DIY & more, homeschool

Open Floorplan Homeschool Room: Improved Again!

2013 SchoolRoom

Every year I change our school room.

Partly this is because I may have a not-so-teensy compulsion to rearrange and reorganize. But it’s also because our family’s needs change from one year to the next. Last year, for instance, we had no little people. (You can see last year’s homeschool room here.) This year, in addition to having a middle-schooler, we’ve added a first grader and a preschooler to our family, so we needed an updated schoolroom.

Open Floorplan Homeschool room

We have an open floor plan so using our dining area as the schoolroom is convenient to everything, including the kitchen, the living room, and my office area.

It’s okay with me that you see the school room as soon as you walk in the front door. After all, homeschooling is our lifestyle, not merely an activity we do a few hours a day — so it makes sense to have our school room in the center of our home.

{NOTE: this post contains affiliate links; they don’t change what you pay, but I might make a few cents if you purchase via those links.}

The school table

I have a book addiction. And a notebook and pen addiction. Now I’m thinking I have a table addiction, too! To keep this addiction [somewhat] reasonable, I find lonely old tables and refinish them. In this case, it was a dark, varnished (and ugly) table on craigslist. But it was what I was looking for: cheap and sturdy and the right size. For $99, the table brought along it’s four little chair friends.

It came to us like this… (I’ll share a DIY post about it some other time)


I painted each of the four chairs a different color, then antiqued them. I was going for “charming” and fun. At first, I thought it came out too “crayola” but it’s growing on me. I may repaint at least one of those chairs. Either way, I’ll soon make chair cushions in a vintage-looking fabric to help tie the colors together.


I positioned the table perpendicular to how it was last year, which allows the ceiling light fixture to shine on the table better, and by clearing out that back wall, I feel like we have more room to walk around the table.

Craft supplies

Homeschool Room Craft Cabinet

Last year, I bought this cheapo chest of drawers and made it into a craft supply cabinet. This year I moved it to the other side of the room, and reorganized everything in it. Once I did this, I had oodles of empty space on my homeschool room bookshelves! I made a little reference list for the drawers so I can remember what’s in each one — because I don’t need anything unnecessary taking up valuable space in my brain. 😉

Right now the space above the cabinet is a little empty but we’ll add art to that space throughout the year.

The bookshelves

IKEA makes it possible to house my book collection. Therefore, I {big puffy heart} love IKEA. I bought these Billy bookcases a few years ago, and got several of them ridiculously cheap because the boxes were damaged. I have more Billy bookcases flanking the living room window.

IKEA Schoolroom Bookshelves

Every year I clear out books and curricula from the previous year and move them to a less “prime” location on my shelves. The new year’s books and anything I plan to use frequently go on the best/most convenient shelves.

{Oh, if only I had a labeler; I’d be dangerous!}

The littles each have a white basket with coloring books and crayons so they can color whenever the urge strikes. In the living room, they have a sling bookshelf; I change out the selection here occasionally to keep things interesting.

The smaller bookcase (with a lamp on top) is for things that are specifically Kathryn’s: her Hebrew books, watercolor pencils, her flute, her box of pencils and pens, and a big ol’ basket of yarn for knitting projects.

The computer(s)

Schoolroom Computer Desk

We believe in keeping computers out in the open for accountability purposes, so the computer desk sits in a corner of the living room, just behind the sofa; it’s far enough from the school table to not be a big distraction if I’m working with another child in the schoolroom, but close enough to talk to me. Kathryn uses it for email, daily brain food, and research — but she prefers to do Teaching Textbooks on a laptop (which sits charging on the bottom shelf of the homeschool room) so she can take the laptop to the sofa if she is so inclined.

Homeschool mom’s office space

Homeschool Moms Office

I’ve had my desk in the living room. I’ve had it in the sunroom. I’ve had it upstairs. This summer I moved it back downstairs to what we’ve always called the sunroom. Now I call it my “office room.” I’m in a bit of a nook, so it feels secluded from household chaos, even though there is no interior door on this room and the kids often come in and out.

Nearly everything in here is timeworn and meaningful, which is what I like. My desk is an antique my mom found somewhere years ago. (We swap tables and other furniture all the time, but that’s easy since we live 1/2 mile apart!) I recently repainted the walls a cream color so I could add colorful accents; this is still a work in progress.

The black china hutch holds most of my office supplies. The bins below the hutch hold files I don’t often need to access, plus extra school supplies. I have plans to make these a little prettier with some fabric, but that hasn’t happened yet!

Schoolroom Printer Shelf

Next to the piano is a small bookcase where the printer lives. I keep a file box here of supplies for lapbooks, extra notebook paper, colored paper, the kids’ paintings, all sorts of notebooking pages, and other things along those lines. My camera bag resides here, too, as does extra printer paper, and Kathryn’s basket of astronomy gadgets for spur-of-the-moment stargazing. That sign is an old kitchen cabinet door I painted a few years ago.

Psst! Notebooking Pages is having a big Back2School sale right now; a great deal, if you’re interested!

Tour more homeschool rooms!

Did that whet your appetite for MORE homeschool room delightfulness? See all shapes, sizes, and styles of homeschool spaces at iHomeschool Network’s schoolroom blog hop, beginning Monday!

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Zephyr Hill

This is so cool! I love reorganizing, too, and when your needs change annually you have the perfect excuse. By the way, labelers are not expensive, and they have tapes that come in almost a rainbow of colors. Tell your husband one of your readers said you deserve a labeler as a reward for all that reorganizing!


What a great space! I like the placement of your computers. We were thinking about getting a desktop computer for the kids to use, but I don’t have a “public” space for it. So the laptop on the dinner table it is!


Thanks for a great post!


Love your new and improved room! The table is beautiful! Also love those bookshelves! 🙂


Love this! I want to come to school at your house. I love your chairs of different colors at your table the most 🙂


Love it!

Lora @ my blessed life

Your home is so pretty! The colors are lovely and peaceful.


Love your home!! Its so pretty, the colors are wonderful!! I love all of your organization!


I LOVE the table and chairs! Adorable!

Chandra Regan

I love your refurbished furniture! I love finding cheap furniture and fixing it up! We got Penny a desk at Goodwill for only $15! A little paint and spray paint to the knobs and it looks like new. Happy Homeschooling!


I love all the colors! We have old furniture that needs to be refinished, I just don’t have the will to do it. You do a great job on all the organizing, and painting projects.

Rachel @ day2day joys

Beautiful room, I love the pastel table & chairs! I’ll be posting our room tmrw!

Michelle C.

Can I say I’m kind of jealous? It looks great!!


lovely space! wish we had that much room! is that small white picture above your desk in your mom’s space a bluebird/nest ? If so, I have the same one, actually two different ones that ‘match’. 🙂


The table and chairs turned out beautifully! A whole new look!


hi there, I just have to say, “so fun!” and I just dropped by looking for a review of teaching textbooks, which I don’t even know if you have, but I got sidetracked by your super fun organization 🙂 I love books and curriculum too, love it 🙂


Wow you are so committed and your classroom looks beautiful. Children notice things like that. I teach at a Christian school and it is such a privilege to be able to share my faith in God with my little preps. I agree with all that you have said and want to encourage you to keep teaching how you are. God bless ????