Breakfast nook design help

buildiva22July 5, 2012

Hello there!

We have a pretty small breakfast area and are trying to decide which option we should go with and want to hear from others.

We have about 9 ft between the french doors to the island. The island can be made smaller if needed. At the current state, there are 4 french doors to the backyard and we will have a pool there. The pocket(sliding) door next to the breakfast area is going to a home office/playroom. We also have to consider the traffic going into this room.

Option 1:

Leave it as is and find a small narrow rectangular breakfast table that fits comfortably. Keep the french door operable.

Option 2:

Do a built-in bench by the window so that we can push the breakfast table all the way to the window side and have more room between table and island. With this option, we will have to decide if we want to keep the french door look (i.e. install non-operable french door) or just do windows above the bench. And if we just do windows, will the overall appearance be worse? Two french doors from family room to backyard, then windows in breakfast area.

Or if there could possibly by an Option 3?

We are torn between the two options and the two choices will probably end up the same cost. What are the pros and cons between the two options? With the built in bench, we will probably be more limited in our breakfast table choice but at the same time, I always like the built in breakfast bench idea.


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Annie Deighnaugh

That is a lot of french doors. I would convert one set to higher windows and build in a banquette underneath so it will maximize space utilization.

Or better yet, I would leave the french doors alone and expand the island. It looks very tight to me for the sink and DW on that side...I would need space on both sides of the side to stack the dirty dishes before I wash them and the other to put a drainboard for the stuff I wash by hand. You can make the island bigger all at counter height, or you could attach a table-height peninsula to the far side to get more seating and to leave the pathways to the pool unobstructed.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:23PM
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I suspect you're not getting any responses b/c no one can think of any possible way that you can fit a breakfast table into the space you have. You said you have 9 feet from wall to island...but from the dimensions shown on your diagram, it is clear that 9 ft doesn't count the space taken up by the bar stools around your island. Then, because you have to access the office/playroom, you need space to walk between the bar stools and whatever chairs/benches you would have around the breakfast table because you have to access that office playroom. The barstools and walkway will take up a minimum of 4 feet of your 9 foot of space. That only leaves 5 feet for the breakfast table and chairs. Two people can barely sit knee to knee in 5 feet of space...much less have room to stick a table between the two that is wide enough for breakfast things.

If you haven't started building yet, I would rethink this whole plan.

If you have started building and are therefore stuck with this space, I see two options.

1) Forget about sitting at the island, make it half as wide and move the sink/dishwasher around so that you face the windows when washing dishes and forget about having any barstools. Then, you'll have about 11 ft of space and no barstools taking up part of it. That is room enough for a normal breakfast table with space enough between table and island to walk to/from the office. If you decide to keep the "french doors" I'd make them inoperable.

2) Forget about having a breakfast table at all. Instead, enlarge the island and do all your dining at the island. Be aware tho that many people don't find it terribly comfortable to sit on raised bar stools when they eat. You might need to find someplace else for the sink and DW and lower the entire (enlarged) island to normal table height. table at all. Just eat all meals at the kitchen island.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Wasn't trying to "pile on". Annie posted similar suggestions while I was typing...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Thanks so much for the inputs! @Bevangel, the extended table next to island is another idea for us to think about. We actually have seen some pictures of that but have never thought of incorporating this design. Not sure why the architect drew it out like that. I wonder if this will make resale harder if people in general look for a breakfast area? Thanks Annie! I am thinking we will probably do built in French bench so that we can have the table pushed to the window side. The island size and sink arrangement can be changed since the house hasn't been built yet. We can possibly do a bay window with window seat for the breakfast table, may be we can push the table even further then. Another thing just came thru my mind. Seems like we only have very limited options here >.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:30PM
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