As the world’s children head back to school this week, we’ll reflect on the extraordinary year when parents became teachers overnight, and households were forced to convert kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms into creative classrooms and inspiring study areas.

Whether you’re desperate to reclaim the space, along with your sanity, or ready to embrace and hold onto these newfound nurturing places of productivity, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favourite home-school spots.

These ingenious projects offer inspiration for transforming otherwise uninspiring spaces into blissful backdrops for your little brainboxes.

Natural Chic

study area teenage room


Free from distraction, this tranquil room offers a light and bright study space for maximum focus. The muted earthy tones and precision storage lends a balanced quality to the room. Please do not attempt to take that oversized apple in for the teacher though! It’s solely intended for admiration and storage, courtesy of the good folk at Ferm Living.

Compact Creativity

original kids desk wood

The biggest challenge in creating a home study area can be a lack of square footage, and this beautiful bureau is a welcome and aesthetically pleasing answer. The outstanding product design allows the bench to slide completely inside the desk unit for a slimline solution that sits neatly tucked away against a wall. And what a wall it is too – nurturing, wild roots symbolising growth and evolution.

360° Learning

smart kids study area ideas


One Piece Wonder

wooden kids desk and chair all-in-one


For a touch of integrated learning, we’re loving this Frida desk with its continuous curves and crafted from European birch and pinewood. The option of colours on the rods, footplate and back slats gives way to a colourful splash of inspiration in a choice of earth or rainbow palettes. The natural beauty of this workstation is amplified against the joyful stripey rug and the colourful pom pom plant basket.

Desks à Deux

desks for shared kids' room


Synchronised learning for siblings with this almost mirror-image set-up is the masterplan of Mama Shahla. Remote learning is set to continue for the start of the school year in California, so when Shahla came up against a desk shortage, she had to get creative. Her husband made the trestle-style square legs and a touch of IKEA trickery later, the LINNMON tabletops and MICKE drawer units spawned a pairing of perfect school desks. There are some lovely finishing touches like the homemade flags denoting school year and those engineered prints to signpost each child’s unique workspace.

The Pod Office – Nidi Design

built-in-fitments with desk for kids


Celeste’s stylised set-up reminds us of those ultra-cool capsule hotels that popped up in Osaka in the late seventies. There’s a retro feel about the rusty sunrise paintwork teamed with the creamy off-white Formica-esque desktop and overhead units. The contrast blast of cherry from the pod chair completes the funky approach to home study.

Primary Colours

Block wall colour and a splash of sunshine yellow inspire this cosy corner of creative learning. The PE bag hanging from the pegs, pot of pens and pencils and the rainbow abacus   provide subtle school-like cues, welcoming the classroom into the home.

yellow kids desk


Spread Your Wings

chair with angel wings


That’s the subliminal message in this delightful girlie haven for learning. Take flight beautiful butterfly. Spread your wings and learn to fly. Soar high and soak up all that life has to teach you. We love the innocence of this room and how those gorgeous wings suggest the impermanence of childhood.

Boy’s Business

boy's kids desk


In stark contrast, this big and bold boy’s room means business. A strong two-tone colour block sets the scene for serious aspirations, confirmed further by the positive print willing Vinny to reach for the stars – maybe even the moon if those mono astronauts are anything to go by.

The School House

kid's desk in shape of house


When it comes to creative spaces for learning, this has to be top of the tree. The lofty creation is the brainchild of Tanja van Hoogdalem and is a bespoke piece made for a competition winner who wanted a desk for her daughter with a jungle theme. The result is oh so much more than a mere desk. It’s part treehouse, part safari and a whole lot of fun.

Peachy Perfect

back to school 2020 - kids desks


A vision of serenity is what we discover in this pastel peachy colour-blocked room. An abundance of wood keeps things grounded and satisfies Mama Catja’s penchant for natural décor, including the cutest mousy chairs from My Little Giggles.

Symbol of Hope

colourful kids study area


This home-school space boasts one of the most significant symbols of the COVID classroom of 2020 – the rainbow. Emblematic of hope and new beginnings, the rainbow cushion sits proudly at the centre of this room, emanating colour and positivity. The colourful polka dots punctuate the expanse of white walls coordinating with multicoloured stationery, posters and letters. It’s a room of contradictions. Calm and neutral and then all at once bright and optimistic. Somehow the opposites work in unison to create the perfect environment to learn.

Mess Not Maths

oeuf brooklyn desk


Unspoken anarchy in this room commands the inhabitant to be non-conformist, learning through play and experience, not just educational tomes and encyclopaedias. The poster print cements this further with its colourful capitalised quote encouraging exploration, experimentation and a whole lotta mess! And there’s a treasure trove of soft friends only too happy to be part of the process.

Pegged for Succes

minimal kids study areas


A workstation of streamlined wonder is what Shira of Shira Bess Interiors created when she hacked a couple of LINNMON tabletops, the same number of FINNVARD trestle legs and a set of ALEX drawers (all from IKEA). Little did she know when she created this office space at the end of the last school year that her two children would be resuming their studies here for the new school year.

The trio of pegboards offers functionality while framing the space perfectly, and there’s so much detail sitting on that floating ledge. Zoom in to see, but we adore the cork globe complete with pins to record past and future expeditions.

Made For Magic

study area for girl teenager


This desk space holds so much promise, and we suspect it could be destined for aesthetic as well as educational transformations, doubling up as a beauty desk, a journal-writing station or an inspiring spot for a bout of online shopping perhaps? It’s fun, it’s boudoir chic, it’s glamorous, and it’s inviting us in to play.

The Writing Is On the Wall

back to school - kids study areas


Oh, yes, it is! It may not be instantly apparent, but this masterpiece really has some hidden depths. They say knowledge is power and to read the blog behind this study space is to discover a bank of inspo that would surprise and delight. Take, for example, the chalkboard wall in Rustoleum green. It allows Emma, aged 7, complete freedom to sketch all over the wall without retribution and it’s the vehicle for that rather dreamy but transient plant trailing from the shelf and the imaginary frame encasing the headphones. The scalloped border effect was achieved, creating a template using a saucepan and the table that resembles a bespoke piece is a skilfully upcycled IKEA desk with a lick of Sherwin Williams’ Cosmetic Peach paint.

First-class honours awarded to its maker, Brittany. Top of the class indeed.

For more kids’ desks ideas, check out our shopping selection here