Remember how I’m slowly slinking around my BFF’s house and eating all of the food in her fridge making over rooms for her? (You’ve seen her living room upgrade here). Well, I’m back with a sweet and simple homework room that we pulled together for her kids….juuuuust in time for school to be over for the year. #FlawlessTiming
Thankfully they’ve already found that it’s pretty useful year round. Our goal was just to create a space that’s functional, not too spendy, and something that can grow with them (the kids are 2, 6, and 7). And since it’s right off the foyer, we wanted it to look nice since it’s one of the first things people see when they step through the front door.
Let’s flash back in time to the room as it looked when they moved in. It’s a gorgeous house with big windows and a cool spiral staircase. Our secret weapons for this makeover? Not-so-secret things like some fresh paint on the walls, a light fixture switch, a new rug, some homemade art, and a few inexpensive finds from Ikea, Target, and HomeGoods. No item that we bought for this room was over $160. Even that giant rug was under $140! I know, it’s pretty exciting.
Here’s one more before picture from another angle:
And here it is now. The paint is Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams paired with some crisp white trim (Simply White by Ben Moore). And the rug is a Target find. It’s nice and big (7 x 10′) and was just $139.99! This rug and this rug are also REALLY good. Go Target.
Not only did we love the price, we really liked the color it added to the room. Even more important than looks is performance for a room with kids, so we especially loved that the rug is made of the same thing that most indoor/outdoor rugs are made of (100% polypropylene), which means it’s fade-resistant, weather-resistant, and stain-resistant. You can literally hose this down outside and dry it in the sun, which makes for some nice peace of mind. In a room full of markers and glue sticks it has been taking a beating without showing any signs of struggle. #LikeARugBoss
The little wall files are how they’re staying organized when school papers come home (there’s one wall file for each kid). At this age, the two older kids are the only ones with assignments and homework, but it’s nice to know that even preschool papers and camp fliers can easily be found since each kid gets one dedicated spot. We found the wall files and the folders at HomeGoods. It felt like winning the lottery when they had three that matched.
The big floating desk in the middle of the room is actually two of , which look great when you spin them back to back and park in front of them (we thought were really good too). Just two chairs work for their family right now (one on each side of the desk), but there’s ample room for four chairs (two on each side) should they need one more for their youngest – or so a parent can sit down next to someone to help.
The drawers are handy for things like tape, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, and glue sticks – but there’s also tons of storage for other things around the room.
Most of the other items were things they already had – from the sweet kid art to these Land Of Nod storage cubes (they stack, so she has one of these and one of these). The little mint-colored tin for flashcards and the spinning storage carousel for colored pencils were both HomeGoods finds. Cheap, cute, and functional. I love that they can easily be brought over to the desk easily when in use, and moved off whenever the kids want more space to spread out and work on a larger project or craft.
The white rolling cart is also something they already had (it’s from Target, but it’s so close to the Ikea one right?!). And the simple white coat rack is awesome for some dress up items their youngest still likes to break out for special occasions (every day is a special occasion to dress up when you’re 2).
Back on that other long wall, there’s a gridded bookcase they’ve had for years (it’s this one). The white baskets make for tons of additional storage (workbooks, construction paper, craft supplies, etc) and the framed pictures hanging above it are each child’s baby picture (they got a similar shot for each one – so sweet).
Funny Ikea side-story: the middle picture was framed most recently in the same black Ribba frames they’ve always used (these), but some slight design tweak that must have occurred in the last four years makes it a teeny tiny bit taller than the older two. Not super detectable in real life unless you’re staring at them (like I was when we hung them) so I busted out laughing about how long I tried to get them all perfectly lined up when it turns out the middle one is just a tad bigger.
Oh and the light fixture! It’s a switch that made a surprisingly huge difference because the old one hung down so much more and was darker in color, so the space instantly felt more airy and open when we changed it out. The sweet quatrefoil shape is polished yet a little playful, and the final tipping point to clicking order on this one was the fact that if has four bulbs to provide a ton of light (it also comes in a smaller version if you just need a two light fixture).
If you’re like me and you’re like “wait, tell me more about those colorful scissors in the wooden stand that are on the desk…” Well, they all cut different fun patterns (like zigzags and wavy swoops) and you can find them right here. When I’m not eating her food or decorating her house, I’m asking here where she got all the cool kids stuff that she finds.
And if anyone missed their living room makeover, which we did a few months back, here are all of the details. That room used to be my favorite just because it was such a big change (I loved walking in there and momentarily forgetting we’d updated it and then my eyes would adjust and I’d be like “awwww yeah, it looks like this now!”). Buuuuuut the Target rug in the homework room is making me want to crown a new favorite room. It’s also tempting me to hoard a few for the beach house (it also comes in cream). What can I say, they had me at indoor/outdoor.
I dunno though. Those gold shelves still make me FEEL THINGS. Can it be a tie? Is that lame? Probably. But it’s like having to pick a favorite child. I JUST WANT TO LOVE ALL THE ROOMS, MMKAY?
Psst – Want more? We gotcha covered! Here are a bunch of other simple room updates and decorating ideas.
*This post contains affiliate links*