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Have you ever walked into a home during the home buying process and thought HEY, this home has a great spot for a breakfast nook!?
No, just me?
Well, that’s exactly what happened when we took a tour of our now “forever home” last year. I saw a space by the kitchen that had SO much potential and I knew immediately that it was the perfect spot for a breakfast nook.
But then time goes by and you start to think ehhhh, nobody actually has a nook. . . it’s just a pretty picture on Pinterest that you WISH you had, but never actually spend the time or money on.
Guys, seriously. This is my thought process. Stay with me, yea?
Time continues to go on and you realize HEY! Ya know, I’m getting super serious about this simple living/minimalism thing. I want one central location where my children and I can spend a LOT of time; doing homework, sharing meals, reading books, meditating. . . you know, the important things in life.
And then if you’re as blessed as I am, you have a husband who makes your dreams a reality.
(Although fyi, you can make your own dreams come to fruition! I’m ALL about self-empowerment! Go girl.)
Enter: The breakfast nook of my dreams!
So listen. My husband is a bit of a handy man. He sees an idea, and POOF! His beautiful mind takes over. There is no stopping the creativity.
With that being said, I thought this could be helpful to someone wanting to build their own breakfast nook. I’m going to try my absolute best to explain what he did, but I don’t have a set of plans for you to follow. This post is packed full of photos because I want you to have a clear visual of each and every step. Hopefully this makes it easy to duplicate in your home.
So, let’s get started shall we?
This is each side of the empty space. We decided that we wanted the bench to extend the entire length of the back wall. We wanted it to come out as far as the door, no further, to avoid blocking access to that entrance.
As for the height, there’s no rhyme or reason for the exact height. We did some research on the best dimensions for a bench and made our decision based on the most natural seated position. If it helps, you can place a dining room chair next to the wall to get a feel for it.
My husband started by building the foundation (with 2x4s,) along the wall, continuing with the length and depth that we desired. Originally we were going to keep the wall’s base molding but decided it was best to remove it to have the bench built as close to the wall as possible.
I think it goes without saying that a level is a must for this project.
Once the foundation was fully formed my husband hopped on up to test how sturdy it was. When I tell you he went back and reinforced the wood and nails a hundred times, I’m not exaggerating. We wanted to be sure this was a structure that would remain stable for a long time, without the risk of collapsing.
Once we determined the foundation was sturdy enough, we went in with a caulking gun and laid white silicone on all of the areas between the bench and the wall. This step is completely optional. We had the materials on hand and figured it was an added measure to help with moisture, bugs, and general upkeep.
Bonus tip: We cut the plywood ourselves using a table saw, but any home improvement store can cut pieces for you specific to your measurements.
We closed the front off by adding some more plywood. This provided a nice base for the visually pleasing material that would follow.
This is what the bench looked like before we added the decorative touches.
To make the bench visually appealing we added the white material to the front and painted the plywood on top. I can’t remember what the white material is called, but it’ll come to me eventually. I encourage you to do some research and find what material looks best in your space.
As you can see above, it’s very obvious where the pieces meet up. That’s not a good look, duh, but don’t worry, it’s an easy fix.
We went over the cracks with some additional white silicone. You’ll want to apply it and spread it thin using your fingers.
Once the white silicone had time to set and dry, I went in with some white paint to help blend the pieces together.
I personally used a paint roller, and painted in small sections. As I moved through each section I used a paintbrush to settle the paint properly into the dips of material.
This is the part I spent the most time on because I wanted to be sure everything blended well. It was worth it because now the front of the bench looks like one solid piece.
The last step was to go in with moulding on both the top and bottom of the bench. The top piece is not necessary because it is covered by the cushions. It was another one of those things where we decided why not just tie it all together as nicely as possible.
Now on to the fun! The cushion.
To be honest, if it were up to me I would have chosen a different fabric. At this point I was getting impatient and wanted the bench finished so I could enjoy it in all of its glory. We live in a super small town with Walmart being our only choice for fabric. That’s why this choice was made. It works!
Eventually we had to go out of town to Joann Fabric (go figure!) because it was the only place available that carried the foam and allowed us to cut it to the length we needed. The foam ended up EASILY being the most expensive, but the store’s website saved the day with a bunch of coupons that were able to be combined. We went with 3in foam. I heard you can find it at Home Depot for approximately $20 but ours did not have any in stock.
Lay the fabric on the ground, followed by the foam, followed by the plywood cut to size. As an added step you can join the plywood and foam together using spray adhesive to help with shifting. We did not and it turned out fine.
Next, wrap the fabric around the foam and plywood just as you would a present. Use a staple gun to secure and you’re done! Be sure to pull the fabric tight as you staple.
This is the finished product. It’s gorgeous, comfortable, and has added so much simplicity to our hectic lifestyle!
The space is awkward to photograph just because of how it sits within the house, but hopefully you get a good visual.
If you have any questions, be sure to comment below and we will be sure to answer. Also, stay tuned for a final breakfast nook reveal. We have to raise the curtains, add some photos and decorations; and some other fun things to bring the space to life. Can’t wait to share!