I hope to get that interior painted white in the next few months. I think it would look much more refined that way.

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The cafe shelves are from Ballard and you may recognize them from David’s old nursery!

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I’m the only coffee drinker in the house (so far) but I really love this little set up we have in the dining room. I’m sure I’ll have the sideboard for a very, very long time and I’m glad that we are utilizing the room for something that we/I actually needed–an entire room dedicated solely to coffee.

Nicole, my awesome assistant, sourced as many items as possible in case you see anything you like! Find links below.

Sideboard (similar, similar)


Coffee Mug Holder  (similar)

White Shelves

Creamer carton (similar)

Hanging candles (local, Carolina Pottery)

Paint color – Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams

photos by Jordan Maunder

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Comments (78)

  1. Rebecca says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I love this! A whole room dedicated to coffee is my kind of room 🙂

    • Jordan says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      My thoughts exactly! I love the simplicity of it as well.

  2. Kelly says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Lovely! I would wallpaper/contact paper the interior of the sideboard, for some visual interest! So many great prints out there!
    Beautiful natural light!!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      not a bad idea!

      • Joey says
        Posted January 19, 2016

        Hi Kate, you could also cut white foam core/poster board to size and stick it back there. It’s sturdy enough that if you do a good job measuring it will hold its self up, plus, it’s super cheap…like $5!

    • Trina says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      I agree. Like grey/white quatrefoil or something interesting. Gorgeous!

  3. Posted January 19, 2016

    We don’t have a formal dining room, either–we have used ours as a sitting room for around three years now. (And guest room, since it has a fold-out couch–with three bedrooms spread over five (almost six) family members, it was the only place left.) We just never actually ate in there. We have a table in the kitchen. 🙂

  4. Posted January 19, 2016

    Love the idea of a coffee bar! We have some empty spaces in our home that just wasn’t sure what to do with. This is such a cute idea! Also the blue back is fun, but agree a white will look better. (:

  5. Shanna says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I agree that the blue doesn’t really seem to fit the overall look. You could paint it white, or even add fabric/wallpaper/decal to the back. It could still be low-key, not any crazy colors or patterns, but would add some visual interest.

    Also – I’m all for making a house & it’s rooms work for you rather than sticking to the traditional uses. We currently have a large bonus room on our main level that functions as a guest room + playroom + workout space. When that doesn’t work for us anymore we’ll change it up!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      Completely agree that it’s nice to use the rooms for what you need in your life instead of what they are traditionally intended for!

  6. Debbie m says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    We do not have a formal dining room either. We have a very large kitchen island that serves our family of 4 very well and when we have parties. Our “dining room” is now a library with many bookcases and love seat for reading.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      I’d love a little home library, sounds so nice!

  7. Madeline says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Your boys aren’t going to be in high chairs forever! If you have an eat in kitchen for a large table, great. Otherwise keep in mind that as the boys grow, so do the amount of peeps they bring with them! Always nice to have plenty of room. And having an entire room dedicated to a drink seems slightly obnoxious! Maybe a tray on the kitchen counter, but a whole room?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      I do know that the boys won’t be in high chairs forever : )

      Like I said in the post, the room isn’t finished. My plan is to make it a sitting room with chairs. We do have a kitchen table–I also mentioned that in the post.

      The room may seem obnoxious to you, but it works for our family right now, and I like the way it looks.

      • Karissa says
        Posted January 19, 2016

        When I was 18 my parents moved to a bigger house and went with a formal dining room (honestly, we’re used to smaller houses so they didn’t think of anything different) and 13 years later I think we’ve used it a handful of times and it’s a complete waste of an area in the house. We sit around the kitchen table or outside, so I think your plan is absolutely brilliant!:)

      • Andrea says
        Posted January 19, 2016

        I’m not a coffee drinker but I totally support this room! 🙂 My version would be a soda fountain room with all the fixins and mix-ins! It would have a big comfy couch (a la Friends) upon which I would sit and read.

      • Christa says
        Posted January 20, 2016

        People have bars/liquor cabinets in their houses, so why not have a coffee bar? I love this idea! It’s not obnoxious at all…but that comment definitely was…

    • kirsten says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      Please don’t post something just to say someone else’s choice is obnoxious. It is perfectly fitting for the way she is living right now. It is her blog, her home, her choice. If you can’t say something nice…

  8. Megan Rockey says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Can you tell me your wall paint color? Thank you!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams

  9. Andrina says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I’m with you- the blue is pretty, but it’s too jarring with everything else whites and dark. I wouldn’t go any darker painting it than a dove gray. Club chairs, though–yes please! Some dark leather ones would be amazing. You’ll have your own coffee lounge! You’ll never have to go to Starbucks again! 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      ohh I love that idea!

  10. Alyssa says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I absolutely love this. Growing up, we rarely ate in our formal dining room. We had a long island that comfortably fit all four of us with stools, so we always sat there. I love the idea of transforming the space into something else!

    Alyssa | Glitter and Grey

  11. Candice says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Where, for all things good, did you find a white keurig? I’ve never seen one and am now secretly hoping mine dies soon so I can replace it…

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      I think it was Amazon? Or Target? google “white keurig” and you’ll find it!

    • Teri says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      I got mine at Kohls.

      • allison says
        Posted January 25, 2016

        Me too, and you can usually get it on sale & use Kohls cash!

  12. Mel says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I love this! I love see people make use of their ho,Es in a way that works for them. I hope you will share pics when you add chairs and whatnot later. What a cozy idea!

  13. Sam M says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Love this idea and tranforming a room into something that is functional for you! ! I have a little coffee bar in a corner of my kitchen counter and I love it!

  14. Adrienne G says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I think the room is a great idea. Why not have an entire room dedicated to coffee? 🙂 It’s your space. I don’t find that obnoxious at all. Kind of rude for someone to say so, in my opinion.
    I have a formal dining room that is used, at most, two or three times per year. It is nice to have a place to seat larger groups for celebrations like Christmas or Easter, but when my kids were little, I rarely hosted large dinner parties, so I get it. You could always use that sideboard as a buffet table later without needing a large table if you did decide to have lots of folks for dinner.

  15. Lisa says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I love this idea! A sitting area with a coffee bar sounds lovely.

  16. Adrianne says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    This is a great idea! We also have a formal dining room that only gets used at holidays (when my brother isn’t using it as a bedroom). I love the idea of seeing up my coffee stuff on our side board, where we store formal dishes! As an extra bonus, it will declutter the kitchen counters a bit too!

  17. Kim says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    That is too cute! I love the idea of a non-traditional dining room, and I love the way you designed it!

    Kim .. Touring London!

  18. Aileen says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I love coffee, and I love this space! It looks great. I agree, white instead of the blue would look really nice. The blue seems a little too bright. I’ll be honest, I’m slightly jealous of your house 🙂 A mother-in-law suite sounds amazing! We have family here ALL the time (which is great), so I’m anxious to move again and find a house that better suits our needs. We had a bad experience with our last realtor. Did you like yours?

  19. Posted January 19, 2016

    I love this idea!

  20. Kerry says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Love the Coffee Room!! Silly question, how many coffee pods does your coffee jar hold? I have been looking for a stylish pod holder for my office and haven’t found one yet. Putting them in a glass jar would be perfect if they held a good amount.

  21. Posted January 19, 2016

    An entire room just for coffee sounds like something I need in my life! #coffeeproblem #actuallyitsasolution

  22. Posted January 19, 2016

    I think it would look cute to tack a black and white bold printed gift wrap paper in the back of the cupboard . Either large polka dots or a morocco or Ikat print . It would go with your adorable set up ….which am just fawning over !!!!!!
    The gift wrap that comes in thicker than normal sheets( more like paper bag thickness) found at stores like Target would be easiest to work with 🙂
    Either way, thanks for sharing these idea stirring photos. My house is not safe to rest today..haha.
    Leticia from King Maker Blog

  23. Lindsey says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Such a pretty space and I LOVE the blue!! It really pops with the white, gorgeous!! I love seeing parts of your beautiful home 🙂

  24. Lara says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    What a great look! I love the pop of color inside the cabinet. Maybe you would like it more if it had an opposite color of the spectrum painted inside, say an orange shade? Or if you want a more monochromatic look, a darker shade of the exterior of the cabinet color, or gray. Your coffee bar is all just so lovely and so useful!

  25. Jenn says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I have that same mug tree but I love how you hung your mugs! I have mine hanging by the handles but love this idea more, I think!

  26. Posted January 19, 2016

    Absolutely gorgeous!!

  27. Karol says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I know you linked a similar mug tree but I love your black one. Do you know where it was purchased? Thanks! Love the coffee room!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      Either world market or Carolina Pottery ( a local place ). You could spray paint a brown one though!

  28. Carly O'Connor says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    looks SO SO good! i’m inspired to work one into our space.

  29. Posted January 19, 2016

    Hi, Kate. Looks really good, a mix of new desing and traditional look.

  30. Megan says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I love seeing snip-its of your home! The coffee bar is fantastic. I know you mentioned possibly doing a home tour someday. I hope it still makes the list!

    • Katie says
      Posted January 19, 2016

      Yes! This was my thought as well! I would love to see more pictures of your home. I love your style!

  31. Posted January 19, 2016

    I love this! Currently I have a full-time job, so my coffee is always taken in a travel mug on my way out the door. Plus, we live in a small apartment. So a space like this one definitely isn’t feasible. But once we have a house, and especially once I’m working from home (hopefully someday!), I know this will be one of my first projects!

  32. Posted January 19, 2016

    beautiful! love the white Keurig, and the shelving!

  33. Julia says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I love this idea! I feel like the ‘formal dining room’ is being phased out, more or less. We don’t have one, and neither do most of our friends. I love the idea of using the space for a coffee bar! What a great way to give yourself an area to decompress in the morning. I’m not a coffee drinker myself, but I love tea. Something to think about doing…

  34. Evelina says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    This looks great! I need a dedicated space for my hot beverages because the accessories are so pretty and right now I have everything shoved into a cupboard!

  35. Sarah B says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    Beautiful! I just love your classic, contemporary style! We do have a formal dining room – but only because my parents were phasing theirs out and gave us free furniture! If I could think of something beautiful like this to do instead, I’d definitely be game for making the change 🙂

  36. Mel says
    Posted January 19, 2016

    I’m super in love with this look! So clean and pretty!


  37. Posted January 20, 2016

    While this isn’t a “pretty” solution, it does work with the theme of using rooms how you need them. My husband and I took the small half bathroom and turned it into a cat room. We removed the toilet and put two automatic litter boxes in there. It’s the perfect fit and works for us (and our 3 cats!) We still have another bathroom that guests can use and our own master bath so this was a great solution for us and all of our litter boxes!

  38. Posted January 20, 2016

    I love the white/grey color scheme- so simple and yet elegant!

    Mary Kate

  39. susan says
    Posted January 20, 2016

    I think this is a great idea, and it looks really nice. 🙂
    If you don’t mind what is your favorite coffee?


  40. susan says
    Posted January 20, 2016

    Your home will evolve as your children get older. You have to go with what works for you at this stage in life.
    Your own coffee bar is just fabulous….as is your own ASSISTANT!
    I want one, too!!
    Can I come for coffee?

  41. Jannett says
    Posted January 20, 2016

    Great idea Kate! It looks gorgeous. Question. What is the name/make of the color on your wall? Is it a gray tone? I am going crazy trying to find the “right” tone. Thanks!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 21, 2016

      Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams

  42. Vanessa says
    Posted January 20, 2016

    I’m also the lone coffee drinker in the house!! Sometimes my fiancé will hear the coffee grinder and shout down the stairs asking what the racket is, haha.

    I get your point about the blue in that cabinet! There’s something going on there, I want to like it, but it’s just ever so slightly off.

  43. Aaryn says
    Posted January 20, 2016

    Oh my gosh I am just dreaming of having this room and making scones and having friends over for a coffee date some morning (I mean…and probably mimosas, too). Seriously too cute. Yes please!

  44. Posted January 21, 2016

    I love everything about this. I would want to paint the inside of the cabinet, too!

  45. liza says
    Posted January 21, 2016


    It’s a great statement piece of furniture with a statement color in the room. And if you are going to add a sitting area, you can coordinate colors. Even if you still don’t like the blue, put a different color in there that will be vibrant and add some awesome energy.

    I’m guessing you’ll buy grey chairs anyways… 😉

  46. Angie says
    Posted January 22, 2016

    I love it! I’m the only coffee drinker in my house, too, and I’ve been looking at these coffee bars because I think they look so cozy, but I had wondered what was the point for just me…
    Now your space has me thinking otherwise, so I may just go for a coffee bar of my own!

    Btw, in a few years, you’ll be looking for a place to stash school supplies, do homework, and store all the trappings that come along with school-age kiddos, so you are wise to keep your options open. 🙂 Enjoy!

  47. Seneca Massie says
    Posted January 25, 2016

    This makes my inner coffee nerd go spastic! A room dedicated to coffee? Um, yes please! But truly its sophisticated and pristine. Instead of a massage, I just need to have a cup of coffee to get rid of tension and this room would be the ultimate relaxation destination. No need to go out for coffee ever again when you can be your own barista. If it were me, I would repaint the inside of the cabinet as well (my two cents). I adore it!

  48. Emily O says
    Posted January 25, 2016

    I love the shelves and the hanging thingy; it is unique and really beautiful. If you love coffee, you should try Archer Farms (at Target)!

  49. Meagan says
    Posted January 26, 2016
  50. Kaitlin says
    Posted October 15, 2016

    Okay I’ve had a burning question about this. I LOVE it, but I use half and half in my coffee, which of course needs refrigerating. This would make this kind of set up a bit inconvenient. Do you use powdered creamer? Or just go back and forth?

  51. Liz says
    Posted January 30, 2017

    Hi Kate! I love your blog–such great tips that make a big difference. We recently bought a Keurig, and I’m shopping for larger mugs. Where did you get your adorable white mugs? How many ounces of coffee do they hold? Thanks!

  52. Carolyn says
    Posted May 12, 2017

    That sideboard is dreamy! I have been eyeing it in your recent Instagram posts, and the white looks awesome. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, and while the links you posted are nice, too, your exact peace is serious *heart eyes*. Keeping my eyes peeled for something just like it!

  53. Jill says
    Posted June 29, 2017

    Do you have any lighting suggestions? I’m on the hunt for new chandeliers/hanging pendant/whatever for a foyer and my living room. You have the best taste. Any recommendations?

  54. Be ky says
    Posted September 15, 2017

    Where is the wife tray from?

    • Becky says
      Posted September 15, 2017


    • Kate says
      Posted September 17, 2017


  55. Alli Macdonald says
    Posted December 5, 2017

    I am setting up a coffee bar to give us some countertop space. I believe I have found the tray at IKEA. I really wanted a tray under the Keurig because we have had one leak. Happy to have found the same one because now I know it will actually work. Thanks for the inspiration!

  56. Posted June 7, 2018

    Awesome it’s very creative design and i loved it this kind of designs thanks for sharing us…….!

  57. Posted July 6, 2018

    This is a beautiful set up, I really love it.