I’ve been working on this little project for a month or two, and it’s finally here! The distance learning desk is finished, and I can’t wait to show it to you!
Now if I could just create a fun homeschool room and not have to actually homeschool, I’d be really happy! But I’m going to try to get myself psyched up for school to start in a month.
Here’s before. It was a cute playroom once, but it’s been in distance learning room limbo for several months now.
Let’s look back at the plan for a moment… a 10-foot-long Ikea-hacked desk with workstations for both girls, and a spot in the middle for me. Ya know, to be sure everyone is actually learning and not just watching YouTube videos of kids unboxing toys!
You can go back read and see more about planning a homeschool room here.
Ok, now looking back I remember that I didn’t plan a spot for myself at first. But then I realized I would really need to be right there with them… so I scrapped the plan to put a 3rd filing cabinet in the center to create a 3rd workstation for myself. Now there will be an extra leg for support in the center, since this is a long span.
We call this room the “front room” because it’s kind of a big awkward room at the front of the house. I think this space was originally intended to be a formal dining room, but since we have a kitchen table, and this is far away from the kitchen, it didn’t really make sense for us to use it that way. I’ve always wanted to paint a bold accent wall in here, and I finally saw my chance!
I ended up choosing “Beta Fish,” a gorgeous deep green-blue from Behr.
So we got to work building this Ikea-hacked desk. It wasn’t easy to find a 10-foot-long piece of butcher block or even plywood that wasn’t ridiculously expensive, so we had to do some improvising. Any table top where the kids work is going to get some tough love, so I opted for wood and I varnished the heck out of it!
I used two Alex drawer units from Ikea for the base. I’m a little bit obsessed with them because they look great and they provide some great storage, including a file cabinet.
You can see the full homeschool desk tutorial here! I still have plans to drill holes in the desk top and do some cord control, but I haven’t gotten to that yet. I will update when I do!
Simple Open Shelving
We also built some wood floating shelves to go above it. I need a place to put all my plants, okay? These shelves were pretty simple- and not technically “floating shelves” since they have visible brackets. The shelving tutorial is also coming soon.
IKEA SKADIS Pegboards
We installed three of these SKADIS pegboards from Ikea, which I love. Can you tell? I already have them in my home office/design studio and the kids’ art desks in their bedroom too. So now I have a total of 7 SKADIS pegboards in my house. Hmmmm do you think I might have a pegboard problem?
But I really love them because they’re so versatile for organizing kids’ art supplies and office accessories. The cups, clips, clipboards hooks, etc. can be rearranged, and we can pull individual cups down for art projects.
Kids Desk Lighting
One thing I’ve learned in my almost nine years of motherhood, is that table lamps and kids don’t mix. Sometimes they can coexist for a short time, but eventually someone’s going to end up broken on the floor. Preferably the lamp.
On a kids’ desk top, things are going to get pushed around, and eventually the lamp will get pushed off the desk and/or knocked over. So I chose to prevent this altogether and mount adjustable task lights to the wall.
When I suggested to Peter that we could get wall-mounted task lights that are hardwired in, he didn’t look very happy. So to avoid cutting into the drywall and doing some electrical work, I opted for lamps with plug-in cords.
It took a surprising amount of research to locate the perfect wall-mounted task lamps with cords that were budget-friendly, in-stock and would look good in our space!
One of the features I was looking for in lamps was a switch on the fixure itself, and not on the cord. The cords hang down behind the pegboards so the switch would not be accessible. I’m loving these lights from Amazon now that we have them up! They do take non-standard GU10 light bulbs, so be sure to get these too.
Kids Desk Chairs
Again, the desk chairs took a lot of research. I ended up with these new adjustable-height LOBERGET/SIBBEN kids desk chairs from Ikea. They have a matching adult-sized one, which sealed it for me. We’ve only had these for a few days, so I’ll update once we’ve had a chance to use them for a while.
Here’s an extensive list of my favorite cute, reasonably-priced kids’ desk chairs in every color and size.
I’m loving this fun, colorful rug from ALL Modern! I chose it because it had just the right amount of color and interest, while not totally overwhelming the space. Plus it’s pretty and fun, right?
Shop the Room
Here are the inexpensive products I used in the room:
I. Wood Letter Book Ends (similar to mine)
I’m putting the finishing touches on the reading nook and play area on the other side of the room, and I’ll have that up for you ASAP! In the meantime, check out the kids’ art display wall I just finished!