My Cozy Puzzle Nook/Breakfast Nook Reveal

How we transformed an awkward part of our living room into my favorite nook ever!
Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin

Ever since we moved into our cabin, I have sort of been at a loss about what to do with this one spot in our living room. The room itself is long and narrow, but also very open to the rest of the house. But the nook is small and feels disconnected from the rest of the furniture. Sean and I were spitballing about what to do with it while also talking about what to do with my beloved tulip dining table from our bungalow… which is when we realized we could transform this awkward space into a breakfast nook. Or as I’ve decided it’s full use is… the puzzle nook!

Before & After Makeover: My Cozy Puzzle Nook and Breakfast Nook

Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin

Before Photos

When we first toured the house, we didn’t actually know there was a window on that wall! The previous owners had positioned a giant cabinet in front of it. So imagine our surprise when we moved in and found a window!

After we painted and got the living room settled, we used this nook for our Eames chair and a small cabinet that held our emergency supplies. It worked fine enough, but it always felt like you were fully disconnected from anyone else in the living room when you’re sitting in the chair. Plus, I always had trouble deciding on the right rug and rug size for the area… and it just never felt resolved. Until now!

Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin

After Photos

There are so many details of our breakfast nook, but can we take a second to bask in the coziness?? I absolutely love it so much.

Tulip dining table

This is the same table from our bungalow dining room. Yup, I have been holding onto it for nearly 3 years in storage! I just could not part with it and knew that one day I’d find a use for it. And that day has finally come! It’s small, but the perfect table for the puzzle nook.

The best part is that we also use this area of the cabin as a breakfast nook, too. Come spring and summer, the most gorgeous sunlight streams into this corner through the skylights and windows. It’s absolutely amazing and the best place to sip my morning coffee!

Storage bench seating

The biggest addition to the breakfast nook/puzzle nook are the storage benches! I searched high and low for the right ones. Literally, I bought some and then returned them and it ended up being a whole debacle when really I should have just bought this set from the start!

The storage benches are from Overstock and were shockingly affordable given how big they are. They come in unfinished pine or white, so I chose unfinished. I wanted to paint them to match the wall color and look more like built-ins as opposed to a separate piece of furniture. It took barely a day to get them primed and painted and I couldn’t be happier with how they look.

The added storage has been amazing, too. I finally have a place to storage all of the puzzles I’ve thrifted and borrowed, but haven’t done yet. That’s what is stored on one side. On the other side, we have board games. They used to be stored upstairs in the TV room, but it makes so much more sense for them to all be downstairs and easily accessible for us to play any time we want.

Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin

Textiles: sheepskin and pillows

I spend a fair amount of time doing puzzles… it’s part of my wind down routine at the end of the day. Because I look at screens so much and juggle so many different jobs and components of work, I find it to be really meditative and a nice transition away from screen time/work time. But going back to sitting… I knew this nook needed to be comfortable.

The storage benches didn’t come with cushions and I almost went the custom route. But instead, I opted for two large sheepskin rugs. They are plush and cozy and I loooove them! We still may add cushions one day, but for now the sheepskin is exactly the texture and comfort I’m looking for.

I also stole the rust orange velvet pillows from the TV room for this nook because I loved how they mimic the warm tones in the gallery wall and the wood throughout our cabin. The fringe on them makes me really happy and it’s just the perfect finishing touch in my eyes.

Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin


Picking lighting for the puzzle nook was actually the hardest part! I wanted something overhead, but not too far overhead. A pendant light was out of the question because there’s nowhere to mount it thanks to the skylights. It had to be a wall sconce!

I opted for another shockingly affordable piece, this swing arm sconce from CB2. While I have some qualms about the quality of it, the sconce really is exactly the light fixture that the space needed. The light is overhead, but not too far away and easily repositioned, which I love.

Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin

Puzzle Nook Source List:

Before and after makeover reveal: my cozy puzzle nook and breakfast nook in our colorful PNW cabin

So what do you think of my newly completed puzzle nook/breakfast nook??

Photography & styling by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 5.9.23
    tdchinges said:

    This is a perfect restaurant, you can invite many students to sit on this bench to read and exchange ideas.

  2. 4.13.23
    Brenda said:

    I love this space! The light from the sconce and windows is warm and inviting, and the nook is welcoming and cozy!

  3. 4.12.23
    Brittany said:

    This is my favorite type of makeover – fairly simple and super practical! It is so smart to have a dedicated puzzle and board game area, especially since puzzles are often out and in progress for a while, so this doesn’t displace you from your regular dining space. Such a great idea!

    • 4.12.23
      Joanna said:

      I’m so glad you like it!!! And you’re so right — this has made family dinners a LOT easier!

  4. 4.12.23
    Emma said:

    Oh, so cute!!! I wish I had a puzzle nook! Especially one so stylish…

    How odd that the previous owner covered that cute little window up with a big ole cabinet. In the before photo, I see some of the window frame, but I couldn’t see it until after I read your caption that pointed it out.

    • 4.12.23
      Joanna said:

      so odd, right?? finding the window was a pleasant surprise :)

    • 4.14.23

      I realtor worth their salt would have told them to move that big cabinet to highlight the window. Maybe s/he didn’t even know.
      Beautiful work as usual highlighting the space. The gallery wall accents the tall ceilings