Dining rooms are for fancy meals, and picnic tables are for backyard barbecues, but there’s one perfect place for morning coffee and weekend brunches: a breakfast nook. A breakfast nook provides a pleasant space for meals or snacks, work or other projects, and even a homey hideaway where you can read, write, or dream. And they’re so easy to make! Here’s how to set up a cozy breakfast nook in your home.
Pick a Space
Even the smallest kitchen can provide enough room for a table and a pair of chairs, and if it can’t fit, look to the rooms just outside the kitchen space. A breakfast nook can be anywhere from 5×5 feet to a slightly larger space, but its diminutiveness is the biggest part of its charm. We don’t have a fixed rule for when a “nook” becomes a “room,” but keep in mind that you’re going for intimacy, not expansiveness. Even a countertop can become a nook with a couple of easily stowed stools. Leave room for two to four seats and just enough elbow room, and you’ll be fine. If you have the space, though, don’t forget the primary element of any breakfast nook: the table.
Pick a Table
Breakfast without a table is a bunch of people sitting uncomfortably with plates, napkins, and silverware in their laps. The ideal table for a breakfast nook should be about 36 inches high to provide adequate legroom. It should provide a space of about 24 inches wide by 15 inches deep for each person seated at the table. The style of the table is up to you, but wood remains a classic material that offers a long-lasting style. Ensure there’s enough room for people to get up and down without causing a disturbance—about 18 inches at least. Keep this in mind, whether you’re buying or building your nook.
A breakfast nook’s make-up is slightly different from that of a dining room table. Most tables and chairs come as a set, but a nook, given its limited area, may require a snugger set of seats. Purchase benches that easily slip beneath the table. This is a good way to keep high-traffic areas free and clear of the tripping hazard of chair legs. Some benches also provide a terrific space for secret storage, which you can always use more of in the kitchen.
Cozy and Casual
Here’s a final tip on how to set up a cozy breakfast nook in your home. Remember that while it can be beautiful and stylish, it’s intended to be a place to relax, chat, and kick back on a pleasant sunny morning. Paint the walls with a subtle and comforting color—something spring-like or autumnal. Add a few pillows and cushions. Leave the tabletop uncluttered but add a touch of beauty with flowers, candles, or other simple decorations. Finally, pick a tablecloth and napkin set that emits gentle and good vibes. Enjoy!