Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Space-savvy study zones

Every September, Seattle-area moms breathe a collective sigh of relief. It's back to school time!

As you help your young students gear up with school supplies and maybe some new duds, think about how to prep your home for the school year, too. Creating a comfortable, organized, distraction-free study zone is an important way to help your little Einstein achieve her best.

Maximize existing space.

You don't need much room to set up a basic, kid-friendly study space, so take a look around your home. You might be surprised to find some untapped potential that doesn't make much of an impact on your existing layout.

Space under the stairs is one of the most overlooked areas:



Photo credit: Houzz

Converted closets present lots of low-cost options for cozy, focused study space:



Photo credit: Nest Seattle

And don't forget to look up! A big part of organizing success is making good use of vertical space. Here, raising the bed makes way for a fun, efficient work area with extra storage below:


Photo credit: Houzz

Make it work!

Need a small study space that can be easily tucked away? I just love this fold-out convertible desk. The legs fold down into a sturdy desk and close back up into a tidy cabinet. The inner pockets stay put, so study supplies stay close at hand.



Photo credit: Solutions

If you want to keep kids close so you can help with homework while you tend to other things, a small corner of a kitchen or living room can easily accommodate a small study area.

Need to share space with your student? Magnetic wall pockets gives everyone's stuff its own space and keeps the room nice and tidy, too.



Photo credit: Houzz

Get two for one.

Have two school-aged kids? Here are some tips for creating shareable study zones.

Of course this is adorable, but I really love how smart and efficient it is, too. An old (or new) inexpensive bookcase has been transformed into a double-sided desk setup with the addition of a makeshift desk. Take an existing bookshelf or purchase it new and add a laminate-covered piece of medium-density fiberboard structured by legs and voila! School books and supplies are always within reach while visibility for distraction is low.



Photo credit: BHG

Another option? Put your kiddos head to head in this clean, cheery shared space. Again, bookshelves are used to anchor a desk and provide easy access to storage and supplies. It may seem like kids thrive on messy, but the truth is that aesthetically pleasing, organized spaces make for much better study habits.

And while this may look fancy, the desk and bookshelves are straight out of Ikea's affordable Expedit collection.



Photo credit: Pinterest

Custom solutions, like this built-in by Seattle's Build+Restore, let you design shared space that fits your specific needs. Here, a good-sized desk is augmented with a small pull-out on the side. It's perfect for spreading out a big project or adding a second study space that can be stowed away when not in use.



Photo credit: Houzz

I can't say enough about having clearly defined study space for your kids. It's encouraging for them, and for you, too. No more books and binders on the dining table!

Want to up the ante? Let your kids choose the colors, or some essential part of their study zone, with you. They will feel more invested and excited about the space, which goes a long way when it comes time to study.

Sara Eizen is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.