Back to School: Cool Spaces that Inspire Kids to Do Homework


It’s mid-August and the back-to-school craze is in full swing around metro Detroit. Stores are showcasing kids’ school clothes, back packs, supplies, you name it. Pretty much gone are the beach balls and bathing suits. This brings me to my A List this month, which featured great accessories for kids’ homework spaces.

In the past few years, I’ve created a couple of spots that hit the nail on the head when it came to pleasing kids and inspiring them to get their homework done.

I designed the lime green-striped room, shown here, for an 8-year-old boy. The zesty lime color makes a true statement and keeps things lively and fun. I selected Benjamin Moore’s Hawthorn Green (#379) for the background color and Pratt & Lambert’s Split Pea (#1636) for the stripes.

As parents are almost always concerned with storage and there never seems to be enough, I created shelving units (that don’t take up too much space) on both sides of the window. Boxes and baskets are great for toys and games, and they can be easily transported around the house as needed!

Whimsical art, lots of storage, a streamlined desk for homework and plenty of space are inviting appointments in this child’s room.

More room highlights:
• Functional-and-Fun. The back of the shelves (from Ikea) were painted navy blue. Accessory boxes and frames above the desk are the same color to keep things unified. The “flip-shelf” above the desk offers a perfect place for storing school accessories.

• Hang it! To create a space for art or pictures, hang a large bulletin board covered with a bold, complementary fabric.

Teeming with Teen Inspiration
As for the orange teen space, shown here, what boy and his friends wouldn’t want to hang in this cheerful space with lots of color personality? I even worked in a table that invites one to put stickers on it! And the bright, juicy orange color keeps kids awake during homework time, moms tell me. (Incidentally, the color on the wall is Sherwin-Williams’ Adventure Orange — #6655.  I like it a lot … it’s more of a pumpkin orange and not too bright.)

When designing a room for a teenage boy/girl, many factors need to be considered. Their unique tastes, personalities and interests all should play a part in the design.

More room highlights:
• Cool Platform. This space features a platform-style bed with oversized neck rolls and pillows for comfort. I designed a box to fit a queen-size mattresse. A platform set-up allows for more space in the room and it’s inviting —  a great place to relax, chill, read and listen to music.

• Walls for Pinning. One wall in the space is covered with a grass-cloth wallpaper, which allows the teen to pin up posters, photos and more — very useful for this age group.

Do you know of a great kid’s room that inspires him or her to do homework? Please share!

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