Breakfast Nook in Oak

“Wij zochten voor een hoekzitje met tafel in de keuken een ontwerp dat zowel functioneel als mooi zou zijn, mét opbergruimte onder de zitting en passend bij de rest van ons interieur. Het resultaat van eikenhout beantwoordt geheel aan onze wensen, en Vanessa rust niet voordat alles strak geplaatst is, zelfs als de muur wat scheef loopt. In samenwerking met een stoffeerder zijn prachtige kussens gemaakt voor het zitje. Om het af te maken maakte en monteerde Vanessa ook een plank boven het aanrecht met geïntegreerde LED-strook. Allemaal fijne aanwinsten voor de keuken waar wij veel plezier aan beleven.”

Hans M | Weesp, Amsterdam

I was commissioned by a couple in Weesp, Amsterdam to design and build a cozy breakfast nook in their newly renovated home. The nook fit into a corner of their kitchen overlooking their small backyard. They wanted an L-shaped bench with storage underneath and an upholstered seat. A small table completed that perfectly complemented the bench was another request, as well as a floating shelf with integrated LED lighting. I collaborated with an upholsterer from Amsterdam West to make the cushion for the bench.

In the design phase, we discussed the choice of wood, the exact details and division of the bench as well as the design for the table. I suggested that we use slats for the back of the bench to create some movement and rhythm, as well as open the boxy nature of the storage bench. The slanted front of the bench leaves enough room for legs and feet while seated, as well making sitting down and getting up easier. The storage under the seat can be accessed by simply lifting the seating.
For the table, I suggested a pedestal table since it would make sliding in and out of the bench much easier as well as giving the entire corner an open and airy feel. The single leg in the centre of the table allows for free movement of legs, making the entire breakfast nook accessible and easy to use. A traditional three way half-lap joint was chosen to add strength and stability to the entire leg framework. The joinery also adds a beautiful touch of craftsmanship to the entire corner.

The Breakfast Nook consists of a storage bench and a pedestal table. The storage bench is made in two parts and assembled on site. It is made to size to perfectly fit into the available space in the kitchen while keeping in mind the client’s wishes. By simply lifting the seating, the storage space can be accessed to store kitchen items as well as cushions from the garden furniture. The strong pedestal table features a handmade single central support with two flat legs that cross each other inside, creating a three way half-lap joint.

The floating shelf also made from the same oak wood features an inbuilt LED strip with a switch for easy use. It adds a source of light to the kitchen counter and has a modern appearance with its black LED profile and floating aesthetic.

The build of these three elements took close to three weeks and was challenging in many ways. I started by making the two bench elements which are made from prefabricated solid wood oak panels; cutting the angles on the pieces, shaping the outer sides with its curves, and routing all the dominos as connectors. I then finished the components from the inside with 2k lacquer before I glued them up. Lastly I added the slats as the backrest.
The pedestal dining table is made from solid european oak lumber. I roughly ripped and planed the slabs a week in advance to allow the wood to acclimatize before planing it to final thickness. Certain woodworking rules were considered while gluing up the 30mm table top to avoid warping over time. I even routed in a stabilising dovetail profile to make sure it stays flat while allowing it to expand and contract freely. The joinery for the table base was done on the table saw using a jig and then refined using handtools.

For more videos and images of the process please see my Instagram account.

Materials and Hardware
Solid wood panel – Eiken Panelen
Oak lumber – Amsterdamsche Fijnhout
Hardware – Hafele Nederland

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