What should we do with this awkward nook?

tamlifApril 11, 2013

We are planning a whole kitchen remodel and we have no clue what to do with this awkward nook that is off of the breakfast room area.

It is 44" wide and 58" deep on the left side, but 48" deep in on the right side. There is also a vaulted ceiling inside of it because it is under a staircase.

We have a full walk in pantry (68"x41") in the main kitchen so we don't need any more pantry storage. But we were considering making this a desk area/junk drawer area.

We don't need a full desk area because we have a separate office in the house so we would just use this for a place to put calendars, tape scissors, coupons, magazines, charging phones, you know just junk drawer area stuff...

The only solution we have been given so far from KD is to close off half of the space in the back and build cabinets to meet the front wall. Do some sort of cork board, or magnet board on the back.

But I don't like the idea of completely closing off the back space.

Does anyone else have any good ideas for this space?

Pictures would be helpful!

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More photos of the kitchen area would be helpful. It sounds like you really don't have much use for the space. I would install glass doors and make it into a butler's pantry. You could store dishes & linens there, along with some drawers for your "junk."

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:06PM
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What is on the other side of the left, right, and rear walls?
Maybe you don't need the space in the breakfast area, but maybe
one of the adjoining areas could use some or all the space?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:12PM
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I would love an extra walk-in closet like that to store large items, like extra dining chairs not in use. I would just install doors and call it a day. :-)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:13PM
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here are some more pictures.

This one is a view of the breakfast room which is opposite this nook.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:17PM
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and here is a view of the kitchen from the breakfast room area. it is a totally separate space from the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Have you considered a book nook like this one. This would be so cozy and charming

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:21PM
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If there are any young children or grandchildren in your life, I would turn it into a multi-purpose play and activity center. Line the lower half of the three walls with white board, find an older dutch door for the opening so that the kids can "hide" in there, play store across the lower half, etc. When not needed for play, I would park a big-enough-to-be-useful kitchen work cart in the space. You could pull the cart out when you had need for extra worktop, oftentimes here when there are also extra kids around. What a great space you have to do so many things with!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Make it a cool little reading nook?
Turn it into a bar area?
You might get some ideas from this Houzz ideabook that I've been working on!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool ideas

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Too much space - what an uncommon problem!

Main floor laundry?

Out-of-season clothes closet?

I like the Command Center idea - cork board, white board, calendar, mailing supplies, charging station. Add shelves for books, photos, and a few drawers for napkins, placemats, trivets, and other things you use in the breakfast nook. Maybe a little beverage fridge for juice and soda.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:28PM
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I think given the dimensions, it would look potentially odd to wall it off. What if you did narrow cabinets? Do you have pets? It could be a fun pet feeding station. It also could work as a desk area.

Another idea would be to make it a wall of shelves that are actually a secret door, with a place for hidden storage of valuables/a safe behind. That's on my wish list for my closet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's pics of about a million hidden door bookshelves

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:29PM
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localeater- the back is a powder room. the right side is the dining room. and the left is the stairs to the basement.

I am hoping once we open up walls we will be able to open up the space into the dining room a bit but we are trying to keep everything structurally the same to keep cost down.

gwlolo - my husband would love a book nook....

but where will i keep all my "junk"?

smiling - too much of our house is dedicated to the kids already. this space is MINE!

carsonheim - thanks for the link

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Love that book nook, GWlolo. I wish I could find hidden space and have one just like it!!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:32PM
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annkh - the command center idea is really what I think I need. right now we have one that is in the main kitchen area and it just always looks a mess. I want it hidden so think this is a perfect spot.

but the dimensions are weird. how would i lay it out?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Closet is the easy / affordable solution.

I like the butler's pantry idea.

How about a beverage center? You could use a drawer or two for scissors, tape, stapler, etc.

Source: elledecor.com via Wendi on Pinterest

Or another reading nook idea

Source: classiclyamber.com via Savannah on Pinterest

Or a craft area:

Source: buzzbeecaroline.blogspot.com via Rachel on Pinterest

Or it looks like a good spot for a stacked washer and dryer.

How bout a mudroom nook? I'll link to a nice one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Closet turned mudroom

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Seeing the water cooler makes carsonheim's bar idea seem appropriate.

On one side wall, a beverage center with the cooler, an undercounter fridge, low-stored cups for the user of that high chair we see in the kitchen, also store napkins and placemats handy for the breakfast room. Put an outlet above the counter. Above could be shallow cabinets with baskets for the coupons, tape, etc.

Then on the back wall, perhaps hooks for hanging the folding chairs and stepstool, and above them add corkboard or magnetic board or Pottery Barn's "Daily System" for the calendars, etc.

Add a teakettle/coffee maker and you may never leave that light-filled morning room!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:46PM
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I'm interested to see what you choose and have to say I'd love to find a space that size that I have no use for! What a happy dilemma.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:12PM
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I vote for the beverage center/butler's pantry -- depending on which walls are coming down (if at all). Cuts down on the distance for coffee and keeps others out of the kitchen.

Another wackier idea is to put a pass through with doors to the dining room, making it additional buffet space.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:20PM
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I'm putting a command center/pantry in my new kitchen remodel. The link shows the schematic. I'm moving the fridge 8" toward the dining room, where it will jut out into an alcove (now I have a small desk there). I'm building a wall of cabinets, facing the dining room, to enclose the end of the fridge. The right side is 12" deep, and will hold cookbooks, phone books, binders for organizing household stuff, and pantry stuff (crock pot, bread machine). The left side will be 20" deep, with 2 file drawers, and a command center behind doors. Both sides will have a drawer at the same height as the other small drawers in the kitchen, for pens, tape, scissors, and junk (I plan on lots of drawer organizers).

I don't need a sit-down desk - I sit at the table 5 feet away to do bills, etc. I need a landing spot for stuff, and a hidden place for chargers, calendar, bulletin board. There will be 2 wall outlets here. I haven't exactly figured out how I will organize this space - I'm doing it myself after the new cabinets are in. I expect a light, perhaps a couple of shelves, a calendar on the inside of the cabinet door, a white board inside the other door, a bulletin board along one side, stacking trays for pending items (forms to be filled out, letters to be answered, that sort of thing). The space is 62" wide; the command center part is on the left, 20" deep.

In your space, you could do base cabinet drawers for breakfast nook/dining room stuff (tablecloths, napkins, etc); a counter that serves as drop zone, and either enclosed cabinets or shelves above. I don't think it would look weird to have it recessed into the nook, so the depths are manageable. You could put a roll-top or flip-up door to hide stuff.

What I have now:

What I'll have in June:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:28PM
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The hidden door bookcase was what I was thinking of, especially if that vent wall goes into a corner. You could incorporate the vent into the bottom of the right panel and bring the wall flush across to the door on the left and the space behind could be whatever kind of storage you need (those chairs, etc. You could incorporate some shallow drawers into the lower part, leave it open above, or even do some china storage behind glass. The idea of customizing it for children's activities and play is good -- just make sure the plans allow for the space to grow as they quickly do.

I like all the book nook ideas and would LOVE to have a space like that somewhere in my home.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:34PM
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I would love a space like that to store:
Card table and chairs
Vacuum cleaner
Mops and brooms
Off season comforters and blankets
Winter boots
Step stool
But my house is closet challenged!

Where are the things you store there now going to go?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:56PM
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How about a snack center and/or coffee bar complete with under counter beverage refrigerator?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Thanks for all the great ideas!

the stuff that is there now could all go in the basement in storage. we dont need access to folding chairs everyday. they actually belong in the basement, but SOMEONE, keeps forgetting to bring them down...

So how would this look:

have drawer storage below for breakfast table things. (placemats, tablecloths)
counter for dropping things down.
wall cabinetry above.

have it all recessed into the nook and have some sort of door built out that can open and close the whole space to hide it for when company comes over. Some sort of folding door. Or a door that opens and then can be recessed back into the space.

we have a separate place for our mops and vacuum cleaners and things. and we have a mudroom right off the back door for bike helmets and bug sprays. (that is the little bump out between the breakfast room and kitchen)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 2:56PM
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beverage center was our initial thought. But we have decided to do that in the dining room. Our house is full of quirky nooks, and the dining room has a perfect spot for a wine fridge bar area.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Tamlif, do you have any extra space available behind the wall forming the right side of your nook? The idea of a "my space" sounds great, but ideally I'd like to set the desk part into that right wall so that I was sitting with the breakfast room and view out the windows to my side, instead of behind me. Just a more pleasant relationship. The desk top, though, hopefully could be hidden from view by the wall.

GWlolo, thank you for your book niche picture. It'd be perfect for cookbooks and our little library for the grands if it were near the kitchen--definitely worth climbing around on the cushions to get them. I'd just stock it with a laptop and plan to settle in, by myself or little ones. In any case, I've stored the picture for a someday downsized house. Who knows.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:24PM
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rosie - the space to the right is the dining room. there is a bump out in the dining room in that area so there might be some wiggle room to put something recessed there. We wont know until we open up some walls. But I am planning for worst case scenario where no walls are being moved.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:47PM
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tamlif, my understanding is that you want to use this the way I use mine - handy storage for useful desk-type and breakfast room items, but not necessarily a desk (since you have that in the office). Is that correct?

If you put in decent drawers and cabinets, I don't think you need to close off the space with a door - just add retractable doors of some kind to the drop zone area, when you want to hide it. There's no point in hiding cabinetry with a door.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Annkh- you are correct. That's what I would want to use it for.

My only concern is it looking weird that it is so recessed into the nook. Or if we bump it out, that I am losing valuable space behind the cabinetry. I don't know...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Our neighbors have a reading nook like GWlolo posted, and their entire family loves it. It might be a bit bigger than the one posted, and mother and daughter curl up in there to chat or read together. Wonderful space!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 5:27PM
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I don't think it would be odd if it was recessed. If it was flush with the wall on the right, any time you opened a door or drawer, it would be in the walkway. Tucked into the nook, it looks like... a nook.

I would extend the breakfast room ceiling into the space, so it looks more like an intentional nook than "that awkward spot under the stairs". When your electrician is in there wiring your charging station (my electrician recommended two double outlets), he can wire lighting as well. You want to be able to see what's in the cabinets and drawers, so maybe lighting on the sides, so you don't block it with your body.

Mock it up with a big piece of cardboard, and see what you think.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 6:17PM
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