Quaint yet quintessential, a breakfast nook is a great place for the family to gather for meals, play board games, or do homework. An inviting space will delight everyone in the family and add to the resale value of your home. You won’t need to embark on a designer project for this. Just use your own sense of taste, and follow these steps to design the perfect breakfast nook for your home.

Step 1: Choose the Space

You will need to find the best place to put your breakfast nook. Under a sunny window would be the ideal spot. If that can’t be managed, then put it in a corner of the kitchen or in the family room close to the kitchen. Make sure you have enough space there for the tables, bench, and chairs without blocking the flow of traffic.

This should be an inviting, cozy space that’s neither too cramped nor too expansive. It’s unlikely you’ll be using it for dinner parties or family gatherings, but its service as an informal dining area could make this one of the more frequently used spaces in your home.

Step 2: Design the Seating

Look at photos of breakfast nooks to get an idea of the possibilities. Breakfast nooks often have a banquette, or bench, along one side. Or, the bench could be in an L-shape in the corner. In the center of the setup, you would place a square, rectangular, or round table. On the opposite side from the bench, place a couple of chairs.

Your breakfast nook could be more upscale or more relaxed, depending on the seating and table that you choose. There are many materials and designs to choose from. Try to have it fit in with the design of your kitchen for a more seamless look.

For a more luxurious dining nook, you might opt for leather benches and a granite table. For a casual dining nook, a traditional bench and wooden table should be just right for nailing the aesthetic.

Make sure you have enough room to push the chairs out for people to get seated. In general, you don’t want the area to feel cramped. People should be able to get in and out of the bench easily, too.

Step 3: Get Some Cushions

The cushions for the breakfast nook can be custom made or purchased ready-made. If the bench is an unusual size or you can’t find ready-made cushions for it, then custom is the way to go. Usually, you will want cushions for the benches and the chairs. For the bench, in addition to cushions for the seat, you may want cushions for the back rest too. You could get tie cushions that tie to the back rest or to the wall behind the bench. Then, to add variety and pizzazz, add some throw pillows to the mix.

The colors and patterns on the cushions and pillows should harmonize with your kitchen. If your kitchen is more modern and minimalist, choose simple patterns or geometric shapes for your cushions and throw pillows. Traditional or country-style kitchens can do with florals and other intricate patterns. Country-style patterns often have barnyard animal motifs.

If your budget is limited, you could even make your own cushions and pillows. You can get foam padding to cut into the size you need for the bench seating. For the other pillows, you can purchase pillow forms and just cover them with fabric. If you can sew, this would be an easy project for you.

Step 4: Accessorize

Finally, you will need to decide on items to accessorize the space. An area rug under the breakfast nook will pull the area together while separating it from the rest of the kitchen or family room. Make sure the rug is big enough to fit under all the furniture or it will look unfinished. The rug’s pattern and style should complement the items in the breakfast nook and look good with the kitchen décor too.

You will need curtains for the window in the nook. Get curtains that are light and airy so that plenty of natural light can drift in. The color of the curtains should complement the cushion patterns. You may even want the same pattern for the curtains, but make sure not to overdo it.

You will need a great lighting fixture to make a statement above the table. Again, make sure it complements the aesthetic in the nook as well as the kitchen. Hanging light fixtures with eye-catching Edison bulbs can be either modern or traditional, depending on the look you’re going for.

Don’t leave this space to fend for itself in terms of light though. Even wall sconces can go a long way toward warming up the nook and making it look more inviting. Consider track lighting for contemporary dining nooks and farmhouse pendant lights for traditionally-styled nooks.

A properly designed breakfast nook will lend every meal of the day, even the casual ones, a little style and a little homegrown comfort.