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I have been obsessed with the idea of built-in dining nooks ever since I first read The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka many years ago now. There’s no space for such a nook in our current house, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about incorporating one into a future house somehow…or planning one for a client.

Tamara Magel | Elle Decor - Dining Nooks

Tamara Magel | Elle Decor

Round tables are perfect for dining nooks. It’s important to choose a table with a pedestal base to accommodate the largest number of seats and allow for sliding in and out. Legs at the corner just get in the way.

Nina Dobrev - Dining Nooks

Nina Dobrev

Barbara Westbrook - Dining Nooks

Barbara Westbrook

A long trestle style table works very well with a single sided bench as well as a U-shaped bench in combination with chairs along the open side.

Jan Turner Hering - Dining Nooks

Jan Turner-Hering

Becki Owens - Dining Nooks

Becki Owens

Amber Interiors - Dining Nooks

Amber Interiors

Dining – or breakfast – nooks are often the perfect solution for a tight space. By using a bench along the wall, you gain back the precious two feet needed to slide a chair back without hitting the wall.

Corner nooks are especially cozy and a great solution for empty nesters or small families who prefer to eat casually.

Better Homes and Gardens - Dining Nook

via Better Homes & Gardens

Better Home and Gardens - Dining Nooks

via Better Homes and Gardens

 There are so many options for different types of built-in benches. When I can, I like to incorporate drawers in the bottom of the bench for more storage. Another option would be a lift-up top. The benches can be built with a back (slightly slanted for comfort) or pillows can provide comfort as well as color and pattern. The variations are endless.

Check out more photos of dining nooks on my Pinterest board.

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Jillian Lare is a Des Moines based interior designer. She blogs about her current projects, interior design tips and tricks, and her life in Iowa with her young son, husband, and lovable Labrador.

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