How to Create a Breakfast Nook

Tara Dickinson
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Breakfast Nook in a Small Space, A Built In Nook, Or Create Your Own


What’s the difference between a kitchen table or a breakfast nook? Both serve the same function, a place to gather, take in sustenance, possibly do some work, for both kids and adults. But a ‘nook’ conjures up feelings of intimacy, closeness, a cozy atmosphere, sunny or rainy days of quiet reading, mulling over the Sunday paper while savoring your morning coffee or tea. Now that sounds inviting; we can see why this design is such a popular addition to a home kitchen.


The usefulness of breakfast nooks are many:

  • Family gathering spot, a place to spend one-on-one with the kids.
  • A quiet area tucked away from the hustle of the outside for quiet moments.
  • Ideal space to begin your day; if next to a window with loads of plenty of sunshine.
  • Relaxation zone.
  • After school homework station.
  • Intimate spot for a candlelit dinner.
  • Good use for any extra space in or adjacent to your kitchen.


If you have a window seat, or some sort of sitting area in or near the kitchen already, excellent! Below will be tips on how to make the most of this space with proper seating, decor, storage, and lighting. If you don't have a breakfast nook, here are many ideas on creating the space. Custom-built, repurposing, or simply transposing already existing furnishings in your home are all valid ways to incorporate an eating, reading, and relaxing nook into your kitchen.


Comfortable & Inviting

Most families run on high energy, maybe even a bit of chaos, in the morning. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a softer, welcoming morning space to ease into the day? A cozy breakfast nook offers an invitation for sitting and lounging, taking a few deep breaths into between the immediate tasks. How to achieve this; first incorporate comfy textiles. Upholstered seating, chairs or benches, or add extra throw pillows and lap blankets for cooler climates.

Include Statement Lighting

To denote your breakfast nook as its own separate space, you can highlight it with a lighting statement piece. ‘Statement lighting’ catches the eye through shape or size, or a touch of whimsy. Choosing one, or multiple smaller fixtures, for hanging over the table will add additional ambience to your nook. Extra tip: make the switches dimmable so you can control the mood.


More Casual Than Formal

The two best ways to achieve this feel are through color and texture. This is a space designed for adult relaxing but also a quick kids breakfast and afternoon snacks or evening study sessions. You want to encourage everyday use with an inviting feel. Great color combinations for breakfast nooks include:

  • Black chalkboard wall plus a jolt of bright; black chalk paint with brightly colored chalk is super fun for kids and grownups alike. A few bright hued art prints will complete a well-rounded look.
  • Warm rich oranges are a call to a cozy destination. White is the complimentary color for the other walls here.
  • Patterned wallpaper in celery greens with turquoise accents is another welcoming color combo.
  • Light sky blue brings a spring morning inside.
  • Blue and yellow have been an uplifting kitchen combo for decades.

Smart Benches

When picturing breakfast nooks one of the first images that come to mind are lovely cushioned benches. Usually a breakfast nook starts with a bench that has been built into a corner or under a window area or near the home kitchen. Benches are so convenient because they not only provide seating for many but usually have the additional element of storage containers under the seating.

Don’t have a built-in bench? Here is a great place to upcycle or reuse other items to make one.

  • Turn pallets, wood boxes, old dressers, and end tables into a sitting bench.
  • Make a bench out of a bunch of storage boxes to create a nice seating area.
  • Don’t forget to add storage. Lift-up benches with compartments are ideal.
  • You can even custom design benches that truly blend in with the architecture.
  • Incorporate pull-out drawers into the seating for extra storage.
  • Place your creations against a wall or at a kitchen island to create a comfy seating area.

Other Seating

Get creative with seating; think beyond the standard table and chairs to create a relaxed space. Employing some out-of-the-box seating can go a long way toward driving home that restful feeling. For example, a loveseat against a window; slide in a table, and you're created a cozy nook with automatic lighting and no need for renovation. Or go for a retro diner style booth. Don’t be afraid to mix and match seating as demonstrated perfectly in the photo below with two matching chairs, a wooden bench, and a mini loveseat. You’ll notice that some other recommended elements are used here too, the statement lighting and an area rug.


Round, rectangular, square- all table shapes work when designing your breakfast nook. Place a table in a corner, or against a wall, surround it with seating and this is not only a great small space solution, but it also creates a nice nook-like intimacy in your home. Have a larger family and need to use a long dining table? That also works when placing it in the kitchen with a bench or couch to get your breakfast nook vibes.

Petite & Sweet In Limited Space

If you're limited on space for a breakfast nook, consider a small pedestal table that can be tucked in just about anywhere. Adding any cute little stools, benches, or comfy chairs and your nook has been born. The feeling is still intimate and comfortable.

Area Rug

To ground the nook as a space unto itself, place an area rug. This will delineate the space, plus make it feel cozier if you have bare floors. They can also help to tie a space together and establish a seating arrangement.

Bay Window

Many built-in nooks in California follow the lines of bay windows that are popular in the architecture of this area, creating a shapley eating spot. Placing a rounded table follows in harmony fashioning an appealing atmosphere to enjoy the views and relax with company.


Coming in all shapes, styles, and sizes, the breakfast nook is a wonderful way to get comfortable in your home. Be sure to personalize it and make it your own adding favorite colors and loved decorative accents. Simple or luxurious. It’s your choice. Have fun and think second-hand when looking for furnishings and decor keeping it eco-conscious.




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