Kitchen Additions: New Breakfast Nook, Part 4 – Design Dilemma

I’ve been anxiously waiting to catch you all up on my breakfast nook project, but I’ve reached a bit of a design dilemma and I thought I’d share what’s going through my mind right now.

I’ve moved the bench seat from the edge of the island:

To this blank wall. We’ll call it the problem wall.

This particular wall used to be the dividing line between what was (way before us) a bedroom and an entry room (at least that’s our suspicion…). It had an unusually placed window just to the right of the side door that makes us wonder if a mudroom existed here before (and a slight buckling in the wall where there may have been another wall that jutted out of it?). The wall was gone before we moved in and a den was in its place.

During our kitchen transformation, this small little window broke and was quickly boarded up and left for a future project. The plan is to either A. replace it, B. use glass block to fill it in, or C. make it disappear altogether as a solid wall. The last is my vote, but Kevin is not 100% convinced on which he loves best. So it sits now as a piece of plywood in the kitchen. We finally painted it to match the walls (though it doesn’t blend much…) and avoid photographing it altogether :). When we have guests over, sometimes I hang a piece of art right up over it.

The ultimate goal is to integrate that space back into the house, and even if we wait on the to-close-or-not-to-close decision for a while, I’d like to come up with a solution to hide the eye sore in the interim.

I had this space in mind too for the kitchen breakfast nook and I thought it might work well if the end of counter idea (see top pic) didn’t. And the bench? The perfect size!

Now just picture a round little table and two chairs in front of it.

I love that the colors tie in so well with the artwork.

But back to that dilemma, because the plywood ‘pin board’ is a big eye sore.

I have a couple of ideas…

The first one that I imagined as perfect for the space was to find a cool old mirror and convert it into a chalkboard, like this:

How beautiful! Image from here.

But I searched and searched and had the hardest time tracking down a large enough ornate mirror. See, to both cover up that plywood (temporarily, of course) and look somewhat natural on the wall, I needed a piece that is roughly 44″ tall and 40″ wide (big and tough to find).

Still on the hunt for an ornate mirror, but I suppose option two would be to hang a regular square chalkboard that might look something like this:

I could build my own or find a large frame and then turn it into a chalkboard.

Image sources for all of these ideas can be found over on my kitchen Pinterest board (Pinterest is where I was lucky enough to track most of them down!)

If I build my own frame… perhaps a chunky reclaimed wood look?

Love the look of wood and chalkboard… though gold is high up there as well!

And I’d have to make it magnetic, just like Christina did:

Part of me is secretly wondering though if a command station so front and center as you walk into the kitchen is the right idea? Do I want lists and ticket stubs and reminders so evidently visible? Could I keep this space visually clean?

That wall above is just to the left of the island below. I’m standing in front of it while snapping this picture:

If I could and was willing to make that promise to myself, why not a cool fabric pinboard?

Picture this coral in a square frame and Liv’s art hung up in a semi-organized fashion:

Or perhaps I nix the command station idea and hang just a stunning piece of framed fabric (from a vintage scarf, tablecloth, remnant piece…):

Framed fabric ideas

Maybe a framed picture? Painting? Map? What would not look out of place in a kitchen/dining space? See how difficult I’ve let this one become? :)

 PS You can find all of the kitchen renovation stories here.

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  1. says

    Hi Morgan, you have a great space to work with and I DO love the idea of framing a piece of fabric. But with kiddos and family things to organize a magnetic chalkboard would be a useful design addition. Of course, I like your idea of a funky frame but what about a brightly colored frame?

    I put up a “chalkboard” in our kitchen that reaches almost to the floor. Asha (almost 3) really likes to pull out her colored chalk and draw when I’m in the kitchen and she’s not interested in helping me cook:).

    Note: it is not an actual chalkboard but contact paper – a temporary solution since we don’t plan to be here for the long-term. I think it looks surprisingly realistic and works great:).

    • says

      Contact paper for a temporary solution is a great idea!! I’m still leaning heavily towards a magnetic chalkboard too… need to make up my mind soon :).

  2. says

    I’m on board with all the fabric votes. You could even just get some plain fabric, batting and ribbon and make a criss-cross pattern. Though I absolutely see how difficult it would be to keep it from getting visually cluttered. I can’t wait to see what you come up with, though!

  3. says

    I love the idea of a framed fabric, maybe a charcoal tweed or herringbone? Texture without a lot of pattern. Attach a collage of black & white photos like Christina did on the magnetic chalkboard. (I know I’ve probably said this before, but I still love your back splash!)

  4. says

    Love, love, love the art you have in the kitchen. I bought a similar calendar with fruit to frame and hang on the walls.

    Good luck trying to figure out what to do! My first suggestion was a cork board but since you didn’t want to worry about clutter, I think hanging some fabric would be a great choice. Even if you got something really nice (read expensive) you’d only need a yard so it would be a good temporary solution. One day I will frame and hang the fabric I bought… one day :)

    • says

      I agree! I think fabric would be beautiful, just have to find the right pattern that works well with the other fabrics now in that space. Calendars make great art! Mind is from Rifle (love them).

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