Space of the Week: A French Bistro-Inspired Breakfast Nook in a Modern Farmhouse

Starring a custom mustard banquette, this dining nook is small but stylish.

Dining Nook with bistro chairs and mustard cushioned banquette seating, RealSimple

Courtesy of Breeze Giannasio

Architect Carmel Greer built a modern farmhouse in D.C. for a family of four, then enlisted Los Angeles–based designer Breeze Giannasio to lend a cool factor to the interior. Reminiscent of a French bistro, the breakfast nook features a café-style dining set and a one-of-a-kind abstract painting (the clients are art lovers). The real standout? The upholstered banquette that’s both an elegant moment and a casual dining spot for the family.

Skip Bulky Furniture

Open space in tight zones is key for ease of movement. A pedestal-base dining table leaves plenty of legroom for sliding in and out, while bistro chairs (with their slender, armless frames) tuck right under the table. Plus, they make you feel like you’re sipping your coffee at a café in the Marais!

Add a Pop of Color

The dark gray cabinets and black hardware, counters, and stools let the golden banquette shine. To find your own accent color, look at inspiring photos instead of staring at swatches. What might feel too daring on its own could fit perfectly in the context of your space. Here, the yellow brings a happy, energetic vibe; rust or olive green would look beautiful too.

Think Vertically

Play up the height of your ceiling, or just make it feel taller, by using those walls. The lines from the panel tufting on the banquette draw the eye upward, and the sconce and artwork on the wall create an engaging study in symmetry.

Get the Look:

DWR Era Chair in Black, bentwood chair RealSimple


A Well-Shaped Seat

With the mustard fabric as a vibrant backdrop, the curved silhouette of this bentwood chair stands out even more.

To buy: Era Chair, $395,

Round Marble Tulip Table, RealSimple

Rove Concepts

Space-Saving Silhouette

A tulip table is a classic for a reason—not only is it stunning, but the tapered base is also incredibly space-efficient. Dining chairs tuck close underneath, while the rounded top provides room for as many diners as possible.

To buy: Round Marble Tulip Table,

French Beret, Dark Gray paint color from Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore

French Beret

To ground the gold banquette cushion, dark gray paint (French Beret by Benjamin Moore) lends depth to the storage bench below. Looking for a hue that packs a punch? Check out Benjamin Moore's 2023 Color of the Year, Raspberry Blush.

To buy: French Beret,

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