Before and After: Dramatic Wallpaper Dazzles Up a Builder-Grade Breakfast Nook

published Aug 17, 2023
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There are some rooms that just feel extra dreamy — home libraries with wall-to-wall bookshelves and antique lamps, sunrooms with tall windows and lots of plants, or powder rooms that feel straight out of a hotel, perhaps. These are the kinds of rooms you pin to inspiration boards or add to a “someday” list. For interior designer Valerie Darden (@brextoncoleinteriors), it’s breakfast nooks that make a house feel extra fancy.

“I have always loved the look of a separate breakfast nook off of the kitchen,” Valerie says. And she wanted to make the all-white room off the kitchen in her own home, with its builder-grade windows, feel like a designated breakfast spot. 

The first thing she wanted to swap was the windows. She opted for something a bit taller and more old-school, so as to let more light in. (And if you don’t have it in your budget or timeline to fully swap out your windows, check out these tips for faking the vintage look.) The windows took about six months to ship and required a week’s worth of demo to install. Then, Valerie and her husband turned their attention to the walls. 

For just shy of a year, they had a faux brick treatment on the walls (you can see it here), but Valerie ultimately decided a vintage-inspired wallpaper would be more her style. Valerie and her husband installed the wallpaper (from House of Hackney, a floral print called Artemis), and the new wooden beam to the left of the French doors themselves. 

“We bought the wood from Home Depot and added a dark brown stain,” Valerie says of the new beam. “It was overall an easy DIY! It did include lots of measuring, though.”

Valerie says the biggest difference-makers in the space are the windows and the wallpaper. “It’s incredible what large windows can do for a room,” she adds. And the fresh coat of white paint (Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace) on the ceiling makes the whole room feel brighter, too. 

Valerie says the wallpaper “creates dimension and fun visuals.“ Filling the rest of the room with a mix of vintage-looking furnishings helps finish the look. Valerie’s sideboard was a cheap Facebook Marketplace find, her Windsor dining chairs are from West Elm, and the leafy chandelier and elegant mirror are from Ballard Designs. It all comes together to create a luxe-looking finished product. 

The most important meal of the day in the chicest room in the house? Yes, please!

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