How to Sneak In a Kids' Study Zone Without Creating Clutter
When kids do their schoolwork in open living areas, where do you stash the books and supplies? See these clever ideas.
Is it any wonder that kids’ schoolwork seems to get done more often on a comfy sofa or at a bustling kitchen island than in a dedicated hidden-away study space? Being closer to the action of the household means it’s easier to ask questions and get help – a decidedly good thing. But without a clearly defined place to land, books, notes and school supplies can easily become a chaotic mess. If your house has a homework problem, read on for ideas on how to fold study areas into the busiest spaces in your home.
The dining table can be a great place for spreading out big projects – but such a big surface also can mean a bigger mess. This space in London, UK, by Clare Gaskin Interiors features a slim bookcase and low cabinets with deep drawers that make clean-up easy – when it’s time for dinner, schoolbooks can simply be shelved and papers stashed in a drawer.
If the kitchen table is where schoolwork gets done, consider clearing out a kitchen drawer and fitting it with removable drawer organisers. Fill the organisers with homework supplies, and your student can tote the organisers to the table as needed.
If you need more room, consider clearing out one entire upper or lower cabinet and outfitting it with a combination of magazine files, document storage boxes and desktop organisers. This is a good option for older kids who need to keep work for multiple subjects organised.
If you’re planning a kitchen renovation and would like to incorporate space for doing homework, consider adding a sleek hidden shelf to the island, as shown in this space by Irons McDuff Architecture in Geelong, Victoria. Kids can work at the island and simply slide books and papers out of sight when the space is needed for cooking. A hidden power point beneath the bench for charging laptops and other devices is a helpful finishing touch in this type of set-up.
Another smart kitchen renovation move is to add banquette seating with hidden storage for stashing books and supplies. Storage compartments accessible from the side or front (as shown here) are more practical than a seat that lifts – there’s no need for someone to clear the bench to get supplies.
A bookcase in the living room, dining room or hallway can hold textbooks, as well as bulkier project materials in baskets or storage containers. You can also use the top of a bookcase or kitchen cabinet to stash large in-progress projects that need to be temporarily cleared off the table.
Wherever your kids do their homework, it’s important to have a dedicated spot for collecting any papers and materials that need to make their way back to school. One sneaky option is to attach a few sturdy hooks and baskets to the back of a hall cupboard door – backpacks can be hung up the top, with homework and library books below.
A desk has the advantage of not needing to be cleared mid-project when dinner is ready. If you would prefer a desk but without the isolation (and space commitment) of a dedicated office, consider adding a workstation to the kitchen. This space in Denver, USA, by TVL Creative, features a double desk adjacent to the kitchen. The desk provides plenty of space for spreading work out, as well as ample storage for hiding the mess when someone wants to clean up quickly.
Source: Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor, Houzz