How to create a stylish homework station

Cassie Pryce

Make a colourful vibrant space to work for the young ones in your life, to ignite their imaginations and unlock creativity 

Help to make their homework feel like less of a chore by designing an inspiring workspace that will get your kids ready to tackle the academic year ahead. Here’s how…

 

1. Location, location, location

Mickey Mouse standing bulb light, £10; Mickey Mouse square photo grid, £8; Mickey Mouse cup with straw, £5; Mickey Mouse fairy light bell jar, £8, all Primark

Having a designated workspace that isn’t the kitchen table will help keep school work separate from your child’s home life and promote good homework habits and a strong work ethic from a young age.

Try to find a suitable space in the corner of their bedroom perhaps, or a spot on the landing that can be tidied away when not in use. For younger children, try to position their work station centrally within the house so they can ask questions if needed and you can keep an eye on them to make sure they’re staying on track.

 

2. Size matters

Colourful creatives wooden pegs and string, £2.95, Rex London

Choosing a suitable desk will depend on the amount of space you have available and the type of work that will be carried out there. For example, an art student will need considerably more space to spread out on than if they were tackling regular textbook homework.

Corner desks will slot neatly into small spaces, or consider a folding wall desk in compact rooms that can be closed up when their homework is finished each night. Alternatively, ladder-style desks require minimal floor space and offer plenty of built-in storage on the shelves, or up-and-over beds are a great solution as the area beneath offers ample space to fit in a desk area

 

3. Storage solutions

House by John Lewis leaning desk, £199; Salsa garden chair, £140 for a set of two, both John Lewis

As well as a basic desk, you’ll also need to consider how to incorporate plenty of storage into their homework area to make sure it stays neat and tidy.

For younger children, stackable clear boxes are a good way to divide each subject and provide easy access to the materials they need.

Secondary school students will need an ordered system for their books, so a filing cabinet or open book shelves may be a more practical option.

 

4. Get creative

Zanzi kids computer desk with two drawers, £355, Cuckooland.com

When it comes to decorating a homework area, it’s important to make it a stimulating environment to work in and somewhere that your child can make their own.

Primary school children in particular will benefit from the use of lots of colour, so have some fun decorating the walls and noticeboards each term with whatever they are covering on the curriculum. Check online for free printables that can be framed or—if you’re feeling artistic—decorate a chalkboard with fun illustrations to capture their imagination.

Safari notice board, £32; Safari elephant desk bubby paperweight, £16; Safari mug, £11, all Sophie Allport

 

5. Room for change

Lifetime kids high-rise sleeper bed, £1,095, Cuckooland.com

As your child will be covering new material every term, try to avoid using anything too permanent as part of the design.

Pinboards and chalkboards can be easily updated throughout the school year, or consider hanging rows of string above the desk with wooden pegs for displaying revision cards or exam prompters.

 

6. Create zones

Orrick solid oak computer desk, £558.83; Kemble solid oak painted chair, £139, both Oak Furniture Land

For secondary school children, having a separate area for reading will encourage them to stay within their homework station rather than going downstairs to read on the sofa where they may get distracted.

A beanbag or small comfortable chair can be slotted into the space to offer an alternative to working at their desk all the time and this can be made to feel like a “chill out” area by laying a cosy rug, adding a floor lamp for night time reading or even including a headphone port if they prefer to listen to audio books or podcasts.

 

7. Kitted out

Desk and stool painted in English Yellow Chalk Paint, £5.95 for 120ml; finished with Clear Chalk Paint wax, £4.45 for 120ml, all Annie Sloan

Don’t forget to equip their new workspace with all the essentials they’ll need for the year ahead. Lots of high street brands offer on-trend stationery that won’t break the bank so why not let them have a say and choose their favourite designs from shops such as Wilko or IKEA?

Invest in several box files or sturdy magazine holders to stack papers neatly and use a label maker to categorise containers.