3-Step Makeover: Breakfast Nook

This breakfast nook was missing a significant something: character. In a 3-step makeover, we take it from famine to visual feast with new furniture, punchy color, and a few simple accessories.


Breakfast rooms are, by definition, sunny, cozy, and inviting. But this one was the opposite: tract-white walls, a predictable chandelier hung too high, bare windows, and a way-long table. The room's architectural features were a bonus -- and a curse. How to make the mismatched windows seem like they belong together? How to soften the harsh angles? Tame the cavernous ceiling?

The Makeover To-Do List

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  • Make the small nook seem larger.
  • Create a roomy and functional floor plan.
  • Add character and style.

The room's natural focal point -- the tall wall with the arched window -- fell short of its potential. Robin's-egg blue paint and flowing draperies create a dramatic accent wall. Playing off the arched window, a chunky round table and oversize drum shade light fixture add curves to the boxy space. Finally, two slipcovered chairs cover hard ladder-backs, inviting diners to sit a spell.

Step 2 Room Elements

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  • Accent Wall: Leave an area of the accent wall white, creating a floor-to-ceiling arch around the stacked windows and uniting them. The arched window now looks larger.
  • Window Treatments: Floral panels soften the windows and introduce pattern. Hung just below the top window, they draw the eye up. Dressed with a simple Roman shade, the small window doesn't shout for attention.
  • Lighting: The large drum shade holds its own against the vaulted ceiling and adds texture and dimension to the room. Cover a plain shade with fabric for a customized look.
  • New Furniture: The glossy white round table gives the nook breathing room and brightens its center. A simple ribbon boosts the style on the plain slipcovers that camouflage the old chairs.

With a few high-impact finishing details, the breakfast nook becomes the welcoming spot it was meant to be. To play off the blue wall, add bright yellow slipcovers and a colorful striped rug in the center of the room. With the scale and balance issues resolved, it's time to focus on the little extras to pull the room together. Piping and two colors of ribbon detail the slipcovers and a scalloped border accents the curtain panels. Potted plants bring texture, color, and softness to bare spots and are longer-lasting alternatives to fresh bouquets.

Step 3 Room Elements

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  • Window Treatments: A scalloped border trims the curtains and breaks up whiteness. The dark blue edging links to the Roman shade.
  • Artwork: A decorative platter is a fresh alternative to boxy framed art.
  • New Furniture and Greenery: Plants on a new sideboard add color and texture. Remove the plants and the table is a handy buffet.
  • Textiles: Coordinating outdoor fabrics that resist staining and fading unite mismatched chairs. New custom slipcovers are short for a kicky look. With the oval rug, the nook's square look is finally history.
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