We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

Our Cozy Cottage-Farmhouse Breakfast Nook

Our Cozy Cottage-Farmhouse Breakfast Nook

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I feel like we’ve been unintentionally doing a little house tour of sorts here on the blog as of late and I’m kind of diggin’ it! If you missed any of it see our backyard fire pit makeover here, our master bedroom makeover here, our kitchen makeover here,  our simple winter DIY updates here, and a little peak at our living room/dining area and our DIY pennants here. As you guys know my parents helped us tackle about 675 little house projects in January with the goal of tying up the many loose ends that have been hangin’ around the house for an unnecessarily long time (yes, they’re saints), and at the end of it my mom and I had fun just popping around the house styling some of the corners that were in desperate need of some love. One such corner? One of my favorite corners in our home, actually that I don’t talk about often enough. The breakfast nook!

Who doesn’t love a good breakfast nook? Breakfast nooks come in all shapes and sizes and ours is by no means the most mind-blowing breakfast nook on the block, but what it does have going for it is that it has a giant window in front of it that makes it the perfect spot for watching the Arcadia world go by (our favorite thing)… and the endless parade of adorable pups that strut around our neighborhood daily. And that’s a big win in my book! I think we eat here, sip coffee here, work here, and so many other things because of that window, the view and the perfect light that streams in, so it’s a corner of the house that I feel like should probably get more of my attention and elbow grease than it has because it gets so much use.

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This is another one of those spaces in our home that’s gone through many phases and many DIY projects over the course of us living here. That breakfast table is a favorite furniture piece and is one of the only things, in addition to the barn light, that’s remained the same in the breakfast nook. It came from one of my favorite places to score beautiful antique/vintage pieces in Phoenix, Sweet Salvage and think I got it right after I moved into the house, though it may have even been before that. It’s also the heaviest table I think I’ve ever handled and the most durable thing on the planet, which is awesome for the amount of use and abuse it gets!

Those little cane dining chairs are antique chairs that we scored for a crazy steal on OfferUp and gave a fun little facelift last year (read all about that wild and wooly project here if you missed it), and we absolutely love them still. I’ll admit that even with reinforcement, they’re so old that they’re still much more fragile than your average brand new chairs, but I love them all the same. And we’ve talked all about that seafoam barn light that’s swagged over the table before, and it remains one of my favorite pieces in our house. You can read all about which barn light from Barn Light Electric it is and why it’s so near and dear to my heart in the interview I did for Barn Light Electric’s blogThese latte bowls, these plates, these milk glasses, and this floral serving bowl have all been mainstays on our breakfast tabletop for years now and we use all of it regularly. Daily. The entire Emma dinnerware collection from Pottery Barn, with the little white dot detail just makes my heart so happy and I think I have almost every piece in the collection at this point. It’s super durable, too in case you’re curious about how it’s worn/washed over the years!

As for the updates, we recently hung that barn painting which was another crazy budget buy that just so happened to be the perfect thing for the space, and I sort of fell in love with it for reasons I’m not sure I can explain. It’s probably a combination of the subject, the color palette and the general tranquil feeling it gives me when I look at it. It sort of reminds me of the farmhouses I grew up surrounded by in Michigan on a foggy morning, and I love that. If you read the post about my parents’ house here in Arizona and what my mom said about how she chooses art pieces, what happened here was exactly what she talked about. This painting isn’t special, or original or in any way the real deal, but for someone reason it makes me happy every time I look at it, which is why it’s such a welcome addition to this space! I also bought this super similar painting at the same time and debated between the two for about two weeks before deciding that the one you see in the pics was the one, and that decision was purely based my own personal joy. Best way to make a decision!

I also found these sweet little plaid napkins at Peppercorn in Boulder last summer, which along with Cutler’s in Petoskey in Northern Michigan is one of my very favorite kitchen decor and gadget stores. If you ever get the chance to visit either town, you should definitely add these to your list of stops! I always find the coolest little kitchen gadgets and prettiest table linens at both stores that I end up cherishing for years. I’ve also had my eye on these black and white gingham napkins with a fun scalloped edge - such a cute style for spring and summer! And I’ve been really into these hyacinth and these jute placemats you see here. I think a woven placemat is such an easy way to add so much warmth and coziness to a tabletop. I also grabbed this super fun and affordable antique-finish mix and match flatware not long ago and it’s super fun to step outside our usual, boring old flatware once in a while for something a little more interesting. Not that you need to have multiple sets of flatware, but we’ve had ours for about a decade so adding this stuff to the mix was an easy, affordable way to switch it up!

I’ve contemplated putting this round rug, that matches the rugs in our living area that I love so much, underneath the breakfast nook table about a thousand times, but I backtrack every time I consider it because I’m just so nervous it would be a slightly sad pursuit since this area gets both tons of foot traffic and sees about a million coffee/wine/food spills every year. Life, man! I’m a little bit of a clean freak, so it just feels like it would be a devastating endeavor in the end. I just can’t bring myself to do it!

I think the whole kitchen/rug debate in general is one that continues to rage on and I’m curious to know how you guys feel about it. Are you pro runners and rugs in the kitchen/breakfast nook area or is it too impractical for you? As you can see we have this cool runner in our kitchen and I will say that while we absolutely love it, it does get its fair share of stains on it so we have to have it professionally cleaned about every 5 months or so. Which is so silly because at this point, the cost of cleaning it has far exceeded the original cost of the rug. I don’t know guys… I’m a ball of conflicting feelings about this whole rug/kitchen thing. On one hand, YOLO and I’m a firm believe that you should outfit your home using a YOLO mentality (life’s short, bring on the joy!), but on the other hand, practical does have its place on the happiness meter in my opinion.

The only other thing that we’ve debated doing in this space for what seems like years and years is the idea of putting in a banquette. It would totally fit the space in general and make it a true breakfast nook, but the only problem is that the large plantation shutter for that big window would have to be changed somehow, and we’re not really sure what to do with that yet. We’ve talked through so many options and ideas, but haven’t landed on a solution we can live with. So for now, no banquette.

Also yes, I like croissants. I like them a lot.

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Let’s talk breakfast nooks! Do you love them as much as I do? What does your dream breakfast nook look like? What are the breakfast nook “musts” in your eyes? And how do you feel about the whole kitchen rug thing? Super cool or too impractical? Tell me everything in the comments! 

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