Ask anyone who’s ever bought a house with—or built—a breakfast nook how much they love it, and there’s a good chance you’ll be met with a groan and an eye-roll. These cozy spaces look like the perfect start to your day (surely you’ll start making the time to bake pancakes, froth a latte, and sneak in some mindfulness meditations when you have a cushy banquette to lounge on!).
Only they often become an epic case of expectations vs. reality. One week in, most people I’ve talked to complain that sliding in and out of that booth is a hassle. You’ve got to be nimble, otherwise you wind up bruising your shins every time you dash into and out of the booth. Or stub a toe.
All that hate (and ache), however, is typically because you have the wrong table for the nook. “A pedestal table is a must for any breakfast nook,” Los Angeles-based interior designer Justina Blakeney told me, adding that it’s the only design that’ll keep you from banging your knees against the table all the time. It makes sense: The single, centered base gives you more room to shimmy in and out of the booth, instead of dodging a table leg at every corner. Look for one that’s at least 36 inches in diameter, which will seat about four people.
She and her sister, Faith Blakeney, had recently transformed her parents’ condo, and when they had the option of gutting the nook, they decided to keep it. “I have so many memories of eating there with my family,” Justina said. “We just wanted it to look beautiful, to match those beautiful memories.”
The Blakeneys went for a modern pedestal to even out the earthy, boho vibe of the room, which is another thing to consider as you shop around: Does the design of the table balance out the rest of the room, so it doesn’t veer into so-thematic-it’s-theatrical territory? Unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for—in that case, you do you.