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The Ins And Outs Of The Breakfast Nook

Breakfast nooks are wonderful spaces that can add function and style to small or large kitchen and dining areas. Popular in craftsman homes during the 1920s and 1930s, they can be a great addition to any home.

What is the purpose of a breakfast nook?

A breakfast nook is essentially an additional eating space, usually in or off to the side of, your kitchen. Whether it's a built in corner nook with storage, or a modern breakfast bar design, these seating spaces can add a bright and inviting aesthetic to your home.

Breakfast Nook

Ideally it will be the perfect spot to take your morning coffee experience to a new level of comfort. Situated by a window with a view, it can be a great way to spruce up a space and enhance your kitchen area.

In smaller homes, a breakfast nook may be the only dining room area. Additionally, a breakfast nook with clever and well thought out furniture and seating, can be perfect for providing storage if needed.

Does a breakfast nook save space?

Yes, breakfast nooks are great space-saving and cosy areas. Although, they don't always have to be designed to suit small areas. There is no reason a large room with an established dining room and living area, can't also handle the addition of a breakfast nook.

Breakfast Nook

If you're working with a smaller room then a breakfast nook is an excellent way in which to incorporate a dining area within your kitchen.

Remember that breakfast nooks don't just have to be used for dining. They can be utilised as a homework corner, art and craft area, work from home space and more.

What is considered a breakfast nook?

A breakfast nook is quite simply a dining room area that incorporates seating and a table. Usually the seats will be built in benches with storage. Corners work well to create an L shape or booth style arrangement.

Classic breakfast nooks will be situated by a window to take advantage of morning sun and natural light. However, they work just as well in a closed in booth style or galley kitchen, as long as adequate lighting has been a consideration.

Does a breakfast nook have to be in a corner?

Not at all! Corners do work particularly well though, especially in a smaller room with good lighting.

Breakfast Nook

A breakfast nook can also be created against a wall with a bench seat, or in an open space by using an L shaped seating plan and perhaps a round table. Bring in an extra chair or two when needed, hang a pendant lamp over the table and you'll have a functional and beautiful little dining or breakfast nook.

How do you set up a breakfast nook?

There are several considerations to factor in when setting up and planning your breakfast nook.

  1. Location: Be sure to think about how much room people will have when selecting the location of your breakfast nook. You'll want enough space for your family members to be comfortable and to have relatively easy access in and out.
  2. Lighting: Breakfast nooks need good light. If you can utilise a window then even better. Use the natural light where you can. Otherwise be sure the space can take a decent floor lamp or that you can hang a pendant light above the table.
  3. Furniture: Be creative, but retain practicality. Wood built in furniture that can handle storage are excellent ideas for these spaces. A rustic wood table with bold striped cushions on seating will evoke a clean, modern feel. A round table can work well, as can nesting pieces that can be tucked away.
  4. Decor: Find inspiration through the overall theme and decor style of your home. Whether your design preference is industrial, traditional or country
  5. Comfort: Bring in fresh, bright patterns through textiles, upholstery and wallpaper, or keep things simple and clean. Sheepskin seat pads and rugs for chairs and wood seating will add a plush and comfy aesthetic.

Floor rugs can help define an area as well. Just make sure they fit right under the table and that chairs won't hook the edges when being pulled out.

How big should a breakfast nook be?

The size and shape of your breakfast nook is best determined by the size of your household and how the space will be used. You'll want your nook to comfortably accommodate the number of people who will most often sit there.

Breakfast nooks can come in all sizes and shapes and still look wonderful, while being equally as functional. A general guide for sizing is as follows:

  • 2-4 people will require a space between 5 x 5' to 7 x 7' (152 x 152 cm to 213 x 213cm)
  • 4-6 people will require a breakfast nook of around 7 x 10' (213 x 304cm)

The idea is to allow enough room for each adult to be comfortable and not limited for movement when eating. In general, the more people you plan to accommodate, the larger your breakfast nook will need to be.

How deep is a breakfast nook bench?

An ideal size for a breakfast nook bench seat is anywhere between 12.5" and 20" deep (31.75 x 50.8cm). It really depends on the size of your room and whether you intend to use the bench seating as additional storage, which would make sense.

  • Large bench - this would usually be built into a wall and contain storage. Storage options could be pull out drawers for easy access, or a hinged, lift-up lid.
  • Trestle bench - this is a narrower seat that will work well against a wall in a booth style.
  • End or corner bench - a smaller box shaped seat that can accommodate an adult or two small children.

Is a breakfast nook a good idea?

You're sure to add value by incorporating a breakfast nook into your home, regardless of what style your house may be. So, if you like the thought of a breakfast nook and feel that it will enhance your home, then yes, it's a great idea.

A breakfast nook will:

  • Create additional seating within a room
  • Offer more surface area in a kitchen
  • Define a space within an open plan home
  • Function as the home's dining room if it is a smaller place
  • Utilise a window seat or bay window by adding function through a table and extra chairs.

What can I do with a small breakfast nook?

A small breakfast nook is just as functional as a large one. Key considerations include things such as storage, use of the space, layout and seating arrangements.

Location and lighting should be top of mind when deciding on where your breakfast nook will be. Sometimes there isn't a choice, of course. A small breakfast nook can be as simple as two chairs and and table. It doesn't have to be a complicated design.

When dealing with small spaces, think streamlined and industrial styled pieces that don't overfill the room. Select a neutral colour palette that works with the rest of your home. If the space is not by a window, ensure there is adequate lighting.

All in all, a breakfast nook will enhance any home. It's a smart way to add storage options into furniture and bring additional seating and surface area into your kitchen.


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