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Even though it’s often a small space, decorating a breakfast nook definitely comes with its challenges.
It’s actually taken me a couple of tries to get ours just right. There’s still more to do, like the floor and the adjoining kitchen renovation, but it finally feels like the cozy dining space I was hoping for.
I won’t lie. I was really scared of this small awkward space when we moved into the house. It definitely has a lot of issues for such a small space.
First of all, the popcorn ceilings…they are throughout the house, which is another story for another time. It also had an off-center window, as well as an off-center ceiling fixture, old vinyl flooring and a big ugly fuse box on the wall. Yikes!
The ceiling and flooring will be tackled when we do the kitchen reno. My goal for the short-term was to create a cozy space that felt like “us”.
Even though there wouldn’t be any big construction on this space for a while, I knew that I could change it enough with paint, a new swagged light and some decor.
The adjoining living room was the first to get painted and I went with a light colored paint, Benjamin Moore Paper White. I wanted to cozy the dining nook up a bit so I decided to go dark with Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. The existing beadboard and trim was caulked and painted a bright white, Behr Polar Bear.
With the painting done I added a rug, a wall basket over the fuse box and some prints on the wall. Next we moved our table in.
It was looking better and I loved the color but something was off. I kept moving things around, trying different kinds of wall decor but the space just wasn’t working for me.
After a few months of moving things around and not being satisfied I took everything back out and reevaluated.
I had painted a wall on the other side of the kitchen a matte black and loved it so I decided to paint over the navy with black. Not a huge difference but I liked how it mirrored the wall across the room.
Next we cut down our table. I had just had this table made for our stone cottage right before we put it on the market so it took me some time to get the nerve to cut it down. Once we did that though, we were able to turn it 90 degrees and it fit much better in the space.
Next I put an upholstered settee on one side of the table, to break up all of the wood, and laid a new rug. I was loving the new changes but I still had to deal with the walls, the thing I struggled with the most.
I had a lot of vintage art stashed away from our last home so I pulled it all out and created a gallery wall. The wall with the fuse box got a single piece of art, one of my favorite pieces.
Finally, after a year and a half of stressing over and fiddling with this tiny space, I felt like it was complete and that I could move on to other spaces. That is until it’s time to do the big kitchen reno.
So a few lessons I learned with all of this.
- Small spaces are not easy to get just right.
- Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right to you, rework it until it does.
- Don’t rush it. Creating the home you want takes time and patience (something I’m not very good at remembering).