What Is a Kitchen Nook?

What Is a Kitchen Nook?

Every homeowner wants to pack as much as they can into the design for their new kitchen, but while many consider dining space to be an absolute essential, they may lack the space to accommodate a full-size dining table. 

If that sounds like you, a kitchen nook can be the perfect solution—but what exactly is a kitchen nook and how can you incorporate one in the design for your kitchen?

Let us fill you in on everything you need to know about the kitchen nook and how to make the best use of one.

Key Summary

A kitchen nook is a compact dining space that’s typically located within close proximity to the kitchen.

what is a kitchen nook

What Is a Kitchen Nook?

A kitchen nook (sometimes also called a breakfast or dining nook) is an additional eating space that is usually located in or adjacent to a kitchen.

First seen in craftsman homes that were popular during the 1920s and 30s, kitchen nooks were originally intended as a more casual eating space that lacked the formality of a separate dining room. Today, kitchen nooks can be used as either a primary or secondary dining space in homes with or without a formal dining room.

Kitchen nooks often feature diner-style in-built banquette seating in an effort to save space, however, many kitchen nooks also use a freestanding (but typically compact) table and chairs.

What Are Kitchen Nooks Used For?

Kitchen nooks are coveted for their ability to provide a multifunctional space that can be used for a variety of tasks. 

Primarily used as a casual dining space that’s ideal for enjoying breakfast, an afternoon snack or a cup of coffee, kitchen nooks often also double (or triple) as a workspace if you’re working from home or for the kids to complete their homework, or even as a space to do craft, complete a puzzle or play a board game.

In many cases, homeowners also choose to optimise the space by incorporating additional hidden storage inside banquette seating.

Why Would You Include a Kitchen Nook?

There are many reasons why homeowners choose to incorporate a kitchen nook. Here are just some of them:

  • You’re limited for space: If you’re a little short on space but aren’t willing to sacrifice a dining table, a kitchen nook can be a great space-saving alternative that still allows you to enjoy your meals at a table.
  • You enjoy more casual dining: Many homes that already include a formal dining room also include a kitchen nook to provide an alternative dining option that is typically less formal. 
  • You can add extra seating: Most of us seem to end up in the kitchen when we entertain, but you can often find yourself short of seating. A kitchen nook allows you to add a few extra chairs for visitors to relax in while you’re meal-prepping.
  • You can make the best use of an empty or awkward corner: A Kitchen nook allows you to fully utilise any vacant space left in your kitchen design, without consuming too much room.
  • You can create a feature: If your kitchen features a bay window, a kitchen nook is an excellent way to make a feature of them. A kitchen nook is also a great opportunity to get a little adventurous with your design choices—after all, if you change your mind about any of your selections, it’s not usually too difficult to update the space and future should you wish to.

How Big Does a Kitchen Nook Need to Be?

Kitchen nooks come in all sorts of shapes and there are no hard and fast rules about kitchen nook size. The best approach to determine how much space you will need is to consider how many people will usually be seated there at once.

If the space will normally seat 2-4 people, you’ll most likely need 1.5 to 2 square meters of space. If the nook will need to accommodate 4-6 people, you’ll probably need around 2 to 3 square meters of space to allow everyone to sit comfortably.

Tips When Designing a Kitchen Nook

  • Don’t be afraid to play with pattern: From wallpaper and artwork to your upholstery selections, a kitchen nook is a great opportunity to get creative with your design choices. 
  • Make it kid-friendly: Most households love the concept of the kitchen nook as it’s perfect when you need to serve up a quick meal for little ones, but littlies and mess often go hand in hand. Your best bet is to opt for fabrics and finishes that will be quick and easy to wipe down.
  • Locate it next to a window: While not always possible, kitchen nooks tend to work particularly well when located next to a window. Not only does it allow beautiful natural light to flow in, but it can also provide a beautiful outlook to a pleasant garden or outdoor space.
  • Include feature lighting: While natural light is ideal, your kitchen nook also needs to be functional in the evening. Placing an impressive pendant light centrally above a nook table is a great solution that will also create a feature.
  • Add extra storage: If you’re including diner-style banquette seating in your kitchen nook, make sure you utilise the internal space within the seating by making it double as a handy extra storage space.
  • Design it around who will use it: No single design will suit every household, so make design choices that reflect the people that live in the home. For homes with young children, bright, airy and easy to clean is usually the way to go, whereas elegance and sophistication may better fit the brief if the home belongs to a young professional couple.

Create the Perfect Kitchen Nook With Mint

Want to incorporate a kitchen nook into your kitchen design? We can help.

The expert team of designers and builders at Mint Kitchens and Bathrooms in Melbourne can help you create the ideal kitchen, incorporating all the design elements you want, while always keeping functionality as key. Take a look at what we can do or book a consultation at a showroom near you.

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