Off of our kitchen, we have our home office. Except for the kitchen, it may be the most used room in the house. When we were designing our new home, we knew that we needed a place where our four girls could have their own work space to complete homework assignments. Before we moved into this house, homework was usually done at the kitchen table or the island, which always resulted in constant shuffling around of school books and papers when it was dinner time.
In order to fit a home office into our house plans, we made the laundry room and the mud rooms slightly smaller than we originally planned, so that the office would be able to hold five desks, one for me, and one for each child, and a center table that can be used for those projects that take up too much space on a desk. (My husband has a den in the front of the house, so he didn’t need a desk in this room.)
Each of the girls has a built-in desk with some upper shelving and lower drawers. The desk areas aren’t large, but they give each girl enough space to spread out her work without getting it mixed up with a sister’s work.
At the end of school day, the girls drop their backpacks, laptops and other school items right on their desk so there is no confusion about where things go and where the work will be completed. My desk, a larger version of their desks, holds the family computer and the family calendar, all centrally located next to the kitchen and easy for everyone to see.
The only furniture that I needed to add to this room were some chairs and the center table. The chairs were ones that I had inherited from my late father. They started out a honey color, and have since been painted black, white, cream and now a pale gray. I changed the seat fabric to a gray and cream striped fabric, a very easy and quick switch. (To change the fabric on a chair cushion, simply unscrew the cushion from the chair base, lay the new fabric over the cushion and use a staple gun to staple the fabric onto the underside of the cushion. Reattach the cushion to the chair base with the screws and you have a whole new look.) The center table was originally our kitchen table that we bought for our first home, about fifteen years ago. It too has been painted several colors and now fits the color scheme of the room with white legs and a pale gray top.
While the room isn’t big, it has really helped my kids keep their school work and materials organized. In some ways, it may be the most important room in our home, and I know that this room will be well used as my kids make their way through middle school and high school. It really does help make our day-to-day school and family life run more smoothly.