Thursday, July 11, 2013

Setting Up a Kids Study Area

Article by Jennifer Adams

Having a comfortable, dedicated place to study is really important for kids. Their grades may improve and they may build confidence because they’re more organized. School papers won’t get lost or destroyed by art projects. They (and you) will save time by not having to clear a table of dishes or hobby supplies. A successful study area will be calming, quiet and clean, but not so remote the child feels exiled from your family’s activities.

Provide a study space outside a child’s bedroom. Just like us adults need to keep our computers and bill paying out of our bedrooms, kids’ rooms should be free of stress, too. Carve out a corner near the kitchen or family room. Or, use the dining room that you never eat in! Those are usually near the kitchen and all the activity, but far enough away to feel calm.

Each child should have their own space, and limit loud music or TV. Keep a chair for yourself handy, so you can help with homework as needed. As a child gets older, he or she may need a space separate from very young siblings.

Furniture should include a desk, a good quality chair and task lights, a comfortable lounge or armchair or even bean bag for reading. And a window. We all need to take breaks, including kids. By having something far away to look at we rest our eyes. A neat place for books and supplies would be helpful, but store toys and messy hobbies someplace else.

Color is a part of making a peaceful, quiet yet interesting atmosphere for quality study. Calm, comforting colors such as light blues and greens help us stay focused. Neutral, monochromatic schemes can be too boring. Bold colors such as red and orange are exciting but are distracting. Yellow is certainly warm and cheerful, at least for a little while. Some studies show, however, that yellow can increase aggression set off tempers! Purple is an interesting color, because darker tones can be bold and exciting but moody, yet lighter purples are calming.

An ideal study area or work space would be mostly white or off white, pale blue or green, with accents of brighter colors to create interest. Variety is important, in both color, light and furniture arrangements. Use bright colors such as red, orange, bright blues, purples and yellows in artwork, fabrics, throw pillows or in an area rug. If there is not a lot of wall space, neutral colors such as mocha, tan, eggshell whites, or gray would look and feel nice. Break up a big wall with bold art, and keep other clutter to a minimum.

Try the colors before you paint. Often, what you think are pale blues, greens or purples end up too dark or bright to feel calm. Some blues even look gray in different light, which would be fine as long as that’s what you’re expecting. Grays are hot right now, and are a good choice for study areas. Tape the paint swatches to the wall, and look at them during different times of the day, and, ideally, in different weather to see how the colors look in a variety of conditions.

For the most part, the same principles of creating a pleasing, safe, and interesting environment for any room works well for a study area with a few exceptions. While bedrooms need to be very calm, kitchens, living rooms and dining areas can be more exciting, studies should be a little of both.

What do you think? Send us your thoughts on how you set up study spaces for your kids!

 Photos courtesy of Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids and PBTeen.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


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