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Help with teenage study area?
sheralynfranks
January 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
This is the study area of a 16 yr old girl. Do you have any ideas on how to make it look nicer and more pleasant/inviting?
It also tends to get quite messy so tips on organisation etc would also be appreciated!
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onthefence
Is there an area in the room that might allow for more storage of books?

Maybe add some floating shelves over the desk for the display type items on the bookcase? They'd be more visible and it would allow for a few more books in the bookcase.
January 6, 2013 at 11:18PM     
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Jane Thompson
Instead of a messy wooden bookshelf, attach white shelves to the study table wall. White because, it gives the room a clean finish and also allows the books to be the prime focus, almost like a feature wall.
January 6, 2013 at 11:33PM     
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jagood
Just a thought - can the furniture be repositioned? It is much more comfortable emotionally to have a desk positioned so that the person using it faces the door to the room, or other activity going on in the room. Facing a wall while studying is very depressing. If you have an overhead light in the room, by turning the desk you will also allow more of that light to fall on the desktop. You can place either end of the desk against a wall, just make sure the user of the desk is not facing the wall.

As for better organization, I think it would be better to have two 40 inch high shelf units that meet in the corner. Your daughter could swivel in her chair to utilize the shelf storage. Maybe your daughter can start paying attention to what is causing her desk to get messy so she has some idea of what she needs to keep it neat. Sometimes if organizational systems are provided by other people they don't work out well, because the person who is creating the mess is the one who has the real control over preventing it. There are some very attractive organizational items available, and if you had two shelf units that meet in the corner your daughter would have some space on top of them to do some organization, with plenty of space left over for books and other items. Her bulletin board could be displayed on the wall over one of the shelves, leaving the other wall free for a poster or nicely framed piece of art that she likes.

If there is anything in her shelf that she's not using it could be boxed up and put in the closet or under her bed so she has more space to stay organized. The other thing I've noticed about desk use is that the drawers are often under-utilized. I think it's "out of sight, out of mind" and stuff gets stuck in the drawers never to see the light of day again! If that is happening, try putting stuff in the drawers that she is forced to access - such as paper and ink for the printer, or use them for long term storage of valuable things like photos that don't need to see the light of day on a regular basis.
January 7, 2013 at 12:12AM   
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Nathalie
Regarding where the light is coming from on the pictures, i would say first, put the desk on the wall where we see the bookshelf, and the bookshelf where the desk is.
One should never work with daylight coming from behind, and maybe there will be still some place left for a new small bookshelf, who knows...

If you're used to DIY, you can sand the desk and the bookshelves and then white washed or paint them in a color your daughter likes. Simpler and as efficient, you can put a nice wallpaper on the wall in front of her desk (after moving it ...), and place a giant board on it for useful notes and nice pics.

I hope you could find a way.
January 7, 2013 at 1:03AM   
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apennameandthata
It would be nice to get rid of the book case, as it is encroaches on the desk's area. Others have mentioned putting shelves above the desk. That is an excellent idea. It will help add height to the scheme as they can go all the way to the ceiling. You fix some task lighting below the shelves. Bedrooms can be about 50 lux and people need 350 to read consistently. That will get rid of the need for the desk lamp which is probs too small to be much help. The botton shelf should probably be a tiny bit above head height when sitting. Having the desk face into a little nook will decrease distraction but I would certainly experiment with various placements of the desk. You should post a pic of the floor plan.

As for the colours, it would help to know what the floor was and what shade the walls are. Yellow wood is tough to match.
January 7, 2013 at 1:24AM   
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apennameandthata
The person who said about the light is right: it is best if it comes in from the side. Being a youth, she might do her study at night, but.
January 7, 2013 at 1:24AM   
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Marlene Pratt
Organizing the room of a sixteen year old is not easy, but there is hope. You showed the desk location, but where is the rest of the room, showing all four sides of the space helps even further.

I like to tell my clients that the most expensive real state portion of a child’s room is three feet above floor level. The space above her desk is a dead zone considers either shelving or enclosed cabinets. The shelving or wall cabinets should be at least 12’ deep,and it should be installed at least 18’ above the desk. Try to use all the space between the desk and ceiling.

The Ikea Store has a lot of options and their prices are exceptional. The new cabinets do not have to be matchy, matchy, but they should complement the existing pieces.

Think about adding doors to the bottom portion of the existing shelving unit, we don’t always need to see what’s on the shelf of a sixteen year old. If the unit is short consider adding another cabinet to the bottom of the book case, not only will the cabinet give the book case height, but it will also give you extra storage without taking up any extra floor room in the space. Please remember to attach all cabinets to each other; bookcases can fall forward if not adhered to the wall correctly and cause serious injury.

Take it a step further and add colour to the walls, teenagers love colour. This is also a great way of bonding with your child without making them feel as if you are taking over their room with just your style.

Good luck
January 7, 2013 at 2:12AM   
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tsudhonimh
"This is the study area of a 16 yr old girl. Do you have any ideas on how to make it look nicer and more pleasant/inviting? " Have you asked her for ideas?

Is painting the furniture an option?
There's not much room there - is it between the closet and the corner of the room?

To those who want to get rid of the bookcase ... this is a study area, not a showroom. Where would those books go so they would be equally convenient to the desk? Think functional and efficient, then make it pretty.

Looking at a wall helps focus for some people, drives others crazy. My SO has to have a window or open space. I prefer a blank wall.

You have lots of blank wall space to take advantage of.

She needs all the desktop area you can arrange -
1 - Install shelves on the wall over the desk, starting above the desk (the bottom one should be low enough that it's reachable when sitting) and going all the way to the ceiling, as deep as the niche the desk is in, and put a couple of small wood or plastic drawers on the lowest shelf to hold her pencils, erasers and stuff.

Use the lowest shelf for class books and tools and a small amount of decor. Use the higher shelves for decor and less commonly used books. This might be enough shelving to absorb all the stuff from the bookcase, might not.

Put some under-counter LED lights (dimmable) under the bottom shelf for better lighting when studying.

2 - add a large cork board (covered in burlap or a fabric she likes), covering the wall next to the bookcase, filling the area between desktop and bookcase. Much of her "mess" could be pinned to the board, such as school schedules, etc.
http://pinterest.com/pin/210754457532536892/ shows a corkboard/headboard

3 - http://pinterest.com/pin/97812623128868916/ uses the sides of a dresser and IKEA's spice racks as shallow shelves. If the bookcase is not heirloom quality, some of these on the side closest to the bed could be useful to hold a cell phone charging station, reading material for in bed, glasses, etc.

A magazine holder screwed to the bookcase side closest to the desk could hold outgoing classwork so she doesn't forget it, unless she files it directly into her backpack.

===============
If the shelves in the niche can hold the contents of the bookcase, with room for more, that frees up then entire wall to the left of the chair. I'd leave it with as little as possible so it is roomier.

Add coat rack ... two for her backpack and her coat, and one to hang what she's going to wear the next day.
January 7, 2013 at 3:21AM   
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apennameandthata
tsudhonimh you answered your own question about what to do with the contents of the bookshelf.
January 7, 2013 at 7:11AM   
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apennameandthata
I see now that you have hard wood floors. Good. Decide if you will paint and what colours you will use. Then get a persian rug that contrasts with the floor.
January 7, 2013 at 7:12AM   
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