I’ve been designing homes and offices for over 10 years, and while I absolutely LOVE my career, I can honestly say it’s so much more challenging than I expected. But one of my favorite things along my journey is the opportunity to learn more about my clients, their homes and offices, and myself.
Listening to my clients’ functional and aesthetic needs and wants for their homes has given me new insights when it comes to discovering my personal needs and wants for my home. For example, the process of space planning with my clients lets me look at how I use space personally and come up with creative solutions in my home that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.
Also, designing for my clients has led me to realize that my favorite space in any home, my own included, is…(drum roll, please)…
The breakfast nook.
I know you’re thinking, “huh?” and I get it. It’s not walk in closets, a master bath with a gorgeous spa feel, or chef-inspired kitchens. Don’t get me wrong, I love those spaces too, but my favorite space is always going to be the breakfast nook.
Let’s look into what makes the nook such a great space and how you can create your own dream breakfast nook!
What Makes a Breakfast Nook Such a Joy?
Unlike a large dining room set, the breakfast nook is cozy and small. If you have children, everyone can squish together for a fun, informal meal. When someone joins you, there’s an intimacy to it that lets you relax and enjoy the company. Whether it’s you and your partner enjoying a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday morning, or you are having a friend over to chat, the nook is the go-to spot due to its comfort, space, and lack of distraction.
Building My Own Cozy Breakfast Nook
In my own home, I actually didn’t have a breakfast nook. I did have a weird-looking cabinet that stuck out of the wall. Don’t get me wrong, I love storage, but this made no sense in my kitchen at all. Inspiration struck and I knew what I could do instead!
First we removed the cabinet and installed a restaurant pole for a table base. On top, we attached white Carrara marble for the table top. Next, I had two bench seats made with easy-to-clean faux leather seats, and voila! I had a breakfast nook!
Anytime someone comes to my home, whether friend, relative, or client, that’s where we head, and it’s the first thing they comment on. It’s practical, cozy, and attractive – a perfect blend of beauty and function!
Design Your Own Breakfast Nook
While you can buy a nook-style set up for your home, you may consider your own custom arrangement. Breakfast nooks are actually really easy to build on your own and not that expensive to install in your home. You need a wall to anchor your seating, and if you have windows, that’s great, but it’s not a necessity. Here are some places I love to connect a booth-style seat or a nook:
In a cozy corner of the kitchen (perfect for L-shaped benches
Built into a bay window
Use high backs on the sides of the benches to create definition between a kitchen and living space
Once you have your space selected for your nook, you need to determine your seating configuration:
Straight bench with additional chairs
Two straight benches
L-shaped bench and chairs
U-shaped bench seats you can pair to a round table (perfect for larger families!)
Work with your space and your family’s needs to create the best arrangement for your home!
Putting Your Nook Together
If you want to build your own, nook, there are amazing breakfast nook plans online, or you can repurpose furnishings for an eclectic or rustic look. If you need storage, include it into the bench seat itself, either underneath the seat or build cubbies into the front of the bench. However, you can also repurpose a bench and set it against your wall.
One thing to remember with your seating is to make it a depth that is comfortable. While 16 inches is adequate, I’d recommend up to a depth of 28 inches so you can prop pretty, comfortable pillows to support your back and add color.
When you add the table, you can again, construct your own, repurpose materials, or purchase a new one. Just make sure your table works with the benches height-wise, leaving approximately 12 inches of knee space between seating and surface and is spacious enough to fit the appropriate amount of chairs you need on the outside.
Decorating Your Breakfast Nook
This is the fun part! If you’re building your own nook, you can get creative with your color selections. I love all white so I can add color through my upholstered cushions and back pillows. Enjoy pairing modern chairs to a vintage table or whimsical upholstery to a more minimalistic table set-up. To add a bit of drama or coziness, add a chandelier or pendant light – brass or bronze are great finishes to work with either a modern or a rustic feel!
Also, don’t think you have to spend a TON to create your space – Ikea, TJ Maxx, and other retailers have great options for seat cushions and accessories!
A breakfast nook provides you with an informal, comfy space to enjoy meals, wake up with a cup of coffee, help kids with homework – the possibilities are endless! Our nook is my favorite spot in the entire house, and I hope yours is, too!
If you need help with space planning or designing your own breakfast nook, or maybe you want to remodel your whole kitchen, give me a call so we can schedule a free consultation! I’d love to help you turn your kitchen into your dream space.
Also, sign up for our newsletter for more helpful tips, information about sales and new arrivals to the online shop, and more!