It’s almost time for breakfast, and you have a busy family eager for food. You have two options: set the dining table you work so hard to keep clear and watch on as your family splashes milk and other crumbs on it – or serve them breakfast on the run. Neither sound like enticing options. If only you had a breakfast nook—a casual space for eating, working, reading, and spending quality time with friends and family.

There is something so warm about a breakfast nook. It occupies a space previously had no purpose and turns it into one of the coziest spots in your home. Whether you plan on using it as a large buffet table or a small table for two to drink tea, below are 10 of the best breakfast nook inspirations.

What Is a Breakfast Nook?

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A breakfast nook is a small eating space either in the kitchen or nearby the kitchen used for light meals. These charming little spaces are typically only large enough to seat a few people. If you have a big family or like to maximize the space, there are many tricks when designing your nook that can help you do that. For example, using a table with leaf extensions or replacing individual dining chairs with a bench.

Breakfast nooks were created so residents would have a space other than the dining room to eat. These smaller eating areas are more casual options for dining and tend to have a more light and airy color scheme.

Why Have One?

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The kitchen is more often than not the most used room in your house. Between crafts, meals and the occasional drink with friends, countertop space is something you always you wish you had more of.

Your dining room is a room you have worked hard to decorate. You carefully think about your table runner, place settings, and centerpiece. The last thing you want to do is have to reset all of your decorations after every meal or get milk stains on your table from before school breakfast with the kids. A breakfast nook is the best solution for a middle-ground area; it is a space you don’t mind getting a little messy.

Every home has a corner in the kitchen that is going to waste or an odd room off the kitchen with no efficient purpose. Maybe you have a different problem, and you live in a house with an open floor plan, and there is not enough casual seating space.

Older homes tend to have dark areas that are hard to decorate. There is a simple solution to that! A table and some comfortable chairs around it and turn it into the ideal late-night cozy hangout spot for the family. Breakfast nooks are the perfect solution for any odd cranny in your home.

Breakfast Nook Inspirations

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1. Choosing the Best Table

It is best to choose a table that mimics the shape of the space. For longer more narrow spaces it is good to use a rectangle table because it elongates the space instead of making it seem chopped up. For square spaces, use a square or circle shaped table. If your space is small, it is good to use a circle table because it is easier for people to get around.

2. Spice the Space Up with Patterns

Patterns are a great tool to use when decorating a small space. Not only does it add a little flare, but it makes each component of the nook stand out. Keep the patterns within the range of the color scheme of your kitchen to keep the two living spaces cohesive.

3. Keep the Decorations Relevant

A breakfast nook is supposed to be a space that makes you happy and bring people together. It is fun to keep your decorations in theme with the overall feel of your house. Do you live in a cabin or old stately home? Use dark aged wood in the nook. If you live near a beach, decorate your space using rattan furniture, palm trees, and nautical colors.

4. Maximize Your Space

There are a few brilliant ways you can maximize the space of this little nook. Purchase a table that has the flexibility to expand on the sides. During day-to-day use, you can keep the table folded down allowing people to move around it easily. If you need more space, cram as many people around the table, expand it and maximize all the surface space.

When most people think of an eating space, they imagine chairs around a table. While this is perfectly fine for a nook, there are other seating options for the space at hand. Replace a few chairs or even all of them with bench seats. You can add extra storage space underneath and fit one or two more people around the table than with chairs.

5. Build Your Own Table

Nooks can be an odd shape. This is one reason they are perfect for a breakfast nook, but it also brings challenges. Finding a table can be a hard task when the walls are an irregular shape.

A cute way to improvise is making your own table. This fills the space with character and can sometimes be cheaper than going out and buying a table. A fun idea is using a chopping block as the surface of the table and either attaching it to the wall or adding a base. Not only is this cute, but the surface of the table can take a little more abuse from kids and family activities than other tabletops.

6. Make Your Breakfast Nook a Multipurpose Space

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Just because it is called a breakfast nook does not mean you are limited to only eating breakfast there. You can turn your space into an intimate cocktail corner for late-night drinks. It can turn into the table for the family game night simply by removing your table settings. During the holidays or large home gatherings, you can convert your nook into a buffet table.

7. Your Nook Does Not Have to Be Small

The word nook typically reminds one of a small awkward space. This is what breakfast nooks were named for, but over time they have evolved into bigger more established spaces. People who have large windows in or near the kitchen find breakfast nooks sit perfectly in front of them allowing for a bright and airy eating space. Placing a bench below the window adds more seating and can actually elongate the space and accent the window.

8. You Don’t Even Need a Nook

Does your house lack a small area that would be considered a nook, but you still want a breakfast nook? You can make your own! All you have to do is find a small round free-standing table and two to four chairs that do not have armrests. You can add a rug under the area to separate it from the rest of the room. By adding pillows to some or all of the chairs and a throw slung on the back of one of them, you have created a cozy nook in the middle of your kitchen space.

9. Turn Your Breakfast Nook into a Reading Nook

Your breakfast nook does not only have to be for eating. In fact, it should be a space that makes you happy and wanting to sit at. If you have an empty wall next to or near your nook, add bookshelves and keep some of your favorite classics nearby. You can relax under a throw you keep on the back of your chairs with a hot tea in one hand and a book in the other. How does that sound?

10. Be Daring with Your Decorations

This is not an entire room. You do not have a large area to cover and are typically not putting a lot of money into it; at least not as much as a full room. Be brave with your design. Try something you would be too nervous to try in a different room. Pull out some of your more eclectic, colorful, and out-of-your-comfort-zone inspirations and add them to this area.

Conclusion

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No matter how big your kitchen is, you are always searching for counter space to set your belongings on. A breakfast nook is like giving yourself bonus space to set stuff on, plus it is a multipurpose space that brings you together with friends and family.

Turning an area of your kitchen into a cozy nook is the perfect way to turn an otherwise empty or forgotten space into a functional and chic hangout area.

Adding a breakfast nook to your kitchen interior is a fun way to bring in more daring patterns and pieces than you normally would. The area is so concentrated you do not have to worry about it being too busy with various patterns like you would in a large room.

Do you have an area of your home that could be converted into a breakfast nook? What are you waiting for? Memories are waiting to be made!

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