What should we name that room?
July 12, 2009 7:23 PM   Subscribe

We've recently moved into a house which has a formal dining room and a smaller room for family meals off of the kitchen. What should we call that room? Breakfast room or nook or whatever sounds lame, and we aren't breakfast people. We have impressionable kids, so whatever we choose will be stuck with our family forever, possibly for generations. Help us, AskMe!
posted by blahblahblah to Home & Garden (42 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
"Nook" is a perfectly good word for it. NOT lame.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:25 PM on July 12, 2009

I'd suggest the small room is the dining room, the larger formal room is the living room. What (if anything) you were previously calling the living room would then be called the lounge.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:27 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Family dining room? Family room?
posted by Phire at 7:29 PM on July 12, 2009

Die Frühstücksecke.

Or "the breakfast nook" auf Deutsch. I always thought that was a fun word.

Alternatively fun names like "the Cave" or "the Batcave" or "the yourlastnamehere cave" or something crazy like "the carnival" or some inside joke like "grandma's pantry."

"Where are we going to eat tonight? Grandma's Pantry!"
posted by TomMelee at 7:31 PM on July 12, 2009

I think breakfast nook is the actual name for this space. We have a similar set-up, and we just call the entire adjoining space (food prep and eating area) the "kitchen." So we might say, "Please put napkins in the kitchen table; dinner is almost ready." If I wanted napkins on the dining room table, I would say, "Please put napkins on the dining room table."

I understand the impressionable kids thing. We bought a house with a loft when our daughter was 2, and put all her toys in there. We started calling it the "play area" (because it isn't really a room - ya know?), and it stuck, even when we moved and her play area was an actual room. Once you name a thing, the kids will stick with it for good or ill.
posted by jeoc at 7:32 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Since it's where you gather to eat, call it the gathering room.
posted by iconomy at 7:34 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

We have one, and it's a breakfast nook, and it's not lame.
posted by notsnot at 7:39 PM on July 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Paint it and decorate it all one color and call it the [insert color here] room. Like they do in the White House.
posted by iconomy at 7:40 PM on July 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

We had a breakfast nook when I was growing up. It was not lame.
posted by Lucinda at 7:40 PM on July 12, 2009

We had 5 rooms in the lower level of my old home:

1. Kitchen (self-explanatory)
2. Family room (TV, movies, entertainment)
3. Living room (Discussion, entertaining guests)
4. Dining room (Formal eating area for guests and bigger meals)
5. Eat-in area (Informal eating area we ate most often)

Eat-in area or family room could work as a label for what you're describing.
posted by seppyk at 7:44 PM on July 12, 2009

So you have a mess adjoining your galley?
posted by Yorrick at 7:45 PM on July 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

We called our 'nook' the morning room when I was growing up - lots of windows, lots of sunlight....
posted by archofatlas at 7:49 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

What will you do in that room? I grew up with a "newspaper reading room." If you don't do breakfast but you do do tea -- call it the tea room...
posted by kmennie at 7:55 PM on July 12, 2009

Call it the Fountain Room. If anyone asks why, aim the sprayer from the kitchen sink and nail em.

The room will be LEGEND.
posted by disclaimer at 7:58 PM on July 12, 2009 [16 favorites]

Best answer: We have two identical little storage nooks next to each other in the basement. One is called the Exquisite and Fantastic storage emporium, the other is storage bay 2. They never get confused.
Names are important and fun. I would call it Norbert. Go set the Norbert table.
posted by bystander at 8:02 PM on July 12, 2009 [9 favorites]

It's the dining room, or the everyday dining room. That other room is the formal dining room.

If you want to be a little silly, the eat-in area is the:

LUXURY DINETTE, luxury always pronounced lucks-yoo-rree
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:23 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Real estate agents call it an informal dining area. I'd call them family table & guest table.
posted by torquemaniac at 8:23 PM on July 12, 2009

Paint it and decorate it all one color and call it the [insert color here] room. Like they do in the White House.

I like this!

We had a little room like that in a house once, and its name was "the little room," spoken with the emphasis on "little." It worked all right but I think "the coral room" or "the periwinkle room" is more charming.

The Fountain Room - hilarious if you have the nerve!
posted by lakeroon at 8:26 PM on July 12, 2009

It's a dinette.
posted by oddman at 8:28 PM on July 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

The Lounge.
posted by not_on_display at 8:52 PM on July 12, 2009

I've never thought of it before, but in my family we didn't have a name for the room. We just called it the "kitchen table". "Please go set the kitchen table," "We're eating on the kitchen table," and so on.
posted by juliplease at 8:54 PM on July 12, 2009

My parent's home has a similar setup. They call that whole area the "kitchen," even though it is technically a breakfast nook. We just treated it as an extension of the kitchen and when we used to eat regular family meals at a table, we ate at the "kitchen" table. Then, there is the formal dining room where holiday meals are served and eaten. We only eat at that formal table four times a year (New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas). Hope that makes sense.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 8:57 PM on July 12, 2009

...a smaller room for family meals off of the kitchen. What should we call that room?

The MeFi Overthunked Bean Room.

Not really snarky, but a vote to instill in your family a tradition that links y'all to your broader online family here ... and in the future a loving "backstory!"
posted by ericb at 9:01 PM on July 12, 2009

What does it look like? Is it big and bright and airy, or small and cramped and cozy? I lived in a house with a little room right off the kitchen that was barely big enough for a table, let alone all of us sitting and eating at it, and we called it the alcove.

Then it got remodeled and walls knocked down and turned into one big kitchen. I still miss that alcove.
posted by anderjen at 9:02 PM on July 12, 2009

If you want to read the newspaper in peace, you will always refer to it as "the room where the bitey monsters live".
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:11 PM on July 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

...and we called it the alcove.

Yes. In many New England homes such has often been called the "kitchen alcove" and sometimes the "pantry" when there have been both dining and storage space.
posted by ericb at 9:12 PM on July 12, 2009

In Georgia we call those keeping rooms. They have tables and are usually where you keep stuff so....keeping room. There is much more to this names history but I have a sick babe and no time to research. Just wanted to get it out there. I like the name.
posted by pearlybob at 9:31 PM on July 12, 2009

How about the "common room" - as I imagine it is more commonly used than your formal dining room?
posted by numinous at 10:29 PM on July 12, 2009

I'm going to second SkylitDrawl's "kitchen table" vs "dining room". The dining room is set for more formal occasions, and the kitchen table is set for regular family dinners and in-between snacks or meals.
posted by Aquaman at 11:25 PM on July 12, 2009

Heh, while a Mess is where you eat most of your meals in the Navy, the Geedunk is the little store where you get snacks and such :)

Yeah, not much help....how about you ask the kids what to call it? Was there a favorite local restaurant near your old place that you might not get to anymore?

How about decorating like a diner, and calling it The Diner? Red chairs, neon clock, etc?
posted by legotech at 11:45 PM on July 12, 2009

In my grandma's house, we called this the morning room.
posted by primer_dimer at 2:27 AM on July 13, 2009

Ours is called the Backpack because it's in the back of the kitchen.
posted by dogmom at 5:56 AM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

"Breakfast nook" IS lame, no matter what anyone says. The words, I mean, not the concept.

I would call it the kitchen table versus the dining room table.
posted by gjc at 6:53 AM on July 13, 2009

The Eatery.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:24 AM on July 13, 2009

This was called the kitchen table at my house as well.
posted by Dukat at 8:28 AM on July 13, 2009

Well, if you don't like nook, what about the cranny?

"We're having supper in the cranny tonight, go set the table." "I think I left my homework in the cranny." "Go clear off the cranny table." "The dining room is for the adults on Thanksgiving, the cranny is for the kids."
posted by Night_owl at 8:50 AM on July 13, 2009

The Om-Nomery.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:07 AM on July 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

it was always the breakfast room in our house. never really thought about it, honestly.
posted by pyjammy at 12:45 PM on July 13, 2009

Wikipedia: "Such areas are called 'breakfast areas,' 'breakfast nooks' or 'breakfast bars' if the space is integrated into a kitchen counter."

Dictionary.com: "breakfast nook: a place for light meals (usually near a kitchen)."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:43 PM on July 13, 2009

The Bridge.
posted by not_on_display at 9:51 PM on July 13, 2009

How about the snug? We have a Irish Pub that has a few little rooms off of the main bar called snugs.
posted by thejanna at 8:58 AM on July 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, lots of great ideas, and I think we are going with Norbert - really.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:14 PM on July 15, 2009

« Older Where's a good meadow near L.A.?   |   How do you traverse a really large library like... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.