Ah, 2020. The year of flipping everything on its head. Of all the various struggles and family decisions, schooling became one of the biggest question marks we faced. At one point we had decided to send the kids to school as "usual" and I slept terribly all week, worried about all the "what ifs" that came along with it. Then I flirted with the idea of homeschooling but was overwhelmed with all of the options and potential associated costs (as well as my fear of failing the kids as their makeshift teacher). Ultimately, we decided to opt into remote learning with the kids' school. The benefits being that they get to stay with their class when they re-join (they are in the Montessori program which means they have the same classroom for 3 consecutive years), and get to maintain a relationship with their teacher.
...Also I don't have to come up with (most of) the curriculum.
I knew that the setup we worked with during quarantine in the Spring just wasn't going to cut it. The kids were both working off of a tiny vanity in a guestroom full of junk and materials were all over the house. We needed one clean and bright spot so they could easily work and have everything within their reach. So it was time to wave a temporary goodbye to our upstairs guestroom.
Knowing this was intended to be a temporary solution, I wanted to keep the changes primarily cosmetic and functional. Also, grandparents would be quite upset with us if we totally took away a place for them to stay when we're once again able to host houseguests.
After painting the whole room my favorite white (Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore), I pulled the piano up from the basement, and a duplicate of my favorite outdoor rug out of storage. I had the extra for when my current one gets too worn to save with my pressure washer because I just love it so dang much. The floor pillows came up from the living room. That map is actually a shower curtain I ordered from Amazon. It's one of the few new purchases for the room but the print was too perfect to resist.
I whipped up the "work hard/be kind" posters on Canva and had them printed at my local Walgreen's. They always have a discount code so never pay full price for prints! Inexpensive poster frames and the daybed completed the wall. The "&" had been in the kids' room. I painted it from red to black and slapped it between the posters for a graphic pop. I often sit here with my laptop (along with Kiki) while the kids work. I highly recommend something similar to the shallow stacked drawers for keeping supplies organized. When the kids need markers they just pull out the whole drawer and bring it to the floor or down to the kitchen table with them.
Holly is still working on her time-telling skills so a clock was a necessary purchase as well as a large dry-erase wall calendar to keep track of our days. The chalkboard is originally a hideous thrifted painting which I eagerly painted over with chalk paint and the frame in aqua blue with some gold sparkle for flair. I pulled an unused over-the-door shoe hanger from the storage room to keep more supplies at hand.
The long, skinny desk is just two pieces of inexpensive melamine meant for closet shelving. I had the second piece cut in half at my local Lowe's and then just used those for the legs with a bracket in the center of the desk for extra support. The decision to paint the diagonal black triangle was a last-minute stroke of inspiration when I was feeling like the wall just needed a touch more "oomph".
The wall prints are my favorite part. I ordered four that had an educational theme without frames and then cut a couple of pieces of half-round trim down to size and added the twine to create a scroll effect.
Here's a video (my first clunky try at TikTok) of the transformation:
What solutions have you come up with to work from home?