I assume that we all have that one room that is either our junk room with loads of stuff we’re stowing away or it’s a very neglected room because we don’t need it at all.
Well I have that room and it’s actually called my loft. It’s an area that’s on the second floor of my home and since it’s a pretty open space, we never really paid it any mind. Everyone is either in their rooms or another part of the house so the loft goes unnoticed. It can be whatever you want it to be; an upstairs movie room with a flat screen on the wall and plush accommodations, or it can be a room made for the kids so they can comfortably do homework and afterschool activities. So I made it just that!
Since I terribly have neglected my loft I decided to make it a more functional space for my kids. A place where they can comfortably do homework, or practice their music and relax after school in a more organized environment. Up until now, they’ve always done their homework in the kitchen or in their room and it tends to be a little chaotic. I’m hoping this new set-up with bring some calm since there are four kids at one time doing homework on any given day. When I got this thought, the first thing I did was surf the web for some creative ideas to set up a space for homework or a home school environment (my kids aren’t homeschooled but I’ve thought about it.)
Then as my mind was itching to do some shopping at IKEA I decided to first go rummage around in my garage and see what I already had available since I’m a former teacher. And Voila. Every single thing I decorated with was already in my home. I re-purposed some things and spent zero dollars on setting up the loft. Here’s what I did.
This is the BEFORE picture of my loft. Pretty boring. We don’t use it. There’s a lonely treadmill that gets no love and an army green couch. Basically it could be a second living room but really, who needs a second living room when we hardly use the first one.
And here’s the AFTER picture of the loft! Now it’s a functional space that looks like it got some love from us finally. Let me walk you through it.
Boy was I itching to go shopping at IKEA to get some stuff to make this space functional. But then another side of me said to check out what I already have! And when I did I saw that I had more “stuff” that would fit perfectly into this space. For instance, over the years I have collected my kids artwork and stored them away. I decided to pull them out and plastered the wall with their own art instead of buying some. Also they have received tons of awards over the years like student of the week, math and science and reading achievements etc so I just took out a few and put them up on the wall too to add to the wall art. What’s great is that they see their work and accomplishments and they really were pretty happy to see their own “stuff” up on the wall into of tucked away in a drawer. I also used pushpins so I can easily swap out the art designs when they make NEW ones this year. This space should be pretty festive around holiday time.
Also, here’s a candle holder that I re-purposed and turned into a pen holder. I also used a candy jar to hold a bunch of pencils and another candle holder to hold colored pens. And do you see the box that it’s sitting in? That’s an old backgammon game box that I didn’t know what to do with since the kids lost all the pieces. It keeps the glass holders stable so the kids won’t break it.
Below I pulled out some baskets I already had from my days as a teacher. You can get plenty of baskets from the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. I plan to put papers or even more supplies in the baskets. I also added a picture of my girls and an electronic pencil sharpener. We’ve had the pencil sharpener for a while and if you don’t have one I strongly recommend buying one.
One thing I cannot stand is having a bunch of papers all over the place. So this crate set was in my daughter’s room and I took it out to place in the loft as a place where papers or important books can be held. I put a little artificial plant on top that I already in my office. In one of the baskets I have some extra things like highlighters and crayons, folders and in the bottom basket there’s lined paper and spiral notebooks.
I had an old strand of lights hanging around so I threw them up on the wall too to jazz it up a bit. And the table? That’s an old party table we usually break out when we’re having an event. My thoughts are to apply fancy contact paper to it, but I don’t want to compromise the surface since the kids will be writing on the surface. I’ll leave it be for now. By the way, the chair I got from IKEA years ago. It was in my kids room at their computer table. I plan to buy a few more chairs like this.
Here I have some old baskets and I just threw some books in there for a makeshift library. My kids have dozens of books but at least the books that are here can be swapped out for books that are relevant to what they are learning in school at the moment.
I put this chair in the space need the books so they can have a cozy reading corner. But I do plan on including a card table where they can play chess or board games and will get a few of those card folding chairs from Walmart.
This is my son taking a picture of me taking a picture of him!
While you may not have all of these things already in your home, Trust me when I tell you that you can totally rock out a room from the Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Walmart for $50 or less!
I’m so glad I decided to do this and I look forward to my kids working and doing their best in their new space.