I finally took the plunge and completely took over a room in our home for school. We've been working fluidly around our house and at the dining room table for years and I was ready to have a place to permanently put our things, a place where we wouldn't need to move everything if company came over or if we were celebrating a holiday. It required a little rethinking of how we use other rooms in our home, but homeschooling is a really big part of who we are and how we live.
So I claimed the morning room, located directly off of our kitchen, which was previously where we ate most of our meals. (We now eat all of our meals in the dining room.) I pushed the long DIY table against the wall to create a super long desk. This table was an Ana White DIY. Definitely google her website if you've never heard of her before - she has tons of easy furniture plans!
The DIY built-ins had previously been storing china and serving pieces, but those found a new place in the kitchen or were packed away, and the books finally had a place of their own! The rug was recently moved from another room to make the space feel more comfortable and it's so soft that the kids often just sit there instead of at their seats. We get a lot of questions about this rug, so I'll leave the source for it here: https://boutiquerugs.com/soft-touch-sft-2302/?ref=226
We had a laminated map which I framed and gave a permanent home using leftover boards from my woodworking collection. I simply glued the map to plywood and fastened a simple frame over the edges. The chalkboard was made the same way - a piece of plywood, painted with homemade chalk paint which I made with some leftover SW Iron Ore, and then added a simple frame.
To bring a little whimsy, I hung some lights with Command hooks and DIY'd a chandelier shade. The chandelier looked out of place for the new function of the room and the shade hides the ends of the light strands too. The shade was made of giant wire wreath frames from Michael's and an old curtain I had stashed away in our linen closet. Below are some images from early fall, before I brought the rug into the space and when we were still using dining room chairs instead of a bench.
I often get asked what the paint color is in this room. It's SW Hammered Zinc and I absolutely love the coziness it creates.
The fourth and final mini DIY I did to transform this space was to build a simple window seat between the built-ins. It provides an extra spot for reading and a space to set the chalkboard when necessary. Altogether, I spent less than $100 to convert this from an eat in kitchen space to a functional and pretty school room. This budget went toward making the window seat, the chalkboard, the map, and the lighting, and also purchasing a few organizational items for the bookcase and table. I will layer in a little more functionality each year as our needs grow and change. For now, the kids have been more organized and focused (and so have I!) and it's added a spark of joy to our learning time. I often find them in here after our school day is over, reading or working ahead, and that makes my heart so happy.