How’s your home office looking these days? It’s safe to assume you may have achieved the impossible during the pandemic! With back to school on the horizon, you may be able to take some cues from your own experience and apply it to the kiddos. Here are three things to consider because who has time for four things or more? 😉
When designing a space for homeschooling, the first thought needs to be how to differentiate this space from the rest of the room. If possible, have a separate dedicated space. If that space is in their bedroom, it’s imperative that the child feels a difference between the sleep or play functions of the space and can switch gears when utilizing their homeschool area.
First, let’s start with function. What type of classes are your children taking? What will they need: space to write? Space for a portable computer? Speakers/headphones for their videos? Pens, pencils, paint, musical stands?
Think through all of the different functions and what your child will need but don’t forget yourself! A well-placed desk is brilliant but don’t forget to include space for a chair for you as your child may need you to be hands-on. You can designate the space with a rug, stroke of color on the wall, or utilizing a corner. Another design element that has a huge impact on students is lighting. With your child inevitably in front of a screen, they will benefit from a sconce light to provide some backlight as well as save precious desk space. Sconce lights are available in plugin form. These are great because they do not require electrical wiring and can be mounted at any height.
Secondly, style should be considered. What motivates your child? What characters, animals, activities, or themes can make the space their own? If you can’t narrow it down to one thing, infuse bright colors that stimulate learning like yellows and oranges. Emulate the space of their physical school by adding a cubby or locker organized with supplies. You may want to incorporate a hook for their favorite backpack if they need to travel with schoolwork. Don’t forget to designate a place for a much-needed water bottle as well.
Lastly, design some storage. One of my favorite questions to ask is, ‘where does this item belong?’ Now that you have an idea of what you need, where are you going to put everything? If you choose an area in their bedroom, be sure to differentiate the workspace from play space. You can do this by surrounding their workspace with chalkboard wallpaper or a whiteboard that has a schedule and expectations readily accessible. Position their desk in a place that has outlets for the many devices that will need charging and use a cable box (pictured) to neatly organize the cord clutter. Otherwise, see what you can repurpose and use what you have from boxes, bins, and shoeboxes in other areas of the house to keep school clutter at bay.
About Shareen Bailey of Green Shareen Design
A native New Yorker of Panamanian descent, Shareen is the only AfroLatina Interior Designer in Harlem, NYC. She has been in the design world for over 12 years working in Fashion, Graphics and Interior Design. Nicknamed ‘Green’ for her sustainable living and eco-friendly conscious approach, Shareen is knowledgeable about and involved in every aspect of remodeling from space planning, furniture selection to project management with contractors and color consultations.