Creating a Home Office That Functions for the Entire Family

Create a work/play environment that's packed with plenty of storage, work surfaces and designated spots for both kids and adults.

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Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

A Place to Work + Play

To create an enticing space to focus on homework, email and creative projects, this small home office was painted a soothing shade of blue-gray and given a high-energy infusion of color with accents of hot pink.

Use a Dining Table as a Workspace

While standard desks are limited on how much width they offer, dining tables are wide enough for use as communal workspaces. Choose a rectangular dining table that fits the style of your space, and consider keeping one side against the wall, freeing up space for two to four chairs.

Little Ones Need a Space to Work, Too

Add style for pint-sized family members with a vintage school desk. This gives kids designated spots in the office to focus on their ABCs and 123s.

Give Old Pieces a Refresh

Breathe new life into old-school kids' furniture with a bold, new hue. This '50s grade-school desk was given a high-energy update with glossy hot-pink lacquer.

Use a Kid-Sized Art Display

Put your favorite art on display with a kid-sized easel. This will allow the family to change the art up as tastes and interest change, plus it eliminates adding new holes to the walls.

Tick-Tock, Says the Clock

Teach kids how to tell time with an oversized clock hung directly above the workspace.

Corral Cord Clutter

Create a spot on the desk for charging phones by hollowing out the interiors of old hardback books with a utility blade. Then create a small channel along the leading edge of the books for the cords to plug into the wall outlet. Get the How-To Instructions

Keep Track of Time

Help kids prepare for timed tests or designated study times with a plastic hourglass. This will let them know exactly when time is up and encourage them to reset themselves when more time is needed.

Hang Butcher Paper at Kid Height

Encourage little ones to keep lists by hanging a roll of butcher paper on a bathroom towel rod and installing it approximately three feet above the ground.

Make a "Family Goals" Jar

On a day-to-day basis, bright ideas can get lost if they're not written down. Designate one jar for overall family goals. Fill it with folded pieces of paper with things each family member wants to change, do or make.

Showcase the Pretty

When it comes to the main workspace, remember to showcase the pretty things and hide the clutter. This workstation includes open shelving for books, decor and stylish containers, along with concealed storage for office supplies, important documents and electronics.

Opt for Multipurpose Seating

Let your workstation seating double as a comfy spot to sit and a place to keep toys neatly concealed by using upholstered cube ottomans in place of chairs.

Use Unexpected Jars for Display

Although some art supplies and toys can easily look like clutter, they offer great color and shape when organized and stored. Keep supplies out on display in clear acrylic jars to pop bold color and texture inside of your bookshelves or cubbies.

Conceal the Clutter

Hands down, the easiest way to keep toys and games from becoming clutter is to keep them stored in a cubby system. Invest in large cubbies with deep baskets that can hold anything from books to stuffed animals to building blocks.

Food Containers Make Great Storage

Make good use of discarded food containers by filling them with arts and crafts supplies that can easily get lost. This will come in handy for keeping everything neatly organized and easy to find inside cubbies or drawers.

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