8 Things No Modern Coffee Nook is Complete Without — They'll Make Your Morning Routine Much Easier

These are the absolute must-haves that every brewing station needs

A coffee bar with a black tiled backsplash, a coffee machine, and open shelving displaying flowers in a vase
(Image credit: Armelle Habib)

Coffee nooks are one of 2024's biggest trends, and it's hardly surprising considering most people start their day with a cup of Joe. Creating your own coffee niche is a great way to elevate your kitchen, and an optimal set-up will help you kickstart your morning on the right foot.

Since brewing corners are all the rage, we consulted the experts to find out everything we need to make the perfect caffeine haven. So if you're interested in adopting this kitchen concept and you're unsure of where to begin, this is the ultimate list of must-haves for you to curate the coffee bar of your dreams. Before you know it, you'll be lounging by your drinks station, warm mug in hand, energized to start your day.

1. Coffee Machine

arched coffee niche in a wood cabinet with brown mosaic tiles around it

(Image credit: Jack Lovel. Project by State of Kin)

There is no coffee bar without a coffee maker, of course. When it comes to these trusty brewing machines, we've always considered them a worthy investment and it appears that we aren't alone in our judgment.

Elissa Hall, founder of EDH Interiors, points out that the coffee machine is in fact the centerpiece of the space. 'Investing in a high-quality espresso machine or coffee maker that fits your specific brewing preferences is crucial,' says Elissa. 'For instance, a sleek, stainless-steel espresso machine not only brews excellent coffee but also adds a modern touch to your space.'

Finding the best coffee machine for your tastes can be tricky but interior designer Nina Lichtenstein tells us that it's a decision one should be intentional with. 'Depending on your preference and budget, choose a machine that suits your needs,' says Nina. 'Drip coffee makers are ideal for those who enjoy a classic, no-fuss cup of coffee, while aficionados may prefer an espresso machine that allows you to craft barista-quality espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos.' Nina also recommends single-serve pod machines for quick and varied coffees.

2. Quality Grinder

a coffee bar with a built in coffee machine

(Image credit: Julie Soefer. Design: Marie Flanigan Interiors)

Most modern coffee niches come with the most essential items needed to craft the perfect cup of coffee and among the best of them is a high-grade coffee grinder. Any coffee connoisseur will likely have a grinder in their arsenal and it's a key part of the process. Some coffee machines come with a grinder intact but this is a great add-on for the ones that don't.

Nina points out that a quality grinder is crucial for achieving the perfect cup. 'Burr grinders are preferred over blade grinders for their consistency in particle size, which is essential for balanced extraction,' says Nina. 'I recommend investing in a grinder with adjustable settings to cater to various brewing methods.'

3. Milk Frother

A coffee nook in a white kitchen

(Image credit: John Granen. Design by Interiors by Popov)

Yet another coffee gadget that's essential to a brewing station is a milk frother. This nifty little gadget is the perfect addition to your nook if you're one for café style cuppas. According to Nina, a milk frother is a game-changer for lovers of creamy lattes and frothy cappuccinos. 'Handheld frothers are affordable and easy to use, while electric frothers offer more features, like temperature control and multiple frothing settings,' notes Nina.

This is a tool that you can choose to buy or forego, depending on your coffee machine's existing features. And if you do choose to buy a frother, it can also come in handy for your next matcha or even if you choose to revisit the pandemic's trendiest beverage - the dalgona.

4. Chic Drinkware

a fluted coffee bar in kitchen

(Image credit: Stoffer Design. Hardware: Armac Martin)

While this particular addition is rather obvious, it's one of our favorites and that's partly because of the endless possibilities in aesthetics. Drinkware is a certified coffee bar essential and it's one that injects personality into a coffee nook, especially when displayed with pride.

Nina describes mugs as more than just vessels, explaining that they’re a clear expression of personal style. 'An assortment of mugs and drinkware add a touch of personality to the space,' she says.

When it comes to what kinds of drinkware work best, Nina suggests ceramic mugs for a classic look and travel mugs for convenience. She also recommends double-walled glasses for showcasing layered beverages like lattes and macchiatos. If you're like us and you love letting your camera sip first, we find these double-walled coffee mugs from Target to be a great option - and the cherry (or in this case, the whipped cream) on top is the fact that they're on sale right now.

5. Stylish Storage

wood coffee niche in a white kitchen

(Image credit: Stine Christiansen. Styling by Kristina Line. Project by Vermland)

When it comes to well-designed coffee nooks, a common thread across most niches is the strategic storage to keep your space clutter-free and brewer-friendly. Take inspiration from the likes of Jennifer Garner's practical coffee nook which features sleek floating shelves as a great example of optimal storage that doesn't compromise on design.

Antony Joseph, creative director and co-founder of Joseph Joseph, tells us that when designing a coffee station, organization is key. 'Store your coffee beans or grounds in sleek, airtight containers to ensure maximum freshness,' says Antony. 'You can also elevate your coffee station by displaying your creamer, syrups, and sugar in smaller containers or stacking sets, and collect any utensils in easily accessible utensil pots.'

6. Elegant Seating

A modern kitchen with colorful accents

(Image credit: Rett Peek Design: Meet West Studio)

While seating is a common addition to most modern kitchens, it's one of the more commonly overlooked aspects of a coffee bar. We think that a couple of trendy counter stools can do wonders for the nook and Nina agrees.

'If space allows, incorporate a seating area where you can savor your coffee,' she says. 'A small table with comfortable chairs or a cushioned bench can turn your coffee nook into a serene spot for relaxation.' A plush chair or a counter stool can make the coffee corner more functional and is a great way to introduce a pop of color to the space.

7. Accent Lighting

a coffee bar behind a pocket door in a kitchen

(Image credit: Aaron Leitz. Design: Lucas Interior)

Lighting is an incredibly important part of any set-up that involves cheffing of any sort, and since coffee nooks are often cornered into spaces, they can especially benefit from added task lighting.

Elissa explains that good lighting is essential to a coffee nook and suggests including a stylish pendant light to make your coffee nook inviting. However, if you happen to have a small kitchen, Nina recommends warm, ambient lighting in the form of a table lamp or under-cabinet fixtures for a welcoming atmosphere. (We love these under-cabinet lights from Amazon for the job - and the best part is they don't need hardwiring.)

8. Personalized Finishing Touches

coffee niche in a wood cabinets with a pocket door

(Image credit: Sam Frost. Project by Disc Interiors Image)

For our final piece of advice, we recommend giving the nook a personal touch to truly make it your own. Nina tells us that adding kitchen wall decor - like artwork and signage such as coffee-themed prints or quirky signs to your coffee bar - is a quickfire way to introduce charm and personality to the nook. She also recommends adorning the space with small plants for a touch of greenery. You can also dot the shelves with framed pictures or even a pinboard to post your daily to-do lists on. The possibilities are endless as this is where you can let your creativity come to life.

Now that we know what the designers have been adding to their coffee nooks, we have all the notes we need to make one of our own. From the machine itself to the comfy counter stools, as you make your way down the list, you'll be a step closer to your ultimate coffee nook. And we won't be surprised if this brewing corner slowly becomes the focal point of your kitchen.

News Writer

Amiya is the News Writer at Livingetc. She recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London and has lent her words to beauty, fashion and health sections of lifestyle publications including Harper’s Bazaar and Women’s Health. Her experience as a research analyst has equipped her with an eye for emerging trends. When she’s off the clock, she can be found reading, listening to music or overanalysing her latest Co-Star update.