Breakfast Nook Basics

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 16, 2012

The use of breakfast nooks appeared in architecture with the arrival of Amercican Craftsman style of homes in the late 19th century and remained popular into the 1930s. The breakfast nook provided a place for the family to gather in the heart of their home. Today, people still try to recreate such a place to assemble the family during their kitchen remodeling.

A breakfast nook is typically an informal eating area in the kitchen or just off the kitchen. With today’s modern open-concept kitchens, breakfast nooks are becoming less common and replaced by breakfast bars along the kitchen island. As well, in many homes with great rooms, there is no formal dining room so the kitchen is essentially an eat-in kitchen and there is no need for a breakfast nook. Some people create wonderful breakfast nooks in their sunroom or porch if they don’t have the dedicated space in their kitchen.

Some Breakfast Nook Essentials

The image below, taken from Better Homes and Gardens’ Before & After: Cottage Kitchen, depicts the basic elements of a breakfast nook perfectly.

Natural light – Traditionally, nooks were placed in bay windows, it just makesn sense when trying to create a cheerful family meal spot to place it where there is natural light.

Pendant light above the table – Most nooks have a handing light pendant above the table to center and ground the space and shed some light on cloudy days or early mornings.

Pop of color – Add some pops of lively color on the walls, in your fabrics and in your tableware. This will brighten up your nook and invite the family to spend some more time here.

Bench seating with throw pillows or bolsters – Since breakfast nooks are usually against a wall, take advantage of this and create lots of extra seating by using a banquette. You can build the bench yourself and make it so that the cover is hinged for extra storage. Adding cushions makes the benches more comfortable and inviting.

Add a touch of whimsy – Breakfast nooks are not supposed to be serious or stuffy. Add some fun and whimsy through bright bold patterned curtains, fabric for the seat cushions or interesting art pieces. Fresh cut flowers on the table or window sill are another way to make this a cheerful place.

A breakfast nook should be bright, cheerful and inviting. It is a great spot to enjoy your morning cup of tea or for the family to sit down for breakfast. In fact, most families end up using their nook as their main eating area and use the formal dining room only for special occasions. Maybe it should be renamed the breakfast-lunch-dinner-homework nook!

Talk to your local home improvement or kitchen remodeling expert about creating a cozy and whimsical breakfast nook in your home.

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