If you’re joining today from Making Home Base, welcome! I’m so happy to have you joining us! Chelsea showed you adorable updates from her daughters’ bedroom and now I’m going to show you how you can carry that same fun holiday vibe into your kids’ home workspaces as well.
Whether your child has a dedicated classroom in the home or just a place they like to color or read, here are some simple ways to incorporate their interests into decor for the holiday season.
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Our daughter is headed back into a virtual learning environment and we’re a little bummed. We know she’s going to miss all the fun holiday activities she would otherwise have participated in during Kindergarten. So we’re giving her a fun, new workspace where she can learn and feel inspired.
Come see how we’ve added some holiday cheer to help boost her enthusiasm about learning from home…
CREATING A SPACE FOR KIDS TO LEARN FROM HOME
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way fast: THERE IS NO SCENARIO IN WHICH I EXPECT ANYONE TO TACKLE A MAJOR RENOVATION JUST TO MAKE ROOM FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING. The photos you are about to see are going to show you a massive transformation from Before and After.
As luck would have it, our home was hit by a tornado two weeks before Nashville shut down for the pandemic. The renovation you will see was a necessary rebuild to our 100 year-old home. Do not remodel your home based on a temporary situation. And take my advice – don’t renovate your home during a global pandemic. Decorating is fun. Having contractors complete work in your home whilst also trying to socially distance your family is terrifying. Hang curtains instead.
The extent of the tornado damage required us to rebuild the entire second story of our home. The BEFORE photo shown above is from the real estate listing. We purchased this historic bungalow in 2019 with plans to restore it over time. You can read more about that here: Our 1924 California Bungalow: Full Home Tour.
As we rebuilt, we decided to raise the roof ridge by two feet and to add an additional 600 square feet onto the back of the house in the form of a large dormer. The dormer you are seeing today is the original dormer at the front of the house. It had originally been a part of our daughter’s upstairs bedroom but was made into a play space off the central upstairs hallway during the rebuild.
Since we’re still unpacking our boxes, this space has been relatively empty and useless for the past three months but we knew it would make the perfect spot for an impromptu homeschooling room for our kid.
The plan for this little nook was always to turn it into an arts and crafts space for our self-proclaimed artist daughter. And what to artists need? Horizontal space for drawing and writing, of course! It just so happens that’s exactly what she needs to be able to learn alongside her classmates in a virtual school environment too! So this little update will be handy for now and serve a longterm purpose as well!
Major renovations aside, there are lots of easy ways to create virtual learning spaces for kids. Use what you have. Buy a desk if your budget allows. Or build something custom on the cheap like we did:
We purchased a hollow core slab door from our local home improvement store and ripped it down with a table saw in order to fit it tight along the wall. Using scrap MDF 1x4s from our recent bathroom moulding buildout, we created a bracket system along the wall on which the slab could rest. Then we nailed the slab into the braces from the top in order to secure it permanently to the wall.
The result is a floating shelf-style desk that doesn’t budge even with the most vigorous crayon drawings.
If you’re not looking to permanently affix the desk to your walls, you can also find inexpensive table legs on which you can rest the table top and secure with screws. Just make sure your end result is a desk that’s no higher than 30” off the floor. Here are some cute options:
DECORATING KID’s WORK SPACES FOR CHRISTMAS
I’m no elementary school teacher so I had to really channel my inner Mrs. Frizzle when trying to decide how to decorate my daughter’s home learning room. I thought back to my own childhood and tried to remember what the classrooms of yore looked like. Minus the dinosaurs (hahaha.. I’m an older mom but I’m not that old).
My fondest memories of school were those when the teacher would let us come to the chalkboard and write our answers in front of the class. I know a lot of people have anxious memories about those moments but I’m a show-off and a people-pleaser so they always made me so proud.
That’s when I remembered a thrift store find from two years ago that has just been sitting in our garage, collecting dust!
This massive chalkboard was only $4 at a local thrift store and although I didn’t have a direct need for it at the time, I knew I’d one day be able to show it some love. I love Schoolhouse style and nothing says schoolhouse like an actual artifact from an old school!
The original chalk finish was scratching off and stained. A quick coat of Rustoleum Chalk Board Paint (it’s tintable so I had mine tinted green) made it look brand new! I left the wood frame in kind of funky condition to show its age.
Using large stencils, I traced the outline of “Holly Jolly” with a chalk pen.
Then I went back over the outline with a thick chalk layer and turned the chalk on its side to shade in the letters.
A simple strand of vintage-style colorful Christmas lights acts as a garland across the top of the chalkboard. I used Command Clear Mini Light Hooks to secure the lights to the wood. These will come off easily at the end of the season.
Since this little nook opens to our newly-created bonus room, I wanted to make sure the vibe stayed the same. We like a lot of vintage tchotchkes and colorful accents for decorating. This chalkboard fits right in!
The result is a space that’s both functional and really welcoming for my daughter. She really loves it!
On the wall opposite of the chalkboard, I used the same Command Hooks to hang metal clips on which she can display her school work and artwork alike.
A simple paper ring garland and construction paper letters encourage her to get into the holiday spirit even if her dress indicates she’s feeling the wrong holiday.
I’ve teamed up with some of my talented blogger friends who are also sharing their fun and festive spaces for the Holiday Home Tour – Kid Edition. Please be sure to check out all the adorable kid spaces and trees decorated for the holidays!
Next, you’ll definitely want to head over to see what Stephanie from Casa Watkins Living has up her sleeve. Her style is so graceful and lovely. I know you’re going to adore how she updated her daughter’s bedroom with a festive theme for the holidays!
GET THE LOOK
From my family to yours – Have a Holly Jolly Holiday Season!
RENOVATING HISTORIC HOMES ON A BUDGET ISN’T EASY
BUT I’M HERE TO HELP.
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