5 Expert tips for creating the ultimate home study space

Sep 3, 2013 at 8:57 a.m. ET

Kids need somewhere to get homework done that will help versus hinder their productivity. If you want to create a space just for them, we have some expert tips for putting together a study area that not only looks great but that offers kids of all ages a quiet spot to get things done.

Little girl in red and white glasses doing homework at desk

We asked Kelly Edwards, designer, lifestyle expert, co-host of HGTV's Design on a Dime and author of The Design Cookbook, to share her best tips for creating a stylish yet homework-friendly study space.


Forgo the kitchen table; give them a desk of their own

Having a dedicated study space, no matter how small, can make a big difference when it comes to productivity. "You can always turn a closet into their very own personal space with a built-in desk, and when they aren't using it, you can close the door, and all the papers and supplies can be hidden," suggests Edwards. Or if you have to accommodate more than one person and you're a little handy, she advises affixing a small tabletop to the wall. "This is great for giving multiple kids a surface space."

Try this: Space-saving mini desk (pbteen.com, $210).

Red plastic chair

Choose the right chair

The perfect chair makes homework much more enjoyable, so make sure to shop around for something comfortable and that your child loves. "Go for something fun, like the plastic Pantone chair or the Ikea acrylic chair with a [faux] fur throw draped over it," she suggests. "Just because it's a study area doesn't mean it has to feel like it."

Try this: Desk chair (landofnod.com, $179).


Give them a place to put their desk accessories

Along with providing a desk and great chair, make it easy for kids to stay organized, since it gets hard to study at a messy desk. Edwards likes to use rollout file cabinets and carts that kids can pull out whenever they need them. "You can also give them a dry erase board, a tack board and a place to put their homework so they know exactly where it is when they're running out the door for school," she advises.

Try this: Storage unit (ikea.com, $80)


Add in appropriate lighting

CB2 carpenter desk lamp - bright orange

Desk lamps and floor lamps are imperative if you want your child to stay focused, but choose some in fun colours and shapes. "I personally love the CB2 chrome carpenter lamps in blue and orange. They are fun but still maintain that classic shape," says Edwards. "They will look great anywhere, so when the kids get tired of them, move them to your study!"

Try this: Bright orange desk lamp (cb2.com, $80)


Accessorize the area

Once you have the basics in place, Edwards suggests accessorizing with educational and inspirational materials. "Large maps, books, flash cards turned into art pieces, photography and self-made art [are great ways] to get the kids inspired to learn, be creative, travel and embrace other cultures," she explains.

Try this: Children's world map (uncommongoods.com, $21)

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