When we bought our house, the kitchen was more or less crying out for a breakfast nook. We had two walls lined with windows and a lot of floor space for a good-sized table. So we always knew a bench of some sort would be built there. Eventually.
Fast forward five years, and the bench is almost done.
This is precisely why you work with a craftsman, not a production builder who busts out the same scant floorplan over and over. See the angle on the back panel? This thing will feel like you’re sitting in an easy chair by the time it’s done. And see the clover motif on the end panel? It’s symbolic of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and it’s a reference to these niches by the fireplace:
And the fireplace niches were inspired by the gingerbread trim outside:
Speaking of the fireplace niches, when we bought the house, they looked like this:
The stained glass was not original to the house and was tacked on the wall to make some sort of sense of the arches. Weirdly, the arched openings never housed arched windows, as you can see in this 1930s photo:
Whoever tore out those leaded-glass windows should have been shot. Anyway, back to breakfast nooks. When we bumped out the kitchen wall, we asked that the window dimensions and spacing be consistent with what was there in the first place, and the crew did an excellent job replicating that. If they hadn’t, we would have lost some of the old-house charm.
We think we can seat about 10 people here (more if we’re talking kids), and the beauty of this bench is that the seats will be hinged lids so I can store stuff inside.
Also, take a look at the “feet” of the bench. They are just tall enough for me to get my vacuum in there to suck up all the Life cereal that’s bound to fall on the floor.
We will finish this off with a coat of white paint and hopefully a yellow seat cushion. More photos to come. •