Designed by: Ken Linsteadt Architects
It's fairly easy to turn a few forgotten feet of space into your kitchen's go-to gathering spot, like this cheery breakfast nook by San Francisco architect Ken Linsteadt. How do you do it? Start with a strong neutral paint color and inject personality with geometric patterns and unexpected color combinations, like this citrusy chartreuse and classic navy duo. Instead of stashing tableware in cabinets, display your favorite canisters, trays and serving pieces to add another layer of personality. Then, finish off your nook with a statement-making light fixture to provide a graphic focal point. Here are our picks for replicating this look in your kitchen:
Photo: Courtesy of Hable Construction
Nothing spices up a room like bold prints. For the biggest impact, choose three to four patterns for pillows and upholstery. Bonus: Interesting patterns are great for dining upholstery because they hide stains better than solids. If you're wary of prints, chose patterns with repeats that are less than an inch in size.
Get the look: Charcoal Checker fabric from Hable Construction
Photo by: Rejuvenation
A built-in banquette is a bit of a splurge, but well worth the investment. Not only does it maximize seating in tight spaces, but the bottom can be converted into cabinets for extra storage. Don't overlook small details, like these oversized iron pulls. Interesting hardware and accessories are often the difference between a good room and a great one.
Photo: Courtesy of Behr
A good white paint creates the perfect backdrop for adding virtually any print or color. Plus, it's great for smaller spaces because it reflects light, making your nook look bigger. But finding the perfect white paint can be a daunting endeavor—you want something that's not too stark, but not too ivory. This warm white strikes just the right balance.
Get the look: Behr Swiss Coffee paint from Home Depot, call for pricing
Photo: Courtesy of west elm, Design Within Reach
Not ready to invest in a built-in banquette? Instead, use upholstered chairs in lively patterns to inject personality without the commitment of a permanent seating unit. Mix and match bulkier upholstered armchairs with slender wire ones, like the classic Bertoia chair, so you don't overwhelm a small nook.
Photo: Courtesy of American Carpet Wholesalers
Top designers are gravitating toward floors with a weathered, textured feel. Selecting hardwood floors that have a "well-loved" look adds a rustic element that provides a nice contrast to the modern lighting, colors, and patterns used elsewhere in the nook.
Get the look: Hatteras engineered hardwood flooring in Pelican Oak Weathered, $5.95/sf
Photo: Courtesy of west elm
A slim rectangular table is a great fit for a small breakfast nook because you can maximize the sharp angles by situating banquettes, benches, or chairs around it. The industrial design counterbalances the playful patterns of the pillows and bench seating surrounding it.
Get the look: Mix + Match Table with Industrial Steel Base and Clear Glass Top, $449, west elm
Photo: Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, west elm
Pillows are rarely associated with dining areas, but adding groupings of pillows to a banquette creates a cozy space to curl up in the morning with a hot cup of coffee for a reading-nook-meets-breakfast-area feel. They're also a great way to add a punch of color: Mix solid, printed, and embellished pillows for a relaxed yet playful look.
Photo: Courtesy of west elm
Pull out the vibrant colors from your pillows or upholstery and echo them in your accessories. Something as simple as a chartreuse lacquered tray displayed on a table can make just as much impact as furniture for a fraction of the cost.
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
Instead of letting your shelves become a forgotten space where you stash odds and ends, use them as an extension of your design. Line open shelves with pretty pottery, bowls and containers that bring out subtle highlights in the color scheme.
DRUM LIGHT FIXTURE
Photo: Courtesy of Pottery Barn
Courtesy of west elm
Nothing fills a small space with big visual impact like a gorgeous light fixture hung at eye level. A textured drum shade will draw the eye without commandeering the design; despite its modern shape and interesting texture, it's still a neutral element.