A few days ago I was idly browsing my Instagram feed, as ya do, and an image stopped me dead in my scroll. It was this beautiful breakfast nook from this apartment tour.
“I have a breakfast nook,” I thought to myself. “Why doesn’t it look anywhere near this good?” My breakfast nook is currently pretty boring, and most of the time it’s covered in my clutter, so if it’s news to you that I have a breakfast nook, that’s why I’ve never blogged about it. I was so intrigued by this one, though, that I fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole of breakfast nook inspiration. There are some seriously beautiful breakfast nooks out there, and now I have a bunch of ideas for my next project, giving mine a makeover. Check out the before, and some gorgeous breakfast nooks I’ll be drawing inspiration from.
So here is my breakfast nook, after I cleared off the clutter. Pretty much the only things we’ve done to it since we moved in have been painting the walls and window moldings, and replacing the light fixture. Oh, and we had the vinyl flooring stripped off and refinished the original wood floors. That made a HUGE difference. Those vinyl cushions came with the house, and have definitely seen better days. There are lots of other flaws to point out here, but I’ll let you find the rest of them for yourself. (Hint: I have a bunch of wood painting in my future.)
With windows on two walls, plants love it in here. That’s why the table is usually covered with plant babies. And this monstera has gotten huge. So huge that I had to take it out of the room so I could shoot the above photo without it getting in the way.
Ok, so in order to figure out how to make over this nook, I decided to find pictures of other beautiful breakfast nooks, and pick out the elements that I’m drawn to the most.
Let’s start with this nook with an amazing gallery wall. I can’t find the original source, but someone did a great job styling it up with subtly-patterned cushions and fantastic art.
The one from the top also has a mini gallery wall on the left. Here’s a close-up that shows the patterned cushions and accessories a bit better, too.
This is from a house tour of a home in Portland, and it’s really similar to our breakfast nook in terms of the bench storage seating and table style. It has more shelves and cushions than ours, though.
Design*Sponge | Leah Verwey Photo
This is another Pinterest orphan that I couldn’t find an original source for. It’s a bit austere, but that black hardware and those upholstered benches sure are nice.
I wish I could find the original source for this next one, mainly so I can figure out where they got the fabric for the cushions, and get a better view of how the vertical ones are attached to the wall. A big reason my breakfast nook is usually covered with clutter is because it’s not actually very comfortable to sit at. It needs back cushions. “So just add some,” you’re thinking. Well, the problem is that we actually store stuff we need access to in the built-in benches (cat food and plant supplies, mainly), and moving a bunch of cushions every time you want to get to your stuff is annoying AF. So cushions that are attached to the wall like these would help solve that problem.
Emily Henderson nailed this little nook with interesting artwork, the perfect mix of patterned cushions, and a natural touch with those rattan chairs.
Are we seeing a pattern here? The macrame light fixture is another way to bring in a natural element. From this tour, room designed by Mindy Gayer.
What do you think of these nooks? See any ideas you’d like to use in your own rooms? Here are my takeaways.
Breakfast Nook Elements to Steal
- Shelves! – The inspiration image that set me off on this path has great shelves that I want to copy. If you follow my Instagram stories, you may have seen that I’m already working on this part.
- Cushions – Definitely new seat and backing cushions, at least. Maybe a variety of throw pillows with quiet patterns.
- Artwork – Maybe even a mini gallery wall with black-framed-art.
- Black hardware – There are hinges on the benches that I could strip and paint, but they’d be hidden most of the time, so I’m not sure if that would be worth the work.
- New light – I’m not sure if the copper shade works in the room I’m picturing, but I’m loathe to buy a whole new light. I have some ideas on a DIY way to make this one work for what I have in mind!
- Natural elements – Just a touch of something organic will help keep the white from feeling too sterile.
- Accessories – Obviously there aren’t any now, and that’s because there aren’t places to put them (other than on the table.) The shelves I’m adding will help solve this problem.
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