Dear Style Studio,
I’m a homeschooling mom with two kids and we have a great designated space for our “school room.”
However, the room needs to serve several different functions. It is our schoolroom, home office, piano keyboard practice, laundry, ironing, sewing room, craft room, and (when time allows) my mom retreat!
The room is approximately 11-by-11 feet with a door and window to the side yard as well as a door opposite to the hallway.
I have played around with different placements for the homeschool/home-office desks and the sewing desk but it’s so difficult to fit everything in that we need. Plus, we have an extra large whiteboard for school that needs to stay.
The laundry and the sewing desk are opposite the homeschool/office on the long walls (no doors) with floor space in between.
The problem is that we have no space to work together on projects and crafts. If I add a table in the middle, we can’t really negotiate around it and the room feels cramped.
Obviously I can’t move the laundry and sink, but everything else can be (and has been) moved multiple times.
I’d love to decorate with some maps and an ocean vibe. The problem is finding a way to fit everything in so that the room can serve all of its functions and not be totally cramped.
This is the hardest working room in the house so you need a hard working office layout to match.
We suggest our Original Home Office collection as a great option for your space. It has many different layout options so that you can design your own office.
Below we have created a plan for your room. We recommend starting with a Desk Return Group in the middle of the large wall and then add storage pieces parallel to the wall.
Next bring in the Corner Desk Addition to provide an additional work surface near the window. You can customize your base storage according to your individual needs.
Because of the size of the room, it’s a challenge to fit all your activities in there but with the Original Home pieces the results will be the most efficient and flexible for your dilemma.
The Style Studio Team
Dear Style Studio Team,
I am restricted to having my office space in my bedroom.
I am interested in a desk with at least one file drawer and adjoining table space to hold my printer and shredder, although these items could be incorporated into the desk, above or below.
I will also be eventually getting a new bed with headboard and two nightstands with lamps.
Below are two pictures: one from the doorway entrance and one taken with the windows in the back of me.
Having a working office in a bedroom is very doable when you combine the right pieces with efficient surroundings.
We think the right piece for your space is our San Marino Desk in a Distressed Ochre Yellow. The construction features of this piece will help accommodate your office equipment and all desk essentials can be neatly concealed behind the drop down front!
For your filing we recommend adding a File Storage Ottoman in Zebra Natural Woven. This flexible piece can store files and provide your office seating! It can then tuck neatly beside the desk when not in use! Consider adding one of our Message Boards or a Woven Office Wall Pocket for quickly organizing papers and receipts … organizing tools are always important in home office!
We recommend keeping a simple approach when selecting your headboard. We suggest the Camden Headboard in Danish Oatmeal.
Add our Louis XVI Side Tables on each side of your bed. Because space is a bit tight in your room, these efficient little pieces will provide the perfect fit.
The Distressed Gray over White finish on the side tables is a flawless choice to pair with the fabric headboard.
A couple of lamps, like our Ellis Glass Lamps in blue, along with a bit of editing to your current accessories and you will have a beautiful retreat in which to rest!
We always love to see “before and after” pictures … we can’t wait to see yours!
The Style Studio Team
Dear Style Studio Team,
I have a home office disaster and a husband that procrastinates working in the office because it is not comfortable.
We gutted the room and now have an empty shell with no furniture and no wall color. The room has always been a disaster with extra tables and paperwork for the farm stacked on tables, on a desk and even on the floor.
I would like to make this room comfortable so he will stop acting like one of the kids and bringing his “work” to other areas of the house where he feels comfortable.
Help! I am begging you to assist me in figuring out how to keep him on task in his own room!
The picture above displays the measurement of the room but that layout will not work because he needs a lot of work space.
We know how difficult it can be to get organized but our Original Home Office is the perfect solution for your space.
To maximize the work surface in your home office, we have created a plan with multiple surfaces and lots of storage.
Our plan for your space is anchored with two of our Corner Desk additions.
The length between the two corner desks is our 5 Cabinet Credenza with the Large Hutch sitting on top.
To the left, we recommend adding the 3 Cabinet Credenza and to the right … our 2 Cabinet Credenza.
One of the great advantages to this group is that you can choose the storage solution that best fits your needs.
Add into the mix a comfortable office chair along with a side chair for the occasional visitor.
Now you’re ready to start filing … Good luck!
–The Style Studio Team
We teamed up with the simply stylish minds of Real Simple to bring you three rooms that can do it all – an elegant, but easy-to-clean living room, a convertible office/guest room, and a beautiful bedroom with a super-storage setup. With all of their tips & tricks, from how to mix patterns to seating that can stand up to spills, you’ll be able to create a space that’s fashionable AND family-friendly. Be sure to check out the tabs above for exclusive videos and articles on the three rooms styled by Real Simple.
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How to Create a Family-Friendly Living Room
The living room is where the family gathers to relax, spend time together and entertain guests. So how do you make such a busy room sophisticated and kid-friendly? We asked the editors at Real Simple magazine to tackle this common decorating dilemma and create a living room the whole family will love.
Consider Durability and Washability
Practicality and style are no longer mutually exclusive when it comes to fabric choices. Today, there are a wide range of family-friendly options available. For the sofa, the Real Simple team went all in with our luxurious Queens Velvet fabric in a fun and poppy yellow—proof you don’t have to sacrifice personality. Our kid-strong velvet has been tested to withstand up to 100,000 rubs! The matching chaise and wingback chair are upholstered in rugged indoor/outdoor Sunbrella® fabric—a truly stress-free choice. Likewise, the zippy Chevron Rug is actually an indoor/outdoor design that stands up incredibly well to foot traffic and even spills.
Take the Edges Off
If you’ve got little ones, it’s best to avoid sharp furniture edges altogether. Instead, look for pieces with rounded edges or soft surfaces. The experts at Real Simple chose seating with padded, upholstered arms and placed round accent tables throughout the room. An added bonus: the pair of side tables bunched together in front of the sofa provides yet another seating source for your guests.
Go Light and Bright
Bright color and chic patterns not only up the level of sophistication, but they also go a long way in creating a happy vibe in the family room. The Real Simple editors had fun playing with pattern, but they balanced the look with bright white accessories. They also relied on the decorating rule of three for full-proof pattern mixing: stick to the same three colors in all of your patterns. In our family room, they went with a no-fail gray, black and white palette. Art is another way to add instant drama. An easy way of working in art is to select one large piece that you love and make it your centerpiece.
Make Way for Space
Create a seating arrangement that’s anchored by main pieces but still has plenty of open spaces for young ones to get down on the floor. You can always toss large throw pillows on the floor for extra seating—and a comfy spot for your kids to rest. The Real Simple team added to that sense of space by choosing pieces with exposed furniture legs. Bulky, heavy furniture sitting directly on the floor adds a lot of visual weight, something we certainly don’t miss in this amazing living room.
With a few easy decorating tricks from the editors of Real Simple magazine, you can create a comfortable, family-friendly living room without sacrificing your personal style. What do you like most about this living room? And what are your favorite kid-friendly decorating tips? Tell us in the comments below.
How to Create an Office in Your Guest Room
Many of us lack the space to dedicate an entire room to a home office, so we usually make-do with the next best thing: carving out workspace in the guest bedroom. But it shouldn’t feel like you’re sacrificing one for the other. We asked the editors at Real Simple magazine to show us how to blend style and function to create a space you’ll love to work in that also caters to overnight guests.
Avoid the Corporate Look
The most important thing to remember is that you’re creating an office in your home, most likely where your overnight guests stay, so avoid furniture and accessories that scream office cubicle. Choose pieces with soft lines and organic shapes. The Real Simple team went for a French-inspired desk with feminine cabriole legs and traded in the standard office chair for an Upholstered Cube. The round mirrored accent table adds instant glam—a decidedly un-office-y look, don’t you think?
Keep It Tidy
To make the space feel more welcoming to visitors, keep clutter to a minimum. Keep your desk against a wall to make it easier to conceal computer cords. Tuck away bills and files, and shelve the typical office organizers for pretty trays, bowls and baskets to house your office essentials. The experts at Real Simple hung an inspiration board above the desk to keep track of tears, recipes and invitations in an attractive way.
Think Boutique Hotel
Infuse lots of personality into the room and make it feel more like a retreat for your overnight guests. The Real Simple editors went all out with a chic global-inspired décor. The large-scale patterns in the room work so well together, because the gray pattern reads as a neutral. The artwork adds loads of natural texture and a welcoming pop of bright blue.
Choose Double-Duty Pieces
To keep the room from feeling crowded, choose dual-purpose furniture that serves both needs of the room. The Real Simple team fell for a pair of Upholstered Twin Sleepers that offers plenty of comfortable seating without taking up too much space. They easily fold out into twin-sized beds for guests. The ottoman offers the perfect solution for file storage, and when closed it serves as extra seating. Perhaps our favorite trick, though, is using the luggage rack for guests’ bags as a side table when it’s not in use. Simply place a tray on top for instant storage. Why didn’t we think of that?
Have the editors at Real Simple magazine inspired you to make an office in your guest bedroom work for you? Share your favorite tips and own ideas in the comments below.
How to Create More Storage in Your Bedroom
The bedroom is often the last place we focus on when it comes to decorating and organizing, simply because it’s the most private room in the home. But we actually spend a lot of time in the bedroom, and it should be a restful sanctuary. We asked the editors at Real Simple magazine for ideas on how to make the best use of space in the bedroom, so we can quell the chaos and have sweet dreams.
Think Beyond the Dresser
Rather than going the traditional route of a dresser, the Real Simple designers turned to our Abbeville customizable modular system to create a wall of storage and display. The team loved the flexibility of mixing and matching pieces to suit a variety of storage needs using baskets, bins and drawers. The end result is a super smart, totally chic storage solution. In fact, we don’t even miss the dresser.
Create a Dressing Room
If there’s one thing many of us have in common, it’s our love for shoes, jewelry and other go-to fashion accessories. The Real Simple team fell head over heels in love with our Sarah Storage for stowing shoes, boots, bags and jewelry. The team used different components to create a “U” with a mirror in the middle that provides the perfect spot for checking makeup and trying on accessories. Regardless of the space you have, you can play with the different components to create your own little dressing room—one of life’s little luxuries.
Make Room for Seating
The editors at Real Simple agree: every bedroom needs a seating area. In our bedroom, the team used slipper chairs—the perfect scale for a bedroom and a great alternative to a bench at the foot of the bed. Seating gives you a place to put on shoes, watch TV or even stack laundry while you’re putting it away. And you can use an accent table to keep your magazines, books and remote control. Short on space? Try a pair of upholstered cubes or a small-scale bench instead.
The Real Simple team provided inspiring ideas to maximize storage for a clutter-free and oh-so-dreamy bedroom. Now it’s up to you to tailor them to your lifestyle and needs. What do you think? Do you love this bedroom as much as we do? Share your feedback in the comments below.