Choosing the Right Fabric for a DIY Breakfast Nook

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Hi friends! Today I am sharing how I chose the fabric for our DIY breakfast nook, specifically in regards to our bench seat. After building our custom banquette bench, I knew adding a cushion for comfortable seating would be a great way to turn it into a cozy breakfast nook. However, hang-up number one was that I DO NOT sew, in any capacity. Hang-up number two was that I wasn’t quite sure what the best fabric for something like this would be. So please, take my research and make it yours! 

For the full tutorial on how we MADE our no sew bench cushion, you can visit this post!

In this specific post, I will be sharing the fabric options we considered for our DIY breakfast nook, as well as how we ultimately chose the brand, type, and color/pattern for the cushion. So grab yourself a coffee (I certainly did) and pull up a chair! Let’s dive in. 

If you have an empty corner, bay window, small space, or window seat that needs a kitchen table or is near a dining space – building a DIY banquette bench is my highest recommendation. This project has completely transformed our home!  If you’re interested in how we built our banquette bench, you can find that tutorial here. We chose a simple design for a timeless look. 

What brand of fabric did we choose for our DIY breakfast nook?

I’ve been a long-time fan of Tonic Living and have just been WAITING for the opportunity to use some of their beautiful upholstery fabric. Never has there been a more perfect opportunity. Tonic Living is known for their quality, curated designer fabrics, making this an EASY choice for me. You wouldn’t be going wrong with any fabric listed on their site because every single one is high-quality and stunning. The hard work is done for you!

Choosing the color and fabric type:

You want a high performance fabric. Something that is stain resistant, durable, and easy to clean! Tonic Living made this super easy for me, since they have a whole section of “high performance” fabrics.

Choosing between one of these fabric patterns is another story and might have been the hardest part of the project! For our bench, I knew I wanted something mid-tone in color to hide dirt (hello little children!). In my experience, anything too light or too dark shows everything, so I wanted something right in the middle. As you’ll see from the fabric swatches I chose, almost all the colors fall in the medium range. I also lean towards a more traditional look, so I really love how classic this fabric is and that it blends with the rest of the kitchen. 

These were my front runners (linking them below):

1. Grafton (the one we chose!)

2. Conway Stripe Bark

3. Stockton

4. Remy, Silver Lake

5. Dunrobin Stripe

I loved every single one of these choices. LOVED them. Each one is high quality and truly beautiful. We ended up landing on Grafton, due to its neutral mushroom color, texture, subtle pattern, and high performance nature. The high performance part was huge for me. I wanted a thicker fabric that would clean up well and hold up to lots of traffic. I also loved that this fabric was warm and a bit darker than our bench.

I feel like you can FEEL the beautiful texture of this fabric through the photo. The subtle pattern and texture is just stunning, even more so in person.

I am already positive this is going to hold up so beautifully.

Testing the other fabric swatches for a DIY breakfast nook cushion:

Just to show you how another might read in a dining nook or bench cushion, I held each swatch up above our chosen fabric (Grafton).

Selecting our throw pillows from Tonic Living:

The next step was the icing on top – throw pillows! We chose three new throw pillows for our kitchen breakfast nook to add a little warmth and cozy to our bench. Narrowing was almost impossible, because again, this is a curated line and everything is simply stunning. After MUCH deliberation, I was able to narrow to Carlin(cream with tan stripes), Zola(indigo flowers), Valentina lumbar pillow.

Their throw pillows use a premium insert that is so soft and “choppable” – is that a term? 🙂 

For the full tutorial on how we MADE our no sew bench cushion, you can visit this post!

The end result of our DIY breakfast nook is everything I could have hoped for and more. The fabric gave our bench such a finished look. This has become such a cozy spot and is a great place for our morning coffee 🙂 

Wishing you the best of luck on your own nook!


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  1. Love this look! I’m curious how different your fabric choices would be if you chose to paint your bench a darker color? I have painted mine Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore to match my island and I’m so torn on what to do! All of these fabric choices seem like they would still pair lovely with the Hale Navy.

    1. Thank you so much Ileana! These are all pretty light and neutral, and I am positive that they would pair well – even with a darker color. You can always order a variety of swatches first. Seeing it in person really helps!

      1. Thanks for the reassurance, Courtney! BTW, I have googled a ton on this project of mine and your blog post is the most informative post I’ve seen on DIY bench and fabric choices! I appreciated your explanation and thoroughness so much! Thanks again 🙂

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