Before and After: A $500 Modern Farmhouse Breakfast Nook Has Cozy Vibes to Spare

published Sep 24, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: bare breakfast nook with tall windows and a too-small light fixture
Credit: Ryia Jose

It’s not always the way things look inside your home that inspires a change—sometimes, it’s the way things look outside. Ryia Jose (@kinandkasa), for instance, wanted the breakfast nook in her home to feel a little more cozy and inviting, and a little less exposed. The big windows that surrounded the corner brought in tons of beautiful natural light, but they also brought in views of the neighboring houses. “This space before just felt boring, not at all cozy and inviting,” Ryia says. “We did not have blinds on one side and the view to our neighbors solar panel roof was an eyesore and I wanted to cover it up but still keep it airy and light.”

There were a few issues with the inside, too, including lack of seating space, lack of storage, and lack of style. “Our breakfast nook is a space where, when family and close friends come over we end up spending the most time here,” Ryia says. It needed to rise to the occasion.

Credit: Ryia Jose

Ryia didn’t change the size of the 7-foot-by-6-foot space, instead focusing on making that square footage work harder. She started with a bench seat that she scored for just $100 on Facebook Marketplace. It perfectly fit the corner and—bonus!—had hidden storage inside. Ryia sanded it down and repainted it a creamy white (Benjamin Moore’s Grant Beige at 80 percent strength).

Ryia also found two classic Windsor chairs on Facebook Marketplace for just $15 each. She painted them black to provide some contrast. Swapping out the old builder-grade fixture for a rattan one—snagged on Amazon for a slick open-box price of $89—gave the space a rustic touch.

Credit: Ryia Jose

To give the space some old-school architectural charm, Ryia added trim around all the windows. Fabric blinds from IKEA lend some privacy but the semi-sheer look keeps the space feeling bright and airy. Another charming add? Art nailed up on the trim between windows.

Credit: Ryia Jose

To the right of the nook, Ryia added some DIY rustic open shelving and a small peg rail that she made with spare wood. The shelving serves as practical storage and a display rack for pottery, art, and other trinkets. “The peg rack is a great little DIY and is so functional!” she says. “I use it more than I thought I would.”

The total cost for Ryia’s redo? Just $500, thanks to her smart shopping. Ryia’s favorite part is finally having a space that fits everyone. “For some reason it looks way more spacious, probably because the table moved a little more to the corner,” Ryia says. “It was a relatively easy project with a good impact and a big difference in how the space looked before and after.”

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