If this is your first time here, welcome! I’m Kristin, an interior designer who happily does E-Design for clients all over the country- usually in the comfort of my bed under the covers! I’m also wife to Ben (who owns a remodeling company-you can see how this is a useful skill for his designer wife!) and proud mama of three bear cubs. Which lead me to my latest project…
It is here! I can fiiiiiiianlly reveal the big project I have been working on for the last few weeks! It is Week #6 of the Calling it Home Challenge where I have taken our boring white hallway and transformed it into something useable. We removed dozens of dusty glass shelves, track lighting, and stained carpet, and turned it into a homework area with a triple desk for our three baby cakes. This project has been so much fun, and it has been chock full of DIY projects and simple but fun ideas. And now it is done! Wanna check it out with me? Come on, I’ll walk you through it! If you missed the first five weeks, get caught up on all of the behind-the-scences, tutorials, hints, and more HERE
P.S. If you want to take home one of these goodies for your own house, check out the bottom of this post where I have a link to (almost) all of the items you see!
I wanted to do a neutral space (which is hard for me because I adore color!) mostly because it is right off the front entry. I didn’t want the space to scream “I have kids so I need primary colors everywhere!”. I also wanted a farmhouse meets industrial vibe. But most importantly, something very practical, durable, and useful. From the beginning I loved the idea of a triple desk for our three kids, so I found this beauty at Ikea-I love the warm walnut top and sturdy, industrial legs. Then I paired it up with three Target chairs that also had an industrial vibe. We also swapped out our outdated track lights for this little gem of a ceiling light fixture. A small change made a big difference!
The biggest project for this space was the shiplap wall. Find out more about this project in Week #3 but we basically cut down 8′ pieces of MDF and nailed them to the wall for an inexpensive, easy farmhouse look. I painted it a soft white color, and that became the feature wall of the space. We also ripped out the old, stained white carpet (White carpet?! Kids? Um, right…) and replaced it with wideplank, handscraped hickory floors. What was that? You need to see the horrible, strange “Before” picture? Sure! Check it out HERE. I’ll wait for you…
One of my favorite mini projects for this space was these Restoration Hardware Knock-Off Vintage Flashcards. For the tutorial of how to create them for FREE for yourself, check it out HERE. Since I was making them myself I decided to purposefully choose words that teach character like “honest/true”, “brave/valiant”, and “kind/gentle”. (Now isn’t that just a mom thing to do, include a life lesson for her kids?!). I ended up only framing one, so I will occassionally swap them out for my other words. And my kids were over-the-moon excited to see this crazy little gold bulldog tape dispensor! You gotta have fun when designing a kid’s space…
Early on I decided not to do drawers in the homework station for a couple of reasons. First of all, I wanted this space to be budget-friendly, so it helped cut down on costs to do a table-like desk. But also, we do have a mudroom where my kid’s keep their backpacks and school things. We also have a nearby “craft closet” for their supplies (believe me, that NEEDS to be behind closed doors, I may not open those doors if you come to my house to visit!). So this area didn’t need tons of storage. Instead I chose two industrial wire baskets for simple, accessible storage.
So because I have three kids, I have this strange thing with wanting sets of three when I design their spaces. Yes, I know they can share…but doing triple the fun is just, well-fun! So we installed these three sconces. They came in a bronze finish but were a great price, so I snatched them up and painted them black. I also painted some existing frames black and popped in a photo of each kiddo over their spot. No excuses for fighting over whose chair is whose!
You can catch a glimpse of it above, but I wanted to use some sort of rug to ground the space. I have had this crazy obsession with the swiss cross pattern lately (if you are one of my clients you might have seen it pop into your designs!), but I couldn’t find the perfect rug at the right price for my space. So I decided to make one myself. I have an entire DIY tutorial of how I created this rug for just $20. Check it out in Week #4.
I found some more industrial elements, like this fan and wire baskets. This striped pencil caddy will corral all of the loose pens, pencils, and crayons (depending on who is using the space!). I found all of them at my beloved Target.
My favorite find were these periodic table inspired monogram pillows. Anyone who knows me knows my absolute weakness for anything monogrammed. Guilty as charged. But as a former biochem major nerd, I was giddy to find these as an ode to all of those chemistry classes I took in college. I grabbed each kiddo’s intial. By the way, if you want to know where any of these items came from, check it all out in Week #2
In Week #4 I showed you how I made these no-sew DIY curtains from seersucker duvets. And because some kids don’t learn best at a desk, we added this beanbag chair (with a buddy, Mr. Bear to snuggle). It can be a mini reading spot or a place to take a break for awhile. My eye of course goes right to our ugly louvered doors-those are a “someday” project to swap out!
So here is the space again! It really is a fairly simple set-up but it works SO well for our family! We are an arts and crafts family and we constantly had half-finished projects on the dining room table that I would always get in trouble for moving. Now we have an out of the way place to let them work on their masterpieces. Plus for my oldest two who are in school, this is a great homework station. It is far away from the main house areas to give them some quiet, but close enough that I can stop by and help them. Common Core Math anyone else?! And our beloved Jasper wanted to be part of the photoshoot, affectionately known as The Beast in our house.
And finally…time to try it out! I think it’s a success. Don’t let this cutie pie fool you though, she’s the one who is going to use that red marker on the walls one day. And that’s why we buy washable markers people.
For all of my clients I always create a Mood Board and Perspective, so I wanted to practice what I preach! I made a few changes along the last six weeks but here was the vision:
And the final space:
Love it, need it, want it? Check out the sources for (almost) ALL of the items included in this makeover HERE!
Thank-you for everyone who joined me on this journey, I hope I gave you some ideas for your own space! Ours is in a hallway, but maybe you can fit a homework area into the corner of a bedroom, in a rarely used closet, or a space in the kitchen. A huge thank-you to Linda from Calling It Home who is the miracle worker and hosts this Challenge twice a year. Check out all of the other projects on her blog and get ready to be inspired!
My homework center is also linked up at these fabulous sites: