Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kids' room update: a desk for big brother & a kids' library

Sometimes, home projects just come together easily. You start with an idea and things just seem to fall into place from there. We recently did some re-arranging in the brother's rooms, reason being that big brother starts school in two weeks.

Wait, did I just say two weeks?


(Note to self: get organized for school. Urgent!)

Where was I?

Right. We needed a desk for big brother's room. Yes, I know, everyone keeps telling me they're going to end up doing their homework on the kitchen table anyway. That is fine with me, but I can't have all school material, papers, books and such on the kitchen table all the time. That would simply drive me insane. So, he needed a place to put things.

And perhaps a place to do homework should little brother start to bother him at the kitchen table. Not that the most charming 3-year-old ever would do that. Ha.

I knew we wouldn't have much space available, so the little pretend shop they have had to move to little brother's room, who is the one mostly playing with it these days anyway. Here's a before shot of that corner of the room:

So far, so good. But the part I kept struggling with was the desk itself. These days everything has to be ergonomic and adjustable in height and such. Might be a good idea, but... I just happen to dislike most of these desks. And the ones I do like are crazy expensive. Besides, I also refuse to buy a swivel chair. I don't even want to picture what little brother would do with that. Nope, no swivel chairs and adjustable desks for me.

One day I happened to look at the two Stokke chairs we have. Then it hit me. Of course! Who needs an adjustable desk when you can adjust the chair? And the best part: it doesn't swivel. No wheels. Perfect.

From there it just came together perfectly.

We ended up getting one Alex drawer unit and two legs as a base for the table. The drawers should provide plenty of storage for school supplies, at least for the next few years.  For the tabletop, I didn't want one of those white ones, or more precisely, I didn't want to be wiping off pencil marks every day. Because I know that they'd drive me crazy.

For my office I have a large white countertop as desktop, which is really easy to care for. But still white. Instead, we went with a solid wooden kitchen countertop for desk, and it just so happened that the smallest width sold fit perfectly without having to be trimmed. We have wooden countertops in the kitchen, and they are pretty indestructible. Perfect for big brother!

We hung two Ribba picture ledges over the desk for display and also to alleviate some of the differences in height between the desk and the dresser next to it. Now I have to resist the urge to go and put these ledges everywhere in my house, I love them so much. Even the smallest things look like treasures displayed here.

It took me well over a month to find a chair on eBay. Buying a new one was not in the budget, but we ended up really lucky with a blue one for 35 EUR - yes, it has lots of scratches, but I am sure it'll get a few more soon.

We set the rooms up when the kids were away with their grandparents for a week (a week!!! Oh, bliss...). Big brother was so so so excited to come back to his new room. He's been sitting down at his new desk, practicing letters every day.

Since we were moving things around anyway, we also ended up getting a library for the brothers. I keep losing track of who has which book and where it belongs, so we took all the books out of their rooms, except for the stash they have next to their beds. All others go into the hall between their rooms.

I've actually stolen the idea from one of my favorite bloggers, go see her schoolroom here.

Holding all the books are two narrow Stuva frames that are hung directly on the wall (no legs required, which makes cleaning in the narrow hall much easier).

On the wall so far are Laura Knight's International Phonetic Alphabet and an old alphabet poster from my husband's elementary school that my mother in law had bought a while ago. There is still some space left in between and I can't wait to add some more prints.

Now I only need to get organized for the first day of school!

Any advice?



  1. I love that room! And I love the bookshelves-in-the-hall idea. I will have to file that one away.

  2. Der erste Schultag! Wow! Da ist dein Grosser bestimmt schon ganz aufgeregt, oder? Den Stuhl haben wir uebrigens auch, in weiss und lieben ihn. War seinen Preis bestimmt wert :)



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