Home Improvement and DIY, Interior Decor and Styling

Kitchen Makeover Update: A Sweet and Sour Farewell to the Corner Breakfast Nook


Hey there my friends! Today I am posting some kitchen makeover news that I have sort of been dreading. This past week during our kitchen renovation we had to make a very difficult decision to take out the corner “breakfast nook” window seat area. Yes, beloved readers and closest bloggy friends—-the adorable, cozy corner nook as seen below, no longer exists…


Farmhouse kitchen decorating ideas for summer lemons decorating with lemons black and white farmhouse kitchen

Since I am also joining my friend Cindy of County Road 407 and several blogging friends for a fun Pinterest Challenge tomorrow with a lemons theme, I thought I might as well go with that same theme for my kitchen makeover update. This update is “sweet and sour,” (ya know, like lemonade.)  For this post, “sweet” is “Yay! and “sour” is “Nay.” So here goes!




Beautiful early summer home tour farmhouse kitchen with lemons farmhouse pillows black and white kitchen ideas
Back in 2017 we had lived here about 3 years when I came up with the idea to build a little nook.  It turned out to be my absolute favorite spot to decorate for the seasons.  I could load the space full of vintage and farmhousey-fun and holiday kitsch! It added much needed charm to the kitchen while we lived with the basic cosmetic updates we originally made when we moved in. Those were just intended to get us through until the time came when we would do a real kitchen renovation. Well, now it’s actually happening!  (Sweet!) 



French Citron glass vintage farmhouse kitchen summer decorating ideas summer home tour lemons

Many wonderful mornings and afternoons were spent here in the nook, reading magazines with a cup of tea, or  sipping refreshing lemon water while dreamily gazing out the windows on a hot summer day. (Sweet) memories.


 Farmhouse kitchen summer decorating with lemons farmhouse lemon decor lemons as centerpiece

The nook bench was full of pretty pillows that were styled and arranged just so-so for instagram and blog posts. In reality, the pillows were a nuisance as far as keeping them looking good and clean.  They were always squished up, falling off the benches, needed frequent laundering, and some are now stained with spaghetti sauce. (Sour.) Without the pillows the bench was terribly uncomfortable, well, truthfully almost unbearable for me to sit on for too long. (Sour.)  



Summer decorating with lemons farmhouse kitchen ideas

The table looked great for photos with lots of pretty things displayed on it, but it was so small that nothing more than a small centerpiece as decor was practical for daily use. Again, a “sour.” Only 3 of our 4 family members could eat together at the table (another sour). 




summer decorating ideas stack of vintage picnic baskets in farmhouse kitchen Rae Dunn display ideas summer home tour

The corner nook was definitely perfect for decorating and I enjoyed it while it lasted. Even with all of the negatives, I tried every way possible to keep it. I even had a contractor come out to see if we could do a bump out of just a few feet to enlarge the corner, but it wasn’t feasible or even worth the hassle. We could only have extended out a couple of feet at most, and that really wouldn’t have made much of a difference as far as opening up the corner for easy access into the bench behind the table.



Farmhouse style kitchen with Rae Dunn buffalo plaid ironstone decorated for summer vintage metal picnic basket

 As you can see, the reason for getting rid of the nook was actually just a simple matter of lack of space. As part of the renovation we recently removed the short, useless cabinet under the window that you can see here in this “before” photo, and replaced it with a 5 ft long cabinet base unit that was previously our island (it ate up the entire center of our  kitchen.) The longer cabinet base now extends on over into the space where edge of the bench was. The window will also be gone soon and beautiful new cabinets with glass doors will be installed. This change also meant saying farewell to the vintage “Rae Dunn” cabinet (another reader favorite and one of my favorites too) SOUR! 


Here you can see the first peek of the cabinet base with newly updated paint and trim. Love it! The new dark wood countertops have been ordered, and now I am busily making final decisions about the fun stuff, like wall paint and kitchen accessories. Removing the nook was certainly a tough decision, but one that the whole family agreed on. Now we are moving on to new and exciting things in the kitchen! (Sweet!) 


Kitchen built-in cabinets, butler pantry, kitchen hutch ideas Built in kitchen hutch

The 1940’s-50’s Rae Dunn cabinet may be gone, but my dream of having a period appropriate 1920’s style butler pantry/china cabinet built-in (with a bit of French farmhouse flair) is in the works. (SWEET!!!) The cute corner nook was previously the focal point of the kitchen, but I think the built-in will be a real show stopper. It will be similar to the gorgeous examples I shared in my Dreamy Kitchens Built-ins post! By the way, I am not “Done with Dunn!” I did downsize my Rae Dunn collection a tad, but I have found a new spot for what remains. You will have to wait for the big reveal post to see it though!



 And can we just stop and take a moment to enjoy this photo of my dream brick floor in-progress! AHH…SUH-WEEEET!


What now?

You are probably wondering what we are actually putting in place of the little corner bench and chairs. Well, as it turns out, there is ample space to put in breakfast bar that will face out the window. This will give us 5 more feet of counter top space to the right of the stove ( so helpful for cooking!) It will also give my teenage son the perfect place to do homework. (Sweet!)  The photo below looks sort of similar to our kitchen and how the breakfast bar will be  set up.


Window seat at Maman in Manhattan. Wooden bar table, wooden chairs, whisk pendant lights, pretty foraged bouquets, painted white brick


The current windows with 1990’s trim will be replaced with new windows that are bit smaller but will allow for more larger period appropriate trim. There will also be a new decorative window installed at the far right end of the bar where the black farmhouse country shelf with ironstone dishes previously hung (the dishes will be moved to the new built-in cabinet with glass doors.) The new window will let in more light! (Sweet!)


Island corbel

Instead of having negative space under the countertop, there will be a recessed cabinet which will still leave enough room for the stools to slide under. The cabinet will have beautiful trim to match the cabinets, with corbels on each end for decorative charm and to support the counter. (Sweet!) Right now I am on the hunt for some seriously perfect-chippy-“corbelage.” (Don’t worry if you haven’t heard that word, because it isn’t real that I know of,  I just made it up. I like it though!) Corbelage (noun)-a pair or collection of swoonworthy decorative corbels (see corbels) with the perfect hint of vintage, chippy-shabby charm.




All the windows will have plantation shutters, which in addition to the new, larger trim will add some serious 1920’s historic charm back into our kitchen! (SO Sweet!) The breakfast bar will be far less cramped than the corner nook was, and while not as decorative, far more practical. Even though only three of us will fit at the bar at a time, the new smaller island we are putting in will actually have stools too, so whenever everyone wants to eat in the kitchen we can still all be together. (Definitely sweet!)



I am also on the hunt for the perfect stools. I will be sharing a breakfast bar and bar stool inspiration post later this week.



Well, that’s my “sweet and sour”  kitchen update!  Can you tell I have had to convince myself that saying “goodbye” to the nook was the right decision? I do plan to give the nook a proper farewell with a highlights post of how I decorated it seasonally over the years. I think that post might be a bit hard for me. Not only was it my favorite spot, it seemed to be YOURS as well, based on the feedback here on the blog and the fact that all of my nook posts have consistently received the highest engagment on all of my social media posts. As a blogger it concerns me since everyone enjoyed the nook so much and now it’s gone forever…(sour). Right now every time I see the empty corner I am a bit “sour” on not having a cute nook, but in the end, I know that this was the right choice and that we will ultimatley be making the best use of our kitchen space.


What are your thoughts on these major kitchen changes we are makng? Are you as sad to see the nook go as I expected? I love hearing from you, dear readers! 


Thanks for visiting today!


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  • Reply Kathy A

    I’m so pleased for you–getting your kitchen updated is really exciting! I hope the progress goes well; construction of any kind always seems to take longer and cost more than originally planned! As much as we all liked the old tried and true, I’m sure we will be drooling over the new arrangement; and it will inspire lots of us to do something with our old spaces, too!

    July 29, 2020 at 8:43 pm
  • Reply Rachael

    I am really loving this! The black, cream, and lemon yellow are so cozy to me! I’m really wishing I had a kitchen with an eating nook like this. It’s just charming!

    July 30, 2020 at 11:46 am
  • Reply Sandra Magle

    Change is always a Challenge…letting go for light and seating and more cabinetry is always a good thing! We did our kitchen 4 years ago…and I never regret the things I had to let go of. We stole 1′ from the eating area, which is only a challenge basically once a year…so well worth being able to chase each other around the island now…ha, ha. Great choices, wondering about the brick floor, but I’m old and irregular surfaces are a challenge, but I love the look of it!!!

    July 30, 2020 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply Cecilia

    I loved your charming kitchen nook, but I totally get it! I adore your brick flooring, too! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

    August 3, 2020 at 12:03 am
  • Reply Allyson

    I’m sorry you have to say goodbye to your nook, but I’m sure with your amazing vision that you’ll find a popular spot in your new kitchen for those beautiful blog photos filled with inspiration for us all.

    August 4, 2020 at 11:18 am
  • Reply Cindy@CountyRoad407

    I had always wondered if a bench or nook was annoying to people. They always seem so adorable and I love how you made your look the coziest of cozy. But oh my golly! I can hardly wait to see you new breakfast bar and cabinets. Already with those fabulous new brick floors and the way you described your cabinets is my dream kitchen! Seriously! I got so much inspiration from this . Pinned to like 5 boards! Woo hoo! So excited for us! LOL

    August 4, 2020 at 11:22 am
  • Reply Amy

    I love everything about this! The lemon glass is my favorite!

    August 6, 2020 at 9:29 am
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