By SUZETTE FOX
I am obsessed with breakfast nooks. There’s something so inviting about them. You can turn an open space near the kitchen into a cozy spot to enjoy your morning coffee or afternoon tea with a friend and create a special place for casual meals that brings the family together at mealtime. Whether you have room for a banquette that seats a dozen or just a comfortable spot for two, you can create a charming nook.
Here are a few tips and some beautiful photos for your inspiration.
Match your table to the shape of your space
Rectangular tables look best in long, narrow spaces. Round or square tables work well in square spaces. For square areas that are small, round tables are the best option. It’s easier for traffic to flow around them. To avoid the obstacle of table legs, choose a table with a pedestal base.
No matter what style or size table you choose, allow at least 36 inches all the way around so that there’s room for the chairs to easily be pulled out. And allow at least 20 to 24 inches wide and 12 to 15 inches deep for each place setting.
If you opt for upholstered chairs or cushions, keep in mind they require care. Removable slip-covers or cushion covers can easily be tossed into the washing machine.
No Banquette – No Problem
Since the classic built-in seating in a breakfast nook isn’t always an option (I’m thinking of all you renters out there), create the illusion of one. You can get the look of a banquette by using a settee or benches. A compact sofa or settee can turn a cramped corner into a comfy dining nook for a fraction of the cost of custom built-ins. Place two long benches at a 90-degree angle plus a table and chairs. In really small spots, just one bench and a table also can do the trick.
Play with Color and Pattern
Given that kitchens generally offer only a handful of opportunities for color, an eat-in nook is a great place to punch things up a bit with easy-to-swap accents such as pillows. If you’re unsure of which color palette to choose, pick one hue and use it in differing shades for a more cohesive look.
Any time an area of your home is a small, defined space, it’s an opportunity to have a bit of fun with pattern. Limit yourself to two or three colors, then throw caution to the wind.
Create a Gallery Wall
Depending on the size of your space, a breakfast nook can be either an “extra” dining area or, in smaller apartments, the main dining event. Regardless, a gallery wall centered on the space makes the area feel like its own mini room. A mix of prints and paintings can make for a fun conversation piece when dinner guests linger around the kitchen.
Lets not forget about a great light fixture. Light fixtures are the best way to bring a ‘wow factor’ to the dining nook. As a bonus, a commanding fixture draws the eye up so the small seems taller.
If you do have a banquette custom made to fit the space, include access to the space below so you can use it for additional storage. Banquettes with built-in storage compartments turn a spacious breakfast nook into a stylish place to stash stuff.
Breakfast nooks are a great way to turn a small pace in or near the kitchen into a functional and stylish eating area. Whether it’s for sitting down to enjoy a quiet cup of tea or setting a spread of eggs and toast for the fam, a well-situated breakfast nook can play a key role in your home. With so many options to choose from, the design possibilities are endless.
Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox for help with your home. Visit her website www.suzettefoxinteriors.com. Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/suzettefoxinteriors/ and Facebook at facebook.com/SuzetteFoxInteriorDesign.