Hi! This is Kristin from Postbox Designs, E-Design and I’m back for another month with a custom made Mood Board JUST for you Remodelaholic readers. Every month I tackle a space in your home and share some pro tips on how to design that space on a budget. Not only am I an interior designer though, I’m also a mama to three kids! So like many of you, the start of the new school year is on my mind! (In fact as I write this post my MIL is taking them back-to-school shoe shopping) My baby goes to kindergarten this year so now I have three kiddos that are all school aged. Which means every one of them brings home papers to be signed, info on sports signups, and daily backpacks full of treasures. So how the heck do you keep life organized and manage to walk into your home without tripping over lunchboxes and backpacks?
A Command Center is going to be your new BFF.
But not only am I going to show you how to pull together a simple Command Center, but we’re going to take it one step further and show you how to create a Homework Center as well (feel free to change it up into a Craft Table if you have little ones, or a Home Office if you don’t have kids).
I know a lot of you love the Fixer Upper Farmhouse Style so for today’s Mood Board I created a Homework Center/Home Office that also features a Command Center and plenty of extra storage! Just click on the item's number below and happy shopping:
Farmhouse Homework Station Products
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I loved this simple white Target desk and farmhouse style chair as a neutral combo. If you share an office or have multiple kids, grab two of these (they are easy on the wallet) and put them both in your space. For ultimate organization I grabbed matching rustic wood containers- a desk organizer corrals school supplies OR electronics (we throw all of our cell phones in here at our Charging Station at home) and this rustic wood inbox (read on to hear me get on my soapbox about how adding an inbox changed my life!).
Having a place for everything is key to keep a space organized. Use this rolling storage cart to either keep extra supplies OR assign a drawer to each family member to keep important items. I also added this white storage unit with baskets. Baskets allow you to keep the not-so-pretty items close by, and also frees up desk space. Put this near your desk and keep your printer or other gear on the top.
In a Home Office or Homework Station, good lighting is key! Update your boring lighting with this metal farmhouse style light. And welcome to my newest obsession: plug-in sconces. Adding sconces to your space gives it a custom look, but no electrician needed-simply plug in and enjoy! They come in a pair, so hang it over your desk area with a piece or art or bulletin board in between.
Within this Homework Station space, I also wanted to include a Command Center. You can add this anywhere in your home (a mudroom or kitchen is a great spot), but having one in your Homework Station will help kiddos know exactly where all of their precious gear goes. I would add a wall hook for each child to hang their backpack on it. Then hang a custom initial print (an Etsy print you can purchase for just a few dollars) over each hook, so no more fighting over whose backpack goes where. Adding wall mounted mailboxes in your Command Center gives every family member a box to put permission slips, birthday invites, or homework.
And finally, adding a couple of pretty elements makes this a space you want to hang out in! Add a faux succulent, a vintage style pencil cup, and this farmhouse style indigo and ivory rug (plus it’s an outdoor rug-always a great choice in a kid centric space: just wipe up those after school snack spills!)
But I bet you want to see even MORE real life Homework Centers, don't you? You're in luck because I have an entire Pinterest board just for kid's areas, where you can find oodles of dreamy spaces. For the first real Kid's Homework Station, I'm going to show you a sneak peek into my very own house! I created my triple kid's homework desk on a super tight budget out of our never-used hallway and now we have a homework station, craft center (and to be totally honest, this is also where I fold laundry!)
I love this cheery homework or craft desk featuring a kid's art gallery in the space:
Convert an old dining room table to a double desk with these great ideas from Blesser House. Her homework station is part of her newly remodeled playroom area:
And if you are tight on space, you will love this vintage desk re-do. And I love how she takes advantage of her vertical wall space in a small area:
And today I'm going to include a bonus for you guys! Two more FREE Homework Station Mood Boards that I recently just designed for a real Postbox Designs client. Just last month I had a client come to me who had this exact problem. She has three school-aged children and wanted a space to do triple duty:
Home Office for the grown-ups
A Shared Homework Center for three kids
Command Center/Place to store backpacks and papers
In her case, she had a room right off the front foyer that was rarely used, and we used that room to convert into their new Homework/Office Space. In your home it could be an spare bedroom, a never used formal Dining Room, or a corner of your child’s bedroom. If you are tight on space, you might need to get creative and carve out space in an extra wide hallway, part of a walk-in closet, a corner of your kitchen, or double up a desk as a sofa table behind your couch-the possibilities are endless! To see all of the details over this Room Makeover, check it out HERE:
In my client’s case she requested a neutral, rustic space that was budget-friendly, so a lot of these finds are from Target with some products from places like Wayfair, Etsy, and RugsUSA thrown in. And how do you fit in all of these different elements into one small space? How you set-up your room is just as important as the items you put in it! So I also included a Floor Plan layout so my client would know exactly where to put everything:
I always create two versions for my clients that can be mixed and matched, but both versions had the same elements:
1. A desk for the grown-ups with a Computer
2. A long shared desk for the kids: In real life three kids are NEVER going to sit peacefully side-by-side and do their homework quietly! So I gave them an extra-long inexpensive desk from Ikea with two chairs, knowing two kids would be the max working at the same time. But the key is to have a basket, bin, or container for EACH individual child. That way they can keep their specific supplies, on-going homework, etc. in an organized space, even when they aren’t using the desk.
3. A low bookshelf with tons of storage in it. I love to use baskets so you can’t see all of the clutter. You can store craft supplies, school supplies, or give a bin to each child. Then use the space on top to store things like a home printer.
4. An inbox/outbox. In my house we use this D-A-I-L-Y. My kids drop off any papers that need to be signed or need my attention. After I address it, I put anything that needs to go back to school in the outbox. No more digging through backpacks for lost permission slips or piles of papers on my kitchen counter. It is a miracle worker. The best 12″ in my whole house!
5. A spot for each backpack. All you need is a single hook and your kiddos know where to put their bags. Feel free to make it special with their monogram above it, some framed artwork, etc. In Version #2’s Mood Board below I found mini bulletin boards to go above each child’s hook: they can tack up artwork, birthday invites, etc.
6. Wall Mailboxes. This is my other Must-Have in my own home’s Command Center. In my family each person has a mailbox, plus we have another one for bills. When mail comes in, we sort it right away into each person’s mailbox. We also have a recycling bin right under it so junk mail gets tossed ASAP. You will be amazed how this keeps life organized. Now I know exactly where to go for my son’s sports schedule or my daughter’s class roster-it lives in their mailbox. You could also use these for homework or school assignments. I’m a fan of wall-mounted ones like in these Mood Boards to save precious desk space.
7. Simple accessories. I’m a designer and a girl so I love pretty things. However, sometimes you can get too frilly and fill up an office or homework center with things you don’t actually need. Would you never use that cute chalkboard? Then don’t waste the space with one. Instead look for items that will actually make your life stay more organized. But in these Mood Boards for my client I did add some items like a rug (it can really make your space pop and help pull everything together) and some fun artwork. I like to look for the Instant Downloads on Etsy, and print them off myself for art that costs just a few dollars. My clients also requested new lighting. She had the builder basic light fixture so a new, inexpensive light made the space look more upscale in an instant.
In the second Version I created for my client, I still designed a neutral, rustic Homework Station + Command Center for her, but gave a second set of brand new options! To read about the whole Room Makeover, check it out HERE:
There is nothing like the brand new start of a school year! So I hope this year you are inspired to create a new Homework Station or Command Center to keep life organized like the rock star you are! You can find even more Command Center Mood Boards on my Blog or find my freebie Desk + Chair Mood Board (along with oodles of other design freebies) at my Free Resource Library!
Thanks again to the entire Remodelaholic team for letting me hang out with you all today and I'll see you next month with a brand new Mood Board!