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Get The Look: Build A Trendy DIY Breakfast Nook On A Budget

Breakfast nooks and banquettes have been slowly gaining popularity over the last few years, but built-in booth seating can be quite expensive to build. In fact, building a breakfast nook often happens in conjunction with a larger kitchen remodel or not at all, since custom bench-style seating can be such an undertaking. The good news is, in 2019 this trend is taking on a new face, using mix-and-match standalone seating rather than custom-built benches to create a more relaxed, casual look – and one you can get on a budget.

Built-in banquettes are beautiful, but they can cost a pretty penny - much more than you'd need to build your own (by Charlie Barnett Associates)
Built-in banquettes are beautiful, but they can cost a pretty penny – much more than you’d need to build your own (by Charlie Barnett Associates)

Why It Works:The biggest expense associated with building a breakfast nook is having the actual seats built and installed. Even simple wood benches need to be sturdily built to support the weight of multiple people, to say nothing of having them upholstered. Skipping the installation process entirely not only significantly cuts down on the total cost of the project, but also gives you a little more freedom to play with design. Upholstered benches can be fun and funky, and are a great way to add some personality to your setup without sacrificing comfort or seating capacity. And while not having your seating permanently anchored in place could be considered a drawback, good benches are about as sturdy as a sofa but much easier to replace or reposition if you want to update your look later on.

Get The Look: Depending on the size of your space and the final look you want,┬áthere are a few different ways to obtain booth-like seating without paying to have it built. The easiest option is to aim for an attractive, cushioned bench. These range widely in size, color, and style, and the really showy ones work great as a statement piece for your kitchen. Most benches, though, are meant to fit against one wall rather than in a corner. Corner benches aren’t unheard-of, but they are a bit rarer, so be aware that you might need to supplement with additional seating. You can also look for dedicated corner chairs, which can be combined with each other or with matching modular parts to “custom” build a bench in whatever shape you need to fit your space. Add a dining table of your choice and enough chairs to comfortably fill it, and you’ve got a free-standing breakfast nook – no contractor needed.

2019 is definitely a year for making high design more affordable and accessible, and for building spaces that are comfy, cozy, sleek, and chic. So even if you don’t have a big budget to burn, consider a more more wallet-friendly breakfast nook or banquette to give your kitchen a homey, inviting touch.