In a previous post, we discussed how the once archaic dining room was revived by the surge of at-home dining during the pandemic. As lovely as these formal and separate rooms are, however, they are not always practical or necessary for the little meals you have throughout the day or informal dinners with immediate family during the week. In addition to practicality, in some circumstances a formal dining room simply isn’t a possibility due to lack of space… and so, enter the breakfast nook! Let us start by saying that the term “breakfast” nook is really an egregious misnomer as you can truly consume any meal in a nook… but for simplicity sake, let’s just go with it. Breakfast nooks are an incredibly cozy way to dine that can be lovely in the morning light and incredibly intimate and reminiscent of a restaurant booth in the evening. In addition to the vibe they create, they are also incredibly functional, multipurpose and an effective use of limited space. We particularly love to design breakfast nooks in condos and houses that are on the narrower side but truly, they can be an incredibly chic dining option in any home. When designing breakfast nooks we like to keep a few things in mind…
Start With a Beautiful Banquette
A banquette is effectively a bench along a wall and is often upholstered for added comfort. Banquettes are incredibly common in restaurants and bars, as they allow for a flexible amount of guests to sit in a limited amount of space but they are also a great design solution in homes and condos. This is typically our starting point for a breakfast nook. We begin by deciding which wall or walls the banquette should be up against. This could be a solid wall or a corner and could have windows above the backrest, all of which are shown in the examples above. Then the question is, custom or store-bought? The answer to this question is going to depend entirely on the specifications of the area in question. If the dimensions work, a store-bought bench might be the answer but for best results, we like to work with our industry experts to create a beautiful custom solution. With custom banquettes, the options are endless as far as shape, style, colour, material and size goes. In some cases, we’ve designed the banquettes to not only be a seating solution in a limited amount of space but also a storage solution too, with pull-out drawers below.
Select a Table That is Appropriate in Both Size & Shape
Once you’ve established the size and shape of your banquette, it’s time to select an appropriate table. When selecting the table, keep the dimension of the banquette in mind. Things like an adequate amount of surface area, suitable height, scale in relation to the banquette and a comfortable depth for leg room are just a few of the factors that ought to be considered. It’s also worthwhile to think about whether your “breakfast” nook will be used for activities beyond breakfast. A multi-functional breakfast nook meets home office might have different needs! With regards to shape, that’s often more of a matter of personal preference. Above are two examples of breakfast nooks. One features a rectangular glass table, while the other has a round pedestal both of which look fabulous but create completely different looks.
Find Seating that Complements the Banquette
With the exception of some corner breakfast nooks, additional seating is required to complement the banquette on the other side of the table. We say complement because the goal is not to have a match-y match-y look. Rather, we like to select seating that is generally in keeping with the aesthetic. Often the banquette informs our seatings choices. We like to draw upon textures, colours and materials already used in the banquette. Above are two beautiful examples of seating that look like they belong, without being obvious or remotely boring.
Evaluate the Lighting
Last but certainly not least is lighting. Regardless of whether you go for something soft and subtle or a grand statement, lighting is an essential element as it really sets the tone and mood plus, if the space is to be used as an at-home office as well, it has a very practical function. Although pot lights may already be installed in the area, we often like to explore the option of a hanging pendant or chandelier. Installing such a light above the table helps to define the area and casts a warmer and more inviting glow than pot lights alone. We find this particularly important for dim early mornings or dining in the evening. In addition to the light itself, the fixture can serve as a beautiful focal point that ties everything together. Above are two examples we’re particularly fond of.
Need help creating your own breakfast nook? This isn’t our first rodeo and we would love to help <3