It’s been happening for years—the disappearance of the formal dining room, especially because home owners use the space infrequently. But the breakfast room, on the other hand, is the dining space that is used many times throughout the day for activities that may not involve eating, such as homework, paying bills, and reading.

A breakfast room is best when it’s not too far from the kitchen, allowing for interaction with those preparing food and for getting meals on the table with ease. The space should be light-filled, so proximity to windows is advisable. A skylight is equally effective for bringing in natural light. Built-in seating often is a nice touch, and storage options create a more functional space.

Here are a few examples that highlight the versatility of a breakfast room.