We all have a need for our own space. Whether it be peace of mind or simple necessity for work designation, having the right space can have a great impact on productivity. Kids are no exception, especially when it comes to homework. When families design a custom home with children in mind, often times “study areas” are overlooked in favor of playrooms, rec rooms and family rooms. While the public areas shared with children are integral to the architecture of the desired family lifestyle, creating the right environment to encourage healthy study habits may be the best gift you give your children.
When designing your luxury home, consider having a room that can specifically be designated to serve as just the study area. Functionality of shared spaces becomes incredibly valuable, and giving proper advanced thought to the function of each room is critical when renovating or building. Thus, if playrooms or bedrooms are to be the designated study spaces for your children, consider their changes in needs throughout their schooling.
The “perfect” study environment may be a tricky thing to nail down, as what makes for a perfect environment changes with age. Therefore, flexibility in accommodating children of various ages and when they age is a key consideration, particularly if designing a designated space for years to come. What doesn’t change is the need for minimal distractions from the work at hand. And most important is to provide an environment where the child (or teenager) is safe, easily monitored and feels comfortable (but not so comfortable that lying down and resting is an option). When designing the proper study area for children, the following factors should be taken into account: location, ambiance, furnishings and resources.
A Space of Their Own in a Custom Home
The location of the study area is ideally devoid of household distractions, ideally a defined area within the child’s bedroom. Younger children often require or desire regular monitoring or parental support; therefore, having a space adjacent to the kitchen that is appropriately appointed provides the solution. Eliminating distractions is the key to choosing the proper location, and more important than household distractions is electronic ones.
The ambiance of the study space sets the tone, from lighting to temperature, and everything sends a message regarding enhancing or detracting from learning. Think cooler temperatures versus warm, clean and uncluttered space versus messy, and bright and airy versus dim and dark. The right ambiance, with a welcoming environment, provides a positive association with the study habits being enforced. Additionally, soft music can enhance the study environment, particularly classical music, while dampening any household noises.
Furnishings and Resources
In terms of furnishings and resources, the ideal is for children to have a comfortable chair in an upright position with an uncluttered desk or table. Proper furniture encourages the correct studying “posture”, as it is hard to maintain the same level of concentration when lying down in a relaxed posture versus sitting upright at a desk or table. The designated space for study should be consistent, with all the necessary resources.
When creating this space consider your children, what interests and inspires them, when choosing a decorating theme. Practically speaking, bookcases filled with handy stay organized tools such as calendars of school events, an “in box” for unfinished assignments and an “outbox” for homework to be checked by mom and dad lend a professional touch. A spacious flat surface (desk or table) free of clutter, and comfortable chair at the appropriate height will encourage neat handwriting. For wall space, consider bulletin boards or magnetic strips to hang immediate homework, impressive grades, school events and proud artwork.
Appropriate window treatments are important to customize the flow of natural light into the room, especially if light is interfering with computer monitors. If computers are a part of the necessary educational resource as mandated by school, ensure the monitor is level with the child’s head and positioned at the appropriate distance to minimize eye strain. An additional tip is to stock up on supplies that may be unexpected for upcoming projects, such as extra poster board, construction paper and shoeboxes for dioramas. Have these conveniently and neatly stored away as to not distract from the clean design of the workspace.
Lastly, consider color. Of all color choices, green promotes feelings of well-being and harmony, nature stability and security. Learn more about colors in your Colby Construction custom home here.