Stacy Mbindyo, an interior designer with Terry Interiors, a firm based in Karen, Nairobi, shares tips that parents can use to redesign their children’s bedroom to create that much-needed study nook.
Declutter to create space
The first step would be to find out whether a table and a chair can fit in their bedroom. Should the space be too cramped, you could consider decluttering and carting some items away to create reading space.
Make the room as light as possible by decluttering any boxes and other unused items. Also, the table should be spacious enough to accommodate the books being read or written on, and a laptop or other gadget.
A side shelf can be put up on a wall to hold extra books to declutter the table, as clutter can distract. In case you have no space for a side shelf, create storage space by placing a carton under the table.
Find a suitable corner
After decluttering, the next step is to look for a suitable corner. A corner works well as it can easily accommodate a table, a chair and, if the space is big enough, a shelf too. The chair should be very comfortable because your child will sit on it for a number of hours daily, while the table should be of good height to prevent hurting their back.
Also, a suitable corner is one that is next to a power access point, such as a socket, this will ensure that the child does not waste time moving around, looking for a socket to power their laptop or phone. While at it, it is also important to ensure that the room is well lit and that there is adequate air circulation.
Work with neutral colours
Colours have a way of invoking the mind to various reactions. For instance, neutral colours are conducive for studying because they enhance mental clarity. Go for soft whites and soft greys. The idea is to avoid very bright colours such as reds and yellows - try to make the room as peaceful as possible, she explains.
Create a wall frame
A wall frame where they can stick their timetable next to their study desk is important as it creates a classroom feel. It also helps them to stay on track with what they are supposed to achieve within a given time frame. It is also important because you can easily keep track of what they are learning and if the timetable is being adhered to.
Beware of possible destructions
Even as you endeavour to create a conducive learning environment for your children at home, it is important to be aware of the possible distractions in a home environment.
Noise is a major concern, especially if you have younger children. It is therefore important to ensure that the bedroom door is closed to minimise distraction and look for ways to keep the younger children occupied, away from the bedroom. Also keep the volume of the television or radio low.
Ms Mbindyo, an interior designer with over 20 years’ experience, advises seeking expert help while planning your space.
“Space is expensive, and when properly designed, it is functional user-friendly, and creates the desired environment,” she says.