Your kitchen's dimensions and layout of and number of diners are the starting point to get the right plan for your breakfast or dining nook. These spaces are usually adjacent to the kitchen or in the kitchen itself. Nooks are a special part of your home and can be full of charm — and quite functional as well.
When a kitchen has a long and spacious floor plan, placing an office after an island that delimits it is a very practical option. Not only does it provide additional storage, but it's also an extra work surface that you can use as a serving hutch. Whenever possible, arrange this area to be in front of a source of natural light such as a window or doorway.
Separating the nook can be very practical, as kitchen and odors from cooking can be avoided. Make sure to establish a visual relationship between both spaces. For example, a sliding glass door or glass doors and windows are ideal because they can help isolate the space while still letting you see through it. The nook, similar to a formal dining room, has a table as its focal point, but is less formal in style. It can be furnished with a space-saving bench and other chairs. Depending on the configuration of the room, the bench can be U-shaped, L-shaped or singly loaded against a wall. Of course, a table and chair will suffice for a breakfast or dining nook.
A table attached to a working island can also create that coveted nook. Placing a table on one side of the island allows you to have a small nook in just a few square feet. However, you must bear in mind that you will lose one of the sides. To be able to get up comfortably behind each chair, there should be about 3 feet behind it. In small kitchens, you can replace the table with a cantilevered shelf, or lengthen the countertop to create a breakfast area. The chairs selected for these small spaces should have straight lines and vertical backs so that they will not crowd the space. Wood-framed and upholstered chairs help provide a bit of warmth and establish the style of the breakfast or dining nook.
Finally, there are nooks that are contiguous with the kitchen and surrounded by the kitchen cupboards. A nook should be, above all, comfortable and functional. To achieve this, you should take into account how often the nook will be used (as opposed to the dining room) and how many guests it will serve. So, for a table of four people, your nook will need to be about 50 to 60 square feet; for six to eight diners, you will need about 100 to 120 square feet. If the nook's use is going to be sporadic, a simple folding table may suffice. But if this room will be used every day, a table made from distressed wood would be more suitable. This area should have cabinets that can serve as a pantry, shelves for kitchen equipment and space to house dishes and glassware.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.