In this article:
- Benefits of having a breakfast nook
- Choose your layout
- Make your breakfast nook a home project
- Decorate your breakfast nook
- Health and safety
- Enjoy your breakfast nook
Breakfast is the ideal time to bring your family together, and having a dedicated place to gather for a morning meal is a great way to encourage family time. Upgrading your kitchen with a breakfast nook adds value to your home and creates a multi-purpose space for mealtime, games nights, homework, and more.
One benefit of these charming spots is that you can replace the occasional expensive restaurant brunch with a homemade option while still getting those brunch vibes.
For example, Seattle, WA, is one of the country’s most expensive places for brunch food and the all-important mimosa. If you head out for brunch in Seattle and have one mimosa, you can expect your minimum bill to be $25 per person—minimum. The cost adds up quickly if brunch is a weekly affair, and who knows, hosting might even help you come up with your own unique brunch ideas!
Benefits of having a breakfast nook
There are plenty of reasons you and your family will love having a breakfast nook. Here are a few reasons you’ll love your new space.
More storage space – Cabinets and under-seating storage areas are great spots to store larger items that take up space in your cupboards, like your slow cooker, air fryer, etc.
Enjoy a comfortable nook – Dining room tables can feel a bit formal for everyday use, but a breakfast nook is a wonderfully cozy spot for any meal.
Add resale value to your house – Custom elements, like a built-in breakfast nook, appeal to potential buyers by adding a relaxed and upscale element.
Create an open concept – Instead of having a separate room for mealtimes, consider a breakfast nook to keep your kitchen and dining area more open.
Choose your layout
Depending on the space you have available, there are a few breakfast nook layouts to choose from. A u-shaped breakfast nook is an excellent option that works well if you have an enclosed corner.
For more open spaces, you may consider booth-style seating on one or two sides, with chairs or a bench on the other. Putting in a breakfast nook is often a wonderful way to utilize space that isn’t functional, so feel free to customize your nook to fit your kitchen design.
Will you need to rearrange a room or kitchen?
You can absolutely reorganize your kitchen to add a breakfast nook. However, part of the appeal of adding a breakfast nook is to use empty space and create a more functional room.
Amount of space needed
The amount of space needed depends on the number of people you want to sit at the table and the style of seating you want. Booth seating imparts a classic vibe, but built-in banquette seats require more space for the structure than a table with chairs that push in.
It’s also important to consider how your breakfast nook will affect traffic flow through your home. Permanent tables and seating are great for creating family meal areas, but make sure you consider placement — the last thing you want is for permanent furniture to make moving or renovations difficult.
Tips for choosing your breakfast nook space
In some homes, design quirks may dictate where your breakfast nook sits. If you have more options in your floor plan, there are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect place for your breakfast nook.
- Windows – If you place your eating area next to a window, you’ll create a warm and sunny spot to enjoy meals.
- Electrical – If possible, try not to build anything that’ll block existing electrical outlets.
- Flow – A breakfast nook is, ideally, just that! A cozy space that doesn’t interrupt traffic flow through your home.
Make your breakfast nook a home project
With some basic tools and the DIY spirit, your breakfast nook can be a fantastic project that increases the value and functionality of your home by improving your kitchen organization.
Decide on the type of breakfast nook you want
First things first, you’ll need to decide what style of nook suits your space and needs best. The layout you choose dictates what type of seating and other specifics you’ll be working with, so it’s essential to consider all your options before starting on your project.
One of the great features of built-in bench or booth seating is that it offers storage space under the seat. Extra storage space is never a bad thing, so this is an attractive option.
If your layout allows, the space over a breakfast nook is great for installing cabinets. If you choose a u-shaped booth layout, cabinets won’t be in the way. This is an easy way to create more storage space if your kitchen is lacking.
Putting shelves above your breakfast nook gives you a prime spot to showcase keepsakes and children’s art projects. You can include multiple rows of shelves for increased space if you have higher ceilings. For narrower spaces, gallery wall shelves are a low-profile option that lets you decorate the walls of your breakfast nook while taking up minimal extra space.
Build a bar
You can also build a kitchen bar by attaching it to an existing wall. When opting for this option, make sure to get the measurements of the bar right. The support you will place beneath your kitchen bar needs to be done with the right materials and techniques. Otherwise, the weight of the kitchen bar can pull down a piece of your wall. If you want to go for an open space concept, you can choose to knock down the wall that separates the kitchen and the other room and create a kitchen island. Creating a kitchen bar or island should be done by a professional to avoid damaging your walls which could ultimately be costly to repair or fail a future home inspection.
Style, size, and materials are all important factors in budgeting your breakfast nook and the final look. Take some time to browse online for inspiration so you’ll have considered all the options when you get started. For example, if you add electrical outlets to a booth wall, you can use the other side for a built-in coffee bar.
Lighting is critical for creating warm and inviting spaces. Especially if your breakfast nook is away from the rest of the room, you’ll want to make sure the nook has adequate overhead lighting.
Choose the right team
Depending on the complexity of your project, you may want to hire a contractor or handyman to help you. Always take the time to vet potential home professionals, and get at least three quotes before agreeing to move forward with a project.
When to DIY
It’s important to be realistic about DIY projects that you’re confident tackling versus when it’s time to bring in a pro. Here are some areas that are excellent for DIY-ers.
Painting – Painting is the ideal DIY project. With only a few things required, it’s an easy weekend project.
Built-in storage – Assembling a pre-built storage bench is an easy project that only takes a few hours complete. This is a great option to work on as a family or with your partner.
Adding a built-in bar – Setting up a bar cart and shelves, or even a bar countertop, is a DIY project that can positively impact your kitchen space.
Decorate your breakfast nook
Once the frame of your breakfast nook is installed, it’s time to decorate! This is where you get to showcase your creativity and create a space that reflects your personality and your home’s character.
Your chosen seating allows you to add character and storage to your new nook. Browse materials for the frame and upholstery, and think about the visual appeal as well as how easy each option is to clean or replace if it gets damaged.
There are tons of choices available for a breakfast nook table. Think modern, sleek designs or thrift diner booths with a 50’s flair — anything you think of, you can find or create.
Including a coffee bar in your breakfast nook design makes your new space more functional and lets you declutter the rest of your kitchen, too.
Install built-in kitchen cabinets to store a coffee machine and mugs
Even a small cabinet will give you more space to store coffee mugs, to-go mugs, filters, and more. If you have mugs that you love and want to display, installing cup hooks under wall-mounted cabinets gives you the perfect spot to showcase your beautiful cups.
Any items that don’t fit in your coffee bar but would be helpful to have handy when you’re sitting at your breakfast nook can be kept in a rolling coffee cart. Store this convenient storage solution under the table when you’re not using it to create more space.
Coffee bar Ideas
Built-in cabinet – If you have enough space, adding a separate section of cabinets dedicated to a coffee bar provides an option that blends well with the rest of your kitchen design.
Floating shelves – For a minimalist, chic look, arrange floating shelves in a design that fills your space while giving you more space for your coffee, tea, and accessories.
Repurposed bookshelf/ sideboard – If farmhouse modern is your style, hit your local online marketplace to thrift a vintage bookshelf or sideboard. Refinishing furniture is an easy and fun DIY project that can help you create the perfect coffee bar.
If you choose a booth-style breakfast nook, adding throw pillows that match your overall decor helps make your nook extra comfortable. If you have kids and worry about spills, consider using patio pillows — these are often made with stain-resistant material that cleans easily.
Health and safety
Constructing a custom breakfast nook gives your home an upscale feel – as long as it’s well-built. Keep in mind when you’re planning construction projects that if you’re selling your home in the future, any additions need to be approved by a home inspector. If you’re dealing with electrical or plumbing, hire a pro, so your new breakfast nook is safe and meets code requirements.
One thing to watch out for in a breakfast nook, especially if you have storage under seating, is mold. Pieces of food can easily fall between cushions, resulting in decay. Additionally, empty spaces underneath built-in seating can be culprits for harboring dampness, making it a likely area for mildew if it’s not sealed correctly.
Clean your nook regularly, and if you suspect you have a mold problem, hire a professional to inspect your home for mold.
Clean your breakfast nook regularly
The good news is that with regular cleaning, you can avoid mold and mildew issues with your breakfast nook. Vacuuming the seats, between the cushions, and under the table regularly will help you keep an eye out for any damp areas.
If you keep appliances, like a coffee maker or toaster, near your breakfast nook, make sure to clean them routinely and store them properly. Proper storage promotes kitchen organization and reduces the likelihood of potential pest infestations.
Enjoy your breakfast nook
Once your beautiful new breakfast nook is finished, make a point of adjusting your morning routine to make the best use of your new space! It can take some time to get your household used to a new routine, but once you use your breakfast nook for a week or two, you’ll find it hard to remember what you did without it.
Create multi-purpose space
More space in your home is always a plus, and there are plenty of ways to use your new breakfast nook to get the most out of it.
- Craft station for the kids – Meal prepping or making dinner? Get the kiddos started on a crafty activity where you can keep an eye on them while you make dinner.
- Space for kids to do homework – When everyone gets home at the end of a school day, give them a fun place to do homework and have a snack while you prep dinner.
- Workspace for remote workers/freelancers – If you work from home and don’t have room for dedicated office space, a breakfast nook is a perfect spot to work from during the day. Just wrap up during mealtimes, and your breakfast nook does double duty.
- Family space for games – If your breakfast nook has enough room, it’s an excellent area for games. Food-friendly and naturally gathered in a circle, this area is ideal for Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or your game of choice.
From weekday family breakfasts and brunch with friends to game nights and an after-school hang-out spot, having a breakfast nook in your home is a wise investment. If you ensure that the construction is solid and the finishing is polished, this is an addition that’ll be well-loved by your family while also adding resale value to your home.