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Rich_In_North_NJ
Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

Does anyone know of a source for vintage built-in breakfast nook plans including the table and seating? I see old house plans that show the space for a nook but was wondering if they go into detail on how to construct the table and benches.

I’ve been doing some internet research and the pre-built ones look HORRIBLE. I’ve seen pictures of new ones by homeowners (not to impressive) and those of original kitchens. The originals have such permanence and minor detail that gives them a quality look (see below).

Great original nook

Here is a great new nook that was well designed and executed, most I've seen don't look this good

Thanks in advance,
Rich

PS I already did a search on the forum pages as well

Rich_In_North_NJ
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

Thanks for the well thought out response, dude.

I'm sure that was probably the same thought process that was used here

And here as well

A. Spruce
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

To be honest, I'd have to agree with NEC, you aren't likely to find plans that will exactly fit your needs. If you've got the ability to build the unit yourself, then you've got the ability to duplicate any image you see, using any similarly designed plan set. As to direct measurements, those are easily extrapolated from measuring standard chairs or by using dimensions provided on other plans of similar nooks. Ultimately, you will have to design and build the unit to fit your nook, and no set of plans can tell you how to do that.

Just looking at the pictures of what you want, I can tell you that the back will be as high as the back of your neck (picture 2) or slightly higher than your head when seated(picture 1). The seat height will be about 1" shorter than the distance the back of your bent knee to the floor (chair height ). The seat depth will be a minimum of 12", though again, this is more a factor of your space than of the bench itself.

In this picture:

The back is slanted, the base being approximately 3" from the wall, the top against the wall. This makes the seat a little more comfortable, though as you can see in the next picture the back is flat to the wall.:

Another factor will be whether these units are built in or mobile. Built in will use the existing walls as structural support, making the build easier. If the units are to be movable, then you have to build them to be free standing, i.e., more substantial. Again, using any readily available plan will suffice for the particulars of building a bench. Same goes for the table, any set of plans will do as long as they are similar to the style of table you wish to construct. Aesthetic details can be designed to suit your tastes and needs.

As to the decorative details on the end panel, this again is personal taste. Make a template out of 1/4" material so that you can make duplicate parts for both sides/ends of the bench. The arm height is going to be slightly less than the distance of your elbow to your behind when seated. A word of caution here, having an arm on the end of a non-moving bench will make entrance and egress very difficult when negotiating around the table. I would also say that a trestle style table would be best suited for this application because it gets the legs out of the way of the occupants while entering/exiting the bench.

The materials you use will depend on what type of finish you have planned. For paint, use pine, MDF, or sanded plywood. For staining, use whatever species of wood suits the space and your tastes.

Another place for great inspiration is a furniture store. You can take pictures and dimensions of multiple pieces that have design styling that you like and merge them into one piece.

Hopefully some of this info has been helpful. :cool:

NEC
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

Dude, Maybe hire an interior designer. I agree, some are more "spatially challenged" than others and you seem to have troubles… Does not add or subtract from their value as a human bean though……. That is for sure.

What looks good is very subjective.

ed21
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

Besides looking at kitchen nooks, restaurant booths have the same basic function and look. If you eat out a lot, figure out what looks good, feels good and what you don't like about them.
Half the fun of building it yourself is designing it.

Rich_In_North_NJ
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

A. Spruce,

Thanks! That’s the kind of useful information I was looking for!

-------------

Ed21,

That’s a great idea, I’ll be sure to bring my tape measure in with me when I go to my favorite haunt for a burger!

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I also received some great information and links from two other boards (for those who may be looking for the same information as me):

FH article #191, fall/winter 2007 ($) with a video as well
Even it was pretty thin in the info department, only five pages. It did offer some guidelines and drawings that might be of some use
1. 4' x 7' nook built into a bump-out was described as "most common"
2. 18-20" deep seats at 18" height, inc. 4" thick cushion & 2-3" thick cushion back, with back 3-5 degrees off plumb.
3. bench length 4' for two average adults.
4. table height at 30"; max width 36"
5. Shelf at neck height and 6" deep behind each bench

Scan of original blueprints along with old pictures of the booth

"Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors" by Robert Land has a set of detailed drawings for a nook on page 136

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NEC,

What?

Rich

A. Spruce
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans
Rich_In_North_NJ wrote:

A. Spruce,

Thanks! That’s the kind of useful information I was looking for!

Your welcome. Many of us are experience woodworkers as well as tradesmen, so as you move forward in your progress you may want to maintain this thread or another specific to the build to ask all you questions in regards to material, construction, finishing, etc. Good luck on your project and keep us posted. :cool:

Rich_In_North_NJ wrote:

NEC,

What?

Ooh, you DON'T want to get him started ... ;):p:D

KCPumpkinStalker
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans

I've been looking for a good set of plans that I could adapt to my dimensions for months. I want it to go in this nook area in an L shaped, and have two chairs on the non-benched sides. It's proving very difficult to find plans so I think I will be building my own. I also want a drawer on the end of the booth to store placemats or candles, etc. I appreciate this post though so I can get a few ideas as well.

Edit: I want mine to have a bead board back, painted white, and tall enough that I can have a ledge on the top to put old tin cans of quaker oats, etc to give a nostalgic feel.

Rich_In_North_NJ
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans
A. Spruce wrote:

Ooh, you DON'T want to get him started ... ;):p:D

More EXCELLENT advice!

I'm planning to get started in the late summer or early fall. I'll keep you informed!

-----------------

KCPumpkinStalker,

L-shaped you say...?
Ron Hazelton's How To Build a Breakfast Nook
Combine that with the FH link above (for the draw) and the 2nd pic at the top of this chain (bead board) and I think you'll have what you want!

Rich

A. Spruce
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans
KCPumpkinStalker wrote:

I appreciate this post though so I can get a few ideas as well.

What the ...NO you can't do that!;):p

KCPumpkinStalker wrote:

I also want a drawer on the end of the booth to store placemats or candles, etc.

You might instead consider either a shelf under the bench, or a hinged seat to access a storage area under the bench.

KCPumpkinStalker wrote:

I want mine to have a bead board back, painted white, and tall enough that I can have a ledge on the top to put old tin cans of quaker oats, etc to give a nostalgic feel.

Keep in mind that anything above the seating area will need to be above the standing height of the users or else you're going to be bonking your noggin every time you get in and out of the nook. Rather than incorporating the shelf into the seat back, how about a shelf at roughly the top of the doorway (6'8" from floor )? The only way I can see your plan working is if you have a back on the bench that is 12" or so deep, so that the display items are above and behind the head instead of over the head.

From the looks of things, I suspect that you're also going to be hard pressed to fit more than benches in what looks to be a 4' wide nook, not if you still intend to walk through there as well. You figure the benches will be a minimum of 12", add to that the leg room needed to scootch around the table AND the width of the table itself. There won't be any walkway left and probably no room for extra chairs either. Unless there's something I'm not seeing in the picture. :o:p

A. Spruce
Re: Breakfast Nook (Table & Bench) Plans
Rich_In_North_NJ wrote:

More EXCELLENT advice!

I'm planning to get started in the late summer or early fall. I'll keep you informed!

I was only kidding about revving up NEC. Yes, he can get a bit vocal, but he knows his stuff when it comes to elecumtrickity, and from what I've seen of his home and office, he knows his way around a wood shop pretty well too.

I look forward to seeing your nook project. :cool:

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