10 Nice Nooks: They’re Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

What is it about a nook that draws us in? The informality? The coziness? Architects often carve nooks out of wasted space—beneath a staircase, under the eaves, by a window, or up in the air. Generally designed for a specific purpose, nooks compel us to curl up with a good book, take a long nap, eat a delicious meal, or to get to work. What do you want yours to do? Get a few ideas from the noteworthy nooks collected here.

  1. Bottoms Up!

    Wine Cellar

    Built below a Nashville, Tennessee, pool house, this cozy wine-tasting nook is located beside the entrance to a 2,000-bottle wine cellar. By adding angled partitions, designer Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors defined a seating area that might have otherwise been lost in the entry hall.


  2. Book Nook

    Book Nooks

    Making use of space beneath a staircase is an ideal approach when looking to build a nook. When Glenn Gissler designed the renovation of this Manhattan duplex for a family of readers, he sought ways to store and display their collection. The smart and appealing result was this book-browsing nook beneath a winding staircase.


  3. Clear as Day

    Breakfast Nook

    Hanson General Contracting created this breakfast nook in West Philadelphia by installing a floor-to-ceiling bay window at the end of a bright white kitchen. The three walls of glass visually extend the interior space of the historic home into the back garden, and the transition in wall and ceiling materials ensures that the nook has its own identity.

    Related: Catching Some Rays – 11 Sunrooms We Would Love to Spend Time In


  4. Get to Work!

    Small Home Office

    This is a fun, easy way to carve out a workspace that can virtually disappear at the end of the workday. Created by Kropat Interior Design, this office nook in San Diego is tucked into a two-foot-deep recess in the wall. The desk provides plenty of work surfaces and storage plus a stool that slides right in under the counter when it’s time to pull down the roll-up metal door.

    Related: Buy 'Em or Build 'Em – 10 Desks We Love


  5. Oenophile’s Delight

    Wine Storage

    Designer Kristin Drohan converted an awkward two-story entry alcove in this East Cobb, Georgia, home into a functional focal point by elevating a wine storage nook above a doorway. The nook features a metal interior veneer. We bet you’re wondering how to get to those prized bottles, right? Shhhh, there’s a hidden staircase.

    Related: 5 Easy DIY Wine Racks You Can Make in an Afternoon


  6. Intimate Inglenook

    Reading Nook

    This fireplace nook, known as an inglenook, was designed by Siemasko & Verbridge Architects as part of the renovation of a vintage carriage house in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. Inglenooks originated in medieval times when enclosures were built around cooking hearths to provide a warm gathering space within a larger room.


  7. A Nook with a View

    Built-In Window Seat

    Customizing a dormer is a simple way to create a nook; the basic structure is there already. This multipurpose nook, designed by DeGraw and DeHaan Architects for a suburban New York bedroom, provides both seating and storage without obscuring the windows that flood the room with light. The architectural millwork helps to define the nook as its own space.


  8. Looky, Looky

    Ski Chalet Decor

    John Malick & Associates’ design of this ski chalet in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, was inspired by the traditional mountain architecture of the Swiss Alps. There are nooks tucked in throughout the home for showcasing art, enclosing a window seat, and as seen here in the children’s room, for storing toys and housing multiple beds.

    Related: 9 Warm and Cozy (but Thoroughly 21st Century) Ski Chalets


  9. Doggy Daycare

    Built-In Dog Bed

    The owners of this historic Minnesota house wanted their family pets to have a designated space in their new kitchen. They hired Cook Architectural Design Studio to handle the renovation and to integrate the dogs’ nook into the cabinetry, so the pooches would be in the heart of the action but also out of the way.


  10. Center Yourself

    Meditation Room

    Looking for a quiet place to get away from the busyness of your life? Consider building a small nook for meditating. This homeowner removed the doors from a walk-in closet in her bedroom to create this sacred space. A fresh coat of paint, some cushions, and curtains made all the difference.


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