Many homes come with an area at the end of the kitchen or just off of the kitchen that is sometimes called a kitchen nook, breakfast nook, or a dining nook. Dining nooks are where the kitchen table and chairs are and where a majority of the family meals will be eaten. There are certain characteristics that make a particular room or area a dining nook as opposed to an eat in kitchen and there are certain kinds of furniture that are appropriate for the dining nook. Dining nook furniture is similar to dining room furniture, but also different.
First of all, what makes a dining nook? How do you know that you have a room that you can appropriately call a dining room nook? Some kitchens are just large rooms with space for a dining nook set, but cannot really claim that title. Typically, the dining nook will be slightly separated from the rest of the kitchen in some way. For example, the dining nook area might stick out from the house further than any other room. Or, the walls around the dining nook will change in shape from the rest of the kitchen. For example, there might be several walls forming a half of an octagon around the dining nook area which is open to the kitchen, but separate. Another difference might be that the dining nook will generally have more windows than the rest of the kitchen. Some homeowners even separate the rooms with more obvious things like a change in flooring materials or wall coverings. For example, the dining nook walls might be wallpapered while the rest of the kitchen is painted.
Dining Nook Furniture
Dining nook sets are slightly different from dining room furniture in several ways. First of all, a dining nook set will be more informal and casual than dining room furniture. One way that the dining nook furniture is more casual is that there are often dining nook benches for seating in combination with dining nook chairs. In general bench seating is seen as being more casual. Another difference is that dining room furniture almost never fits into a corner. A corner dining nook set is one that fits into the corner of the room with an L shaped bench rather than sitting in the center. Those L-shaped benches offer another bonus that you never find in dining room furniture and that is storage. A dining nook with storage under the bench seats is great for the kitchen where you are always looking for extra room to store things like small appliances or kitchen linens.
A third difference is that generally the formal dining room will have a rectangular table and the dining nook furniture can be any number of shapes. Round dining nook tables and square dining nook sets are just as common as rectangular ones. It depends on the shape of the dining nook itself, what the shape of the dining nook table will be. If the room is roughly circular then a round dining table would be a good idea. With round tables you are mostly restricted to chairs, because it is difficult to find curved benches. If you do have a round dining nook table then you might find it useful to install a large Lazy Susan in the center of the table so that it is easier to pass serving dishes to people across the table.
Decorating the Dining Nook
The dining nook can be a difficult room to decorate because the dining nook set will take up a majority of the space in the room. Therefore, you may be surprised to hear that there are many dining nook ideas for decorating. One idea is to use something within the room that is functional in order to make a decorating statement. You can do this with many items such as the dining nook window treatments, the dining nook cushions on chairs and benches, or even the dining nook furniture itself. Window valances for the dining nook windows and cushions for the dining nook seating have a functional purpose, but they are a great opportunity to introduce color, texture, and patterns into the room. You can tie it in nicely with the rest of the kitchen by using similar colors and patterns for decorating in both the kitchen and the dining nook. The dining furniture can be a decorative element if you take the time to personalize it. You can add a tiles table top to the dining nook table with accent tiles matching the accent tiles in your kitchen backsplash, or you can add a more personal touch by making your own accent tiles.