Keeping kids and computers close to the family gathering spot is a successful strategy for many families these days. Homework and gaming take place where parents can easily be involved.
Heather and Joe , the couple behind blog Household No. 6, transformed a narrow space in their home to carry the style and function load of their four kids. The sleek 6x6-foot hobby room, which features four file cabinets under a butcher-block counter, has space for a chair and work area for each child and cost about $600 to create. Here's how it all came together.
After painting the walls, Joe and Heather nailed 6x48-inch strips of 1/2-inch plywood to the wall above the baseboard, trimmed the top edge, and painted the woodwork white. This wall treatment leaves a clean and charming look.
Heather cut black-and-white prints of each child into 14-inch squares, then a affixed them to foam-core board (an inexpensive alternative to a mat) before putting them in 24x24-inch off-the-shelf frames. She spaced them out above the desk unit with a photo above each chair—a cute way to give each kid a space they can call theirs.
After hanging the photos, they mounted a pair of accordion sconces on the wall. Although the window brings in natural light, sconces are good for late-night homework sessions. By installing wall-mounted lighting, they saved countertop work space.
Two butcher-block countertop sections span the wall. Joe and Heather joined the two pieces on the underside with straight brackets; L brackets secure the counter to the wall. File cabinets provide extra support and supply storage space.
Utensil holders and racks hold art gear. Again, by mounting storage to the wall, the butcher block countertop is left for workspace where the kids can spread out supplies with ease.
A curtain rod with clip rings displays the kids' favorite projects. Rods above the desk unit house metal buckets that store pencils, crayons, and other basic craft supplies.
Heather sprayed the rattan-and-metal desk chairs a variation of the custom wall color. For a fun customization option, let each kid pick their chair color.