How to create a neat and compact kids homework area

DIY homework desk | Growing Spaces

DIY neat and compact homework desk | Growing Spaces

The area between the living and dining zones in our open-plan ground floor space has been through so many different uses as the twins grow and their needs change. Until a month or so ago, our old dining table lived there. We called it the craft table, but in reality it was a dumping spot and just attracted piles of clutter and paperwork (as evidenced by the cringe-inducing before shot above).

I decided that it was time for the craft table to go – this would open up the space and help us in our constant battle against clutter, but I also wanted to give the kids their own, more compact desk area for homework or crafting.

The solution? I swapped the table for an Ekby Alex storage shelf from Ikea, mounted to the back of our built-in kitchen bench. I relocated most of the craft materials, paring it down to a few essentials (pen, pencil, scissors, glue stick, colouring pens, ruler), which are kept in the shelf’s drawers (each twin has their own stash). A couple of storage baskets are hooked onto the screen next to the desk using S-hooks – these hold the twins’ headphones and power cables for their chromebooks (lots of their homework gets done on these now). I also added a wall-mounted light for task lighting when the kids are working at their new desk.

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

The desk is used all the time, and we’re strict about keeping the surface clear so it’s been a clutter-busting success story. The shelf impinges so much less on the space than the craft table used to do as not only is it smaller, but the fact it’s wall-mounted leaves the floor area free. The extra space means we’ve been able to create a reading area next to the window using a couple of armchairs (more on that another time).

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

The position is also perfect because I can chat to the kids from the kitchen while they work, but it keeps the kitchen table (which used to end up being used for homework and craft) clear. The two stools (from my grandparents’ house) fit perfectly under the shelf, and I’m a big fan of combining new with vintage and love the look of the warm wood with the clean lines of the white shelf above.

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

Kids homework zone | Growing Spaces

Kids homework area | Growing Spaces



Ekby Alex storage shelf, IKEA
Nordrana baskets, IKEA
Hektar wall light, IKEA
Stools, vintage
Shutters, The Shutter Store

For more workspace inspiration, why not check out my ‘for workspaces’ Pinterest board




  1. Susan
    March 5, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    Really great use of space.

  2. March 6, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    Wow it all looks beautiful. I actually need a space like this! I was looking at IKEA online last night!

  3. March 7, 2017 / 11:06 am

    Love this idea for a craft space!

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