If your alarm clock ranks high on your list of most unpleasant sounds, you likely know this scene pretty well:
You step into your kitchen first thing, still bleary-eyed from sleep. You reach for your favorite mug, but the last person to unload the dishwasher unexplainably put it away on a different shelf. You rummage through your cabinet to find your grinds, stretching past stray cereal boxes. Finally, you walk across the room to plug in your coffee maker and get your cup brewing. It’s a process that you know can be streamlined. And if you had a breakfast station, it would be all the more efficient.
Whether you’re a Chemex loyalist, you prefer a Moka pot, or you rely on a no-frills drip machine to get your daily caffeine hit, grouping your beans, grinder, sugar, and go-to mugs all in the same spot makes it easier to get your day off on the right foot. Not only will this make you feel compelled to save $5 by making your own latte or Americano, but your at-home coffee bar will also keep the rest of your kitchen tidy.
The best coffee station ideas don’t require a ton of space, either. Zoning is key: store similar items together—on your countertop, in a cabinet nook, or even on a bar cart—and you’ll be better equipped to keep them in place for the long run. It’s all about making your kitchen work better for your morning routine.
If you’re especially opposed to countertop clutter (or your surface is limited enough as is) carve a coffee nook inside your cabinets. In Catherine and Bryan Williamson’s renovated kitchen, a milk frother, grinder, and a sleek collection of mugs are tucked away in the same cupboard as their microwave.
The Small Shot
Lucky for renter Mallory Fletchall, a Smeg espresso maker takes up very little real estate. So, although she had just 210 square feet to work with, she was still able to make a small refuel area on her breakfast bar (a piece of wood covered in marble-effect laminate and attached to the wall with metal brackets). There’s even room left for a matching toaster.
Another tucked-away option, the coffee station in this New York City brownstone is placed in a deep cabinet, where there’s enough space to brew a cup without moving anything over to the counter. The hidden secret that makes this minimal design work? A very conveniently located outlet.
The Breakfast Club
If you’re more of a tea person, you can make your own caffeination station, too. Designer Gina Gutierrez arranged a breakfast area neatly under her kitchen’s open shelving, keeping it perfectly aligned to reduce visual clutter. A Smeg kettle, honey jar, and toaster make it easy for her household to fuel up with tea and toast first thing in the morning.
The Coffee Cart
Manda McGrath of The Merrythought transformed a simple craft cart into the perfect work-from-home coffee station. Because it can be moved around anywhere, this set-up is ideal for small kitchens or spaces that don’t have a ton of counter space to spare. If you’re entertaining company, you can also wheel it over to wherever everyone’s hanging out. Pro tip: Keep your milk or creamer in a pretty glass carafe and add it to the cart if you’re brewing for a crowd.
The Nice Nook
If your kitchen is designed in such a way so that your cupboards are divided up into smaller segments, you might as well turn one into your perfect brew bar—that’s what Velinda Hellen did in this impressive Los Angeles remodel. By adding cane-backed open shelving just underneath the upper cabinets, she not only brought a decorative element to the space, she also made a convenient spot to arrange a coffee grinder, mugs, and some cookbooks. On the counter below, a simple wooden platform keeps a Chemex and sugar dish looking neat.