The cottage kitchen is often the heart of the home, and its décor can reflect any style you can imagine -- ranging from English cottages to a 1940s Cape Cod or to a more modern aesthetic.
Beyond décor is the all-important kitchen nook, a staple of the cottage kitchen.
True breakfast nooks are just that -- nooks or alcoves turned into dining spots in space-deprived kitchens.
Some feature built-in banquettes with a table in the center, while others accommodate a small table and freestanding chairs.
Today the term “breakfast nook” is used more loosely to describe any dining area in a cozy kitchen, whether tucked behind a counter or beside a window.
Any small table -- square, round, or rectangular -- will work here, although whitewashed wood and vintage enamel-topped styles seem especially well suited for the job.
Banquettes, short benches, or four-chair sets are all good seating options.
Other choices include garden chairs, bistro chairs, or mismatched designs unified by a coat of the same color paint.
Window treatments can be old-fashioned in feeling (eyelet or gingham curtains) or more modern (whitewashed wooden blinds or no coverings at all).
On the table, printed tablecloths from the 1950s with colorful fruit or flower motifs, or checkered designs in red and white, blue and white, or yellow and white all look great.
Keep fine china in the dining room, and instead bring out your sturdiest ironstone or everyday china bearing floral patterns or simple stripes of cobalt around the edges.
For a finishing touch, arrange garden flowers in a pale-blue canning jar or coffee tin.
Start in a sunny corner of the room -- ample light is essential for a nook in which you’ll want to linger all morning (especially over the weekend) with a newspaper and coffee.
If space is tight, consider having a wall built that is flat on the side facing the corner you want to enclose.
Line the other side of the wall (the side facing out toward the kitchen) with floor-to-ceiling shelves to create extra storage space for dishes, cookbooks, tin canisters, and accessories.
If space permits, you might even consider having a small pantry built, in place of a wall of shelves.
Humble in purpose and size, cottage style breakfast nooks are one of the easiest -- and most rewarding -- “corners” of the home to create.
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