What do you do when you want to homeschool and life hands you a dark basement? You make basement-ade! Create your own homeschool room with classroom ideas, clever storage hacks, and more!
So, a little backstory. Our kids decided to school at home this year. We have this dark basement apartment that really wasn't being used. With a little help from my friends, the space has been completely overhauled! Better yet? They did it in THREE days and on a super-tight budget!
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Now we have a space that not only fits our school-aged kids, there's amazing storage, space galore for studying, and even a reading room with some pretty exciting features!
You can watch the video online or click and watch below. I have ALL the details from the video (and many more!) beneath the video, so be sure to read on for full details! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for new videos every Thursday!
We were so surprised when we saw the huge change in that previously underused space. Better than that, we're so excited to be in those bright rooms that we're more enthusiastic than ever to start schooling this year!
Come and check out how we remade our basement and how you can deck out your own fun and clever homeschool space, regardless of your home (or room) size!
BUT FIRST, THE “BAT CAVE”
So, we have a downstairs apartment sitting pretty much vacant. We used to call this area of the house the “bat cave” because it's so dark down there! It's a great area to homeschool our kids this year, but it wasn't feeling like an inspiring place to learn at the time. I was super excited to have the talents of two AMAZING DIYers @Builds_by_Kristen and @TheFlipHubb to make my vision a reality!
Literally, if we can make a dark basement work, think of what you can do in your house, no matter how much (or little) room you have to work with!
Here are some things to keep in mind when you set up your space…
MAKE THE ROOM WORK FOR EVERYONE
There's nothing worse than outfitting your room with circus clowns and then seeing your older tweens (and teens) cringe in horror (cue the Hitchcock music). Choose furniture, storage, and decor that grow with your kids and won't need to be replaced in a single growth spurt.
Keep your eyes peeled (no pun intended) for gender- (and age-) neutral wallpapers (Use code jordanpage for 25% off), paint, furniture, and shelving that won't quickly become dated. Instead, incorporate inexpensive and fun pops of color (that are easier to replace) in the following ways:
Extra credit: Add your family's motto to your wall [pictured next to the hexagon shelf above], either with vinyl letters or with a reader board. The motto we have displayed is: Wake up and Do Something More from the incredibly talented @JWpaperCo.
MAKE THE SPACE FUNCTIONAL
Create plenty of room for all the things you'll need to start your kids off on the right foot! Consider the following ideas when you set up your homeschool room:
- Computer Station – Since so much of home learning requires a computer, create a dedicated space for electronics. We used a solid slab surface with holes designed to make hiding cords easy peasy.
- Art and Study Table – A large work surface for art, science, or for spreading out papers is crucial in your homeschool space. We handled this with a $30 table sourced from the Facebook marketplace. Depending on space, you can use your existing kitchen island (or counter), your dining room table, or even a folding card table.
- Art Display – It's so hard to show off art projects when you don't have a bunch of space. Luckily, all it takes is an open bit of wall, a length of cord, and some clothespins!
- Desk Chairs – Seating is no joke. Chairs should be easy enough for a kiddo to move and solid enough to withstand wiggly students. If you can find great chairs on IKEA, do it! Ours were made from wood and then painted to match the colors in the wallpaper.
- Whiteboard – This is the perfect space for everything from doodling to math, and its high-gloss finish really brightens up the space. We bought ours new, but you can often find used ones locally. If you don't have access to a whiteboard (or prefer a chalkboard), paint a section of your wall with chalkboard paint!
Extra Credit: Look for magnetic whiteboards, picture frames, and furnishings to double your storage space!
MAKE THE SPACE FUN
It's the big (and the little things) that make a learning space so inspiring and invigorating! Wherever you set up your homeschool classroom, make the space speak to your family's personality.
One of our homeschool room ideas was to use a feature wall covered with wallpaper that all the kids would like. So, in our main schoolroom, we used really fun geometric wallpaper (Use code jordanpage for 25% off) we had designed with all of the kids' favorite colors. Those colors are then carried throughout the room in the:
- Storage bins
- Chair and ottoman (from @utahfurnituredeals)
- Pompon curtain toppers (@noliaandjane made ours)
- Teaching tools (even our plastic spelling letters have glitter, which makes spelling and reading more fun, from @melcreativeco).
In our reading room [pictured above], we went with a gender neutral wallpaper that pops and feels playful!
Extra Credit: Look for machine washable rugs and stain-resistant decor. Once those markers and fingerpaints make their debut, there's no telling what'll happen to those pillows. (Can I hear an amen?)
Settling in for study time is so much more fun when you have a welcoming, cozy space for reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic! Here are just a few, simple things that take a room from glum to comfortably glam:
- Plush Rug – There's nothing quite like a fluffy rug on the floor to make a space kid-friendly. It doesn't even have to be expensive!
- Chair and Ottoman – Kick back with a kiddo and read in comfort. A chair and ottoman like ours is not only beautiful, it's sturdy enough to withstand years of use.
- Reading Nook – Whether it's a neglected coat closet or a space under the stairs (or even under the dining room table), there's something so comforting about a small, secure spot for kids to curl up with a book!
- Access to Age Appropriate Books – Keep books that are age-appropriate in places where those kids can reach them. Board books are perfect on lower shelves. Keep the chapter books up high.
- Hanging Chair/Hammock [pictured above] – I can attest first-hand that these are amazing! My kids love theirs, and I want one for myself! Oh, honeyyy!
Extra Credit: Let there be light! To set the mood, lighting can be as simple as a nearby window, a floor lamp, or a battery-powered LED light puck!
DON'T SKIMP ON STORAGE
Make sure there's a place for everything with these smart homeschool room storage ideas and needs:
- Drawer Units – Tuck simple nightstands or drawer units under a counter or table for simple storage.
- Wall Shelves and Bins – Hanging shelves are great because they don't take up important floor space. Store Crayons and other supplies in covered bins.
- Cube Shelving – Where you have the floor (and wall) space, these square-shaped openings fit so many things! Add fabric bins and wire hanging shelves to store supplies and extra papers.
- Hanging Paper Holders – These maximize the space on your wall and keep papers and folders tidy and organized.
- Fabric Baskets – Large fabric baskets with handles are perfect for storing everything from comfy blankets to extra books.
Extra Credit: Take an underused coat closet, add shelves, and transform it into a school supply closet. If you can't give up the entire closet, use a hanging closet organizer to store extra supplies. An over-the-door shoe rack is perfect for scissors, staplers, and art supplies, too!
MORE DIY HOMESCHOOL ROOM IDEAS
Save some money and have fun with your space! Follow these easy (and afforable) ideas to add character galore to your homeschool classroom:
- Paint It – It's absolutely incredible how paint transforms furniture and makes a space feel so fresh and inspiring. Metal table legs can be zhoozhed with a little gold spray paint — and it looks so good! Even our steel brackets were painted gold.
- Primp It – Add a little flair to your windows (or your wall) with an adorable pompom garland. They're so cute and really dress up space! You can even make your own with leftover yarn.
- Hang It – A Hobby Lobby map inspires a schoolroom vibe, but you can also look for retro school maps and globes online.
- Deck the Walls – Want your own geometric wallpaper look? You can go the route we did (by creating your own). Or, you can tape off the shapes you want, paint your shapes your favorite colors, and enjoy a cool, modern look!
Extra Credit: Create banners with each child's name to hang over their study space! Cut triangles out of colorful paper and add vinyl letters (or paint).
Want more awesome back to school hacks?
- Get your shop on — even on a tight budget– with my Back to School shopping post (with video)!
- Check out these morning survival hacks that'll help you jump start your day!
- These nighttime routine hacks will help you to conquer your day!
- These lunch and snack ideas for kids helps to fill those little bellies without emptying your wallet!
Now, go getcha school on!