Set Your Student up for Study Success

August is almost here which means summer is quickly coming to an end. It’s back to the grind or back to school. We buy new clothes, backpacks, computers and other supplies, and we organize our calendars in hopes of getting ourselves or our children set up for success this fall. But have you considered making changes to your environment? Whether it’s a home office or a secluded study spot, renovating your workspace can have a huge impact on productivity. Once you have a spot, here’s a quick checklist to ensure you get the most from your space.

Work Surface: Choose a desk or table large enough to spread out all of your materials.  Or better yet, build your own. A table without drawers is a great DIY starter project. You can order prefabricated legs and then simply attach a top. Butcher block is a great choice because it’s inexpensive, easy to cut and has a nice smooth top. If you’re a more experienced DIYer, you can also build in custom or hidden storage solutions, like the one shown here.  We made this hidden desk console packed with productivity and time saving features – like the clamshell lids for hidden storage and integrated power.

Lighting: Proper lighting is crucial for preserving your eyesight and maximizing your energy and efforts. Your workspace should have a combination of ambient and task lighting that provides enough illumination that you avoid eyestrain or fatigue at any time of day.  Ambient lighting produced from chandeliers, ceiling or wall mounted fixtures, or recessed cans provide the overall illumination that radiates a comfortable level of brightness. Task lighting should be direct and bright, but don’t overdo it.  It should also be free of distracting glares and shadows.  While you can achieve proper task lighting through properly placed recessed cans or under-cabinet light strips, task lighting is also an opportunity to bring your own style to a space by adding decorative pendants, track lighting, and floor or desk lamps.

Personalize: Add colors that inspire you. Nature-inspired blues and greens typically have a calming effect improving efficiency and focus while fresh yellows trigger optimism, energy, creativity and innovation. Get creative with your storage solutions and use cups, baskets, or other colorful items to keep your supplies organized and within reach. Plants are a great addition to a study space because they add color and have other linked benefits such as cleaner air, reduced stress, and healthier skin.  Succulents are a good choice since they require less watering and maintenance. Bottom line, personalizing and making a space your own has an empowering effect that leads to increased productivity.

This article was originally written for Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine in September 2016. You can see the feature below!


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