Reader Redesign: A Niced-Up Nook

We always love a big kitchen renovation when it comes to Reader Redesigns, but sometimes making over just the corner is enough to get us inspired bigtime. Just check out what Deme and her family did to the breakfast nook of their dated kitchen. Here’s her email:

Hi Young House Lovers! Your blogs is one of the highlights of my day and I wanted to share our  breakfast nook with you. After removing a thick lacquered chair rail and scrapping layers of fruit patterned and 70’s wallpaper, we ended up with some pretty fugly untextured walls.

We started with a dark dungeon of a corner and ended up with something bright, fresh and uber functional for our young family of five!

I scored an L-shaped bench on craigslist to give us some additional seating (our previous table could seat four, leaving someone in our family out of luck at mealtime). We said goodbye to the honey finish, giving it a fresh coat of white paint.

Even though the benches were a pretty standard style, they had storage in the seats, which helped solve the problem of our art/craft supplies that were scattered throughout the house. We lined them with some graphic shelf paper and they now hold all of the kids’ painting/art supplies, homework necessities, and learning activities for our youngest bambinos.

When it came time to paint the walls, I planned to use stripes to help this corner feel larger. But I also can’t help but be pulled toward the ombre trend, so we went with a subtle ombre stripe treatment for our backdrop.

We used a digital scrap booking kit to break up one of our favorite Dr Seuss quotes into four prints (“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”). We framed them with some white lovelies we grabbed on sale at Target… they mark this space as a place to learn, explore, and create!

Overall we are so happy with the change to this little kitchen corner! It serves so many functions for us and I can’t help but smile whenever I walk into the kitchen… especially since the rest of the kitchen is in that ugly mid-cabinet-painting stage of DIY kitchen reno! ~Deme

It’s a fun update, right? I’m jealous of the storage benches. And I think the paint treatment on the wall is pretty awesome too. She’s got plenty more details and extra photos of the makeover (including updating their existing table and chairs) on her blog. Thanks for sharing Deme!


  1. Christy Niebaum says

    First of all, I’m super excited that someone else uses the term “fugly.”

    I really love the benches, the bright throw pillows and my heart soars for those red chairs!

  2. Claudia says

    I love the ombre stripes! I think that effect could be very overwhelming on a wall, but the subtle color changes are gorgeous!

  3. says

    My favourite is the ombre stripe! Also, we’re thinking of adding bench seating to our kitchen dining when we renovate, how do we make sure it’ll be comfortable?

    • says

      Anyone have tips for Cassondra? I would go for thick foam on the seat with some wipeable outdoor fabric, or if you’re more into wood seating just sit down and make sure it’s comfy :)


    • says

      we added a 2 inch foam to ours and it’s pretty cushy! I wrapped it with an old sheet and gave it a trial run for a few weeks. I wanted to see how dirty it would really get before I settled on a more permanent cover. With 3 kids under five, it definitely gets messy…like cup of milk spilled and soaked into the foam messy. So, if you have little ones or clumsy ones, I would definitely recommend something that is wipeable, water resistant/proof, or even just treated with something like Scotch guard. Ours is also fairly comfortable without the cushion, but we like the added height. As Sherry said, just sitting down on it without a cover should give you an idea of it’s comfy-factor :)

  4. Krissy says

    The gradient stripes are SUCH a neat idea! And I love L-shaped benches. Every time we hit a furniture store, I linger at the benches… Nice work!

  5. Michelle Kersey says

    I knew John posted this when…. I got to the bottom and there was no ogling over the Ceramic Owl crayon holder in the last image…

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