Sometimes, we pour the most amount of energy into elaborate, gorgeous spaces of our home but wind up rarely using them. They end up not being a part of one’s daily rhythm of the house. Then, there are other more humble spaces, put together with a lot less care and expense, where we find ourselves every day.
The breakfast nook is one of those spaces. It’s humble and cozy but has a gravitational pull. Getting the whole fam packed in for a stack of flapjacks on a weekend morning might be a rarity. But as an oasis to tuck away with a book and a cup of coffee day-to-day for a few stolen moments? Totally doable.
In fact, over the long run, a breakfast nook could be a sanity saver. Especially if you keep fresh flowers there year-round.
Photo by David Hillegas | From Country Living | Hudson Valley Lighting Lambert pendant
It’s a cool little spot. Not a place for grand gestures or great drama, it's best served, lighting-wise, by a single large pendant or a cluster of smaller ones. Something like our Pomfret (below) or Masonville pendants in a cluster add aesthetic impact and just the right amount of light.
This gorgeous nook by Structures Building & Remodeling, Inc. in Sandwich, MA showers an antique wooden table in natural light and suspends our Quinton pendant from a custom vaulted ceiling expansion, painted a robin's-egg shade of blue, which adds extra dimension and levity.
Because we often create our lighting fixtures in families, matching the pendant over a nook to an island light nearby is a possibility. However, it's by no means a must. This family in Dallas, TX opted for our Amherst chandelier over the nearby eating section and Kyle pendants over the island in their transitional kitchen.
Of course, not everyone wants a modest little nook. Some have the space and the desire to glam it up. As this article in Houzz points out, a lighting fixture can go a long way to making a space feel glamorous. And sometimes, that glamour comes from a chandelier.
If there's enough space on one of a nook's adjoining walls, you might consider a sconce. It depends on the amount of natural light and if there's enough space for people's heads when they're tucked into the bench.
In this lovely spot, there's an abundance of natural light. But if one of those windows was a wall, it would be a good spot for the accent light of a sconce, for dark rainy days or long nights playing Scrabble at the table.
This nook from the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, MA shows how a table here can do double duty for both gaming and dining. It also shows off a tufted booth's inviting and sumptuous allure. Our Altamont pendant hangs above the table here. If hanging a pendant in a nook of your own, please note that the fixture's lowest point should be at least 36" from the surface beneath it.
But a nook doesn’t have to be all wooden benches, white paint, and cushions in subdued colors. You can use it to spruce things up with a pop of color. This one in an apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side uses the location to show off a large work of art, then takes chances, deviating from a pink, white, and red high-concept diner feel with a black and earth-tone Josef Hoffmann chair from the Vienna Workshops.
As nooks are often built into a corner of a kitchen, you tend to see banquette benches built into an L-shape. For those needing storage, this is a great place to build some cabinets underneath the seat. If you're into a more minimalist aesthetic, the clean lines of banquette bench will fit in perfectly.
In this Seattle breafkast nook by H2 Design + Build, they built one straight cushioned bench with drawers for storage under the seat, then offset the straight wooden line with a round stone table and elegant but functional chairs. If you click through the pictures to their site, you may also note how they weren't afraid to "mix metals"—brass pulls on banquette drawers aren't painstakingly matched with the same finish in the light fixture.
Pictures by Belathée Photography | Interiors by Katie Hackworth for H2