by Karla Dreyer, Karla Dreyer Design
As parents, we know that kids have a lot of stuff. No matter how often, and how much we purge, their piles of stuff seems to grow infinitely bigger, and it can be tough to keep up.
One of the best things we did for our 2 girls was to give them a designated office area in our small Vancouver home.
When we originally did this, the intention was to create an arts and crafts space. Instead of having their supplies spread out all over the kitchen counter, this space would give them a place to create. As they’ve grown, the area has evolved into a space for many other activities as well.
Now, they use this space for crafts, writing in their journals, creating artwork, doing their homework, and making personalized bulletin boards that change monthly. Mostly, this area has become their own creative haven – a place where they can not only create, but display their artwork and special treasures, and express who they are and what they love.
In hopes of inspiring you to do the same thing, I thought I would share this special area that I’ve created in my small home, using a small budget. Here are some tips on how you can do the same.
Tip #1: Find your designated home workspace.
Turn a dull dead space, into a fun workspace for your kids! For us, it was a wall across from our kitchen – a bit of dead space that is now full of life. We chose this place for a couple of reasons – mostly being that it was the only blank space in the house. Now we see that it’s great for them to have an area where we can all spend time as a family. If it was in their room or basement, they would either not go there, or hide away there. With the workspace near our kitchen, we can make dinner, putter around the house, or watch TV, and they can choose to go to that space at any time while remaining a part of the family dynamic.
Tip #2: Keep it lean.
When creating an office area that is especially for kids, you don’t need to include a big chunky desk and overwhelming wall shelves. If you opt for thin and clean lines, the workspace will take up less space visually, and will still provide them with the basics of what they need. To save space, you can always just use a long shelf mounted to the wall instead of a full-sized desk.
Tip #3: Stick to your style.
Just because it’s a kids’ area doesn’t mean that it needs to look childish. For my home, I chose to maintain the same decor style as the rest of our house when designing our kids’ workspace. Now, let’s not kid ourselves (no pun intended), your kids will likely add their own personal touches too, but starting with a solid base that will tie into the rest of the space, will set you up for style success.
Tip #4: DIY your home workspace.
Adding some DIY touches to your kid-focused workspace is always fun! For our workspace, we picked up a couple of inexpensive bulletin boards and then wrapped them in a fun fabric. Not only does it look great, but the kids now have a space to proudly display their creations and mementos for everyone to enjoy.
Tip #5: Go vertical.
Let floating shelves set the scene. Adding these above a desk area can be great for storage and displays. When space is at a premium, going vertical will save room, and a special little trick that I like to do is to display work on the highest shelves, which gives the area a put-together look to offset the creative desks.
Karla Dreyer is an award-winning Interior Stylist who believes in living authentically at home and in life. Her work has been featured in ELLE magazine, Style at Home magazine, and Western Living, and she is a regular guest expert on City TV’s Breakfast Television, CBC, Global, and other media outlets. She produces a weekly YouTube show featuring design tips & DIYs, and has been awarded Best of Houzz Design.