OK, so if you haven't heard by now, the formal dining room is out. Kaput. History. Why would you dedicate that much space to a room you use three times a year? In an effort to help reclaim the square footage that's been getting sucked down the drain by stuffy tradition, we present the casual culinary format: the eating nook.
|Heidi Long photo|
Don't let the diminutive nature of the word "nook" fool you. These spaces come in all shapes and sizes, and we will even allow that one type of nook — the radial bay — is actually its own room, though conservative in the amount of space it takes up.
Bump outs, built-ins and custom-room shapes should be designed into your floor plan ahead of time, so plan for your nook by having an idea of what kind of seating you'll need. And don't just focus on the interior—some of these ideas will affect the exterior of your home, too, by adding depth and new shapes to the elevation.
The Bump Out
Nudging a wall out as little as 2 feet and throwing in a window transforms this kitchen corner into a hot spot. The effect of having the dining table half in and half out of the kitchen instantly connects the indoors to outside, and the view alone over a steaming mug of coffee would get you out of bed in the morning.
Instead of covering the exposed log ends with a post or trim, keep the cross section exposed for a rustic look.
|Rocky Mountain Log Homes photo|
The nook is open to the kitchen in its entirety, though the table and chairs are effectively out of the workspace, making the eating space it's own distinctive space.
To create the effect of a distinct room that's separate from the kitchen, simply use a different flooring material in the nook.
The Radial Bay
The Built In