Children’s spaces are fast becoming a creative extension to the family home and Nicole Rosenberg of Liberty Interiors is quite the expert at creating stylish and practical spaces for kids, tweens and teens. The mum-of-three shares her advice on how to create a great home school spot for your students as they adjust to learning somewhere new.
It was actually decorating her own children’s bedrooms, and then those of friends and family, that led Nicole to set up her business. “Creating study spaces for kids has always been in high demand in my business as I have a large number of clientele with tweens and teenagers.”
If you think you need to spend big when revamping a kid’s study zone, that couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact Nicole’s favourite desks to specify to clients are the Alex and Micke desks from IKEA. “With their large bench surface area and practical drawers, they are a no-brainer for kid’s bedrooms,” she says. “It’s also important to bring in colour where possible so using some fun prints or coloured wall shelves over the desk can be really visually appealing. Another handy tip is to bring in greenery either with a plant on the desk or some hanging planters over the desk.”
As for where to put it, in the example above, Nicole put this dual study zone just outside the kitchen so that Mum and Dad could help the children when they were preparing for dinner. “Often, younger kids have so many questions about their homework it makes sense to have them nearby so that you can assist where required. In this case, you want the kids to be encouraged to keep the desk as neat and tidy as possible as it’s always out on display, so making sure there are drawers and wall caddies to put items back is really important.”
What if you have more than one child at home? “This question really depends on the ages of the kids. Older kids are pretty self-sufficient and are ok being in their study zones in their rooms. Younger kids need more attention and so setting up a temporary workspace, that doesn’t break the bank, in a living area could be the key to surviving lockdown. Brands such as Ikea, Officeworks, Kmart and Target are the perfect places to start looking at products for this purpose.”
To keep it tidy, drawers are a must. “I’m also a big fan of wall caddies and wall shelves above a desk – ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’. Once you have set up the study zone and explained to the child where to put things back after each session, there should be no excuses as to why it shouldn’t be kept organised and neat!
Even though we’re probably looking at being home for the foreseeable future, Nicole says built-in study nooks are expensive and probably not necessary, not to mention they’re inflexible. “Remember that as your child grows, so do their study needs and wants. A younger child often wants to be out in the family area doing their homework with you, and then as they grow into teenagers they want a desk that they can move around their room (along with moving around their beds!). Then as they grow into adulthood they often want to get rid of the desk altogether! I would always opt for an inexpensive desk solution that can be changed along with your children’s requirements at the time.”
–Nicole is the owner of Liberty Interiors, which is still operating online, helping clients with their designs remotely.