This Is the Most Brilliant Breakfast Nook We’ve Ever Seen

updated Mar 5, 2021
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When you only have 750 square-feet of living space, you have to get creative with every last inch. You work to carve out storage space, functional space, and space to be cozy. It’s an art — and there are few people better at it than Shamika of Maximizing Tiny. Through her business, she helps clients find smart solutions for small spaces (think: the best furniture for a small home, eking out storage, making things work, etc.), and she’s done plenty of small-space living herself — this includes her current 750-square-foot rental apartment, which she shares with her partner, Matt; two young kids; and two pets.

She’s made smart use of the entire Jersey City, NJ, apartment. She converted a closet into a nursery, set up a nightstand that’s also a desk, and even found room for a cute play kitchen. But it’s the breakfast nook that really stands out to us.

To carve out this space, Shamika got two IKEA benches, which she painted and topped with cushions, and set them up in a compact L-shape. This creates seating without taking up as much space as chairs would. (She even found storage in these benches by adding simple plastic bins.) She did opt for one chair, though, which allows for easy access to the benches. The 36-inch table (here’s an unfinished version of the same one) has some legitimate size to it: “Fill the space with furniture, don’t skimp on size, and don’t get oversized pieces,” Shamika told our friends at Apartment Therapy. “You want to have a goldilocks moment to maximize the space in your home.”

To make the dining area feel separate from the living area, Shamika also added a rug, a pendant light, and decorative-yet-functional shelves. Now the dining nook is Shamika’s favorite element of her apartment. “Most apartments in my area don’t have formal dining areas, but also aren’t big enough to have a dining table in the kitchen. Being a family of four with young children, it was important for us to be able to have a space where we could all sit down and eat a meal, do an activity, get some work done, etc.”

We love it, too! In case this little love letter didn’t make that obvious enough. Thanks for sharing, Shamika!