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A breakfast nook is a small space, often enclosed on three sides and located near or off the kitchen, which many people use for casual dining. Seats and tables in such an area can be diner style, and installed or attached to the floor. Alternately, any small space with a table and chairs for morning, or casual afternoon or evening dining, can be considered a breakfast nook.
Since breakfast nooks are by nature relatively small, they may only fit four to six diners at most, and sometimes only two. Many people who have these already built in their kitchens also have a formal dining room. With large families, a nook may be too small for a whole family to dine together, but they were often and still remain the perfect place to serve young children breakfast.
Style in these areas varies greatly. Many are located next to or surrounded by windows, so that those seated can have a nice view. It’s a good idea to garden accordingly so that you can provide a pretty view of gardens, trees or flowers. Some people line their breakfast nooks, especially in apartments, with window boxes full of flowers, so if the view is not terrific, at least sunny flowers greet the informal diner. Some do not have windows attached, but simply provide a convenient extra space for serving some meals, and in two person homes, such nooks can provide the main dining space in a home.
You can decide how you’d like to design this space, or create space by adding onto a home, based on what your needs are. Perhaps you need an elegant space with lovely curtains, padded benches and an antique table. A less formal approach would be to add a diner-like booth with vinyl benches and a Formica table. Before you design the space, think about who will give the nook the most use. If it’s a space to feed kids breakfast, consider an informal style that it is easy to clean. If it will be the main dining space for a newly married couple, you might want to strive for elegance and romance.
There are plenty of different furniture styles to choose from when creating the perfect breakfast nook. Simple constructions might include wood tables and several benches or a single bench to surround the table. Measure your nook space carefully, since the small space provided is not forgiving if you add overly large furniture. An unusually sized space, hexagonal instead of rectangular for example, might require custom furniture, or be better suited to chairs than benches.
If you prefer dining in your formal dining room, it isn’t always necessary to keep a breakfast nook as a dining space. It could provide the perfect fit for your home computer, a hutch, or it could be converted into a homework station for children. The only trouble encountered here is that when nooks have large windows, they may be ill suited for electronics equipment, and large hutches can block light to the nook and the areas around it. If the area gets a lot of sun, you may also want to invest in double paned windows and good curtains or shades so that it isn’t too bright, or too hot on sunny days.