This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Ludlow to review this product.
We recently created our ideal study area to give the kids a calm, unclutter space to work on homework. It was far easier and less expensive than I could have imagined. Today I’m sharing the details of the transformation to inspire your own ideas and solutions.
One of my biggest struggles when it comes to keeping our house tidy is finding a system that provides the kids with space to work on homework. They tend to sprawl all over the house so that we have backpacks, papers, and textbooks on the dining room table, family room floor, and in the “library” (our room filled with books and board games because those are our two favorite activities).
In an effort to make the library an ideal study area, we constructed a desk along the back wall. Not wanting to invest a lot in furniture that was going to be primarily used (and abused) by kids, our solution involved a long wood board and a bunch of cinder blocks.
This, along with the game table that was already in the room, gave the kids plenty of space to spread out and easy access to outlets for the computer and their phones. But as you can see, it’s not the kind of display that’s going to be winning home decor awards anytime soon.
Also, although this option provided a lot of surface space, there’s nowhere to keep their textbooks, school supplies, or backpacks. The result is that this room is ALWAYS a disaster and more than once an important assignment or sheet of notes has gone missing in the clutter.
Envisioning Our Ideal Study Space
After we cleared away the cinder blocks and wood plank, we put some time into deciding what we really needed for that space. I didn’t want to put a bunch of time and effort into setting something up that would only look nice for a day. Or worse, wouldn’t work for our family.
Since the primary purpose of the space was to provide a place for the kids to do homework and store all of their school supplies, I knew I needed a combination of flat space and storage space. I also knew I needed a broad array of storage compartments to hold everything from small items like pens and pencils to larger items like textbooks and backpacks.
In addition to the above considerations, once we decided to create a real solution to our study space problem, my husband and I agreed on a few other mandatory features.
We knew we wanted whatever we bought for the study room to be:
- Modular: So we could adapt the space over time as our needs changed
- Affordable: I have two kids in college and three more still at home, we need our money for other things
- Visually Appealing: I’m a big believer that clean, attractive space is less distracting and more peaceful
I know it doesn’t sound outlandish, but this is the furniture equivalent of house shopping. You know, you make your list of dream features and then hope to find it in the price range you can actually afford. You know you’re going to have to give in somewhere, but you really hope you’ll find that rare, undervalued answer to your prayers.
Why the Ludlow Home Office Furniture Collection Was Perfect for Our Study Room
Well, I’m happy to report that’s exactly how I felt when I found the Ludlow collection from Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart. It really was the perfect solution for our study area.
Since it’s available at Walmart, the price is completely affordable. I actually received several pieces of the collection at no cost for the purpose of writing this post, but we’ve actually ordered (and paid for) additional pieces because we were so pleased with them and found other places in our home to utilize them.
Because the collection is from Better Homes and Gardens, the design is tasteful, yet simple. The pieces work almost everywhere in our home.
Best of all, the pieces are completely modular. They are consistent widths and heights so you can mix and match pieces into dozens of different configurations to fit your needs and available space.
The one thing I worried about was putting the furniture together. I don’t mind assembling furniture, but I’ve had more than one frustrating experience in the past. Pieces come damaged or missing parts, instructions are drawings that are hard to understand, the written directions are in poorly-translated English if they are even included.
I was delightfully surprised when we began assembling the Ludlow furniture. First, the boxes are packed by some sort of puzzle genius. Each piece is carefully nested in the box so that the box itself is the smallest it can possibly be to contain all of the items inside.
Second, the parts come packaged in individual NUMBERED sections that actually coincide with the instructions! This makes so much sense, I found myself wondering why all furniture assembly kits don’t come like this.
It’s brilliant and made assembling the furniture so much easier. No more holding parts up to the instruction manual trying to figure out if the part looks exactly like the sketch in the book.
Oh yeah, and speaking of brilliant labeling and awesome instructions, each of the furniture parts was actually labeled with a sticker so you knew immediately whether or not you had the right piece without studying the shape and individual holes and markings in detail.
Seriously, the easiest furniture assembly project ever. Here’s a look inside the box:
Our Study Room Design
When we done with putting everything together and playing with different configurations, this is what we ended up with:
The Better Homes and Gardens Ludlow 47″ Desk was the perfect starting piece. This provided the flat space for working on the laptop or doing math homework. And the built-in drawers were ideal for storing small commonly used homework supplies like calculators, rulers, and staplers.
We stacked the Convertible File Cabinet and the 2 Drawer Cabinet to organize their school records and files for classes and activities. Each of my three kids who still live at home have their own drawer and we keep things that come in the mail for my two college kids in the fourth one.
Together, they make it so much easier to keep the study room uncluttered. And since the kids can drop papers directly into the files while they are emptying their backpacks and sorting through their homework, it’s made it so much easier to keep school documents organized.
We opted for the Open Display Shelf to hold their textbooks and folders. This way they could see what they need at a glance.
We stacked the open display shelf on top of the Duo Storage Cabinet. We use the left side of the cabinet for storing backpacks. This way, the kids can easily stow them and grab them quickly in the morning before school. The right side has two drawers where we can store extra notebooks, paper, and folders.
You’ll notice the large dual-screen monstrosity from the first before picture is missing. One screen was an all-in-one computer, while the other was a monitor attached to an Xbox. We decided to remove these from the study area because no actually studying or homework occurred with either.
This brings me to the last major change to our ideal study room. Although we still keep the board games in the room and use the game table for playing them.
But other than that, the room is reserved for homework and studying. We’re hoping that having a dedicated space for a specific purpose will make it easier to keep it clean and organized.
More Uses for the Ludlow Collection
As I mentioned earlier, we were so pleased with the versatility and value of the Better Homes and Gardens Ludlow Home Office Furniture Collection, we bought some extra pieces to use elsewhere in our home.
Another problem area in our home is at the rear entrance. This is the door the kids use to go in and out when they’re playing outdoors. It’s also the entrance to our patio where we like to barbecue and hang out when the weather is nice.
We have a large space there for SOMETHING, which means that without something purposefully placed, a lot of things get dumped there for convenience. When the clutter is clear though, you can see we have a nice space to work with for an indoor backyard storage solution.
I realized that we could use some of the pieces from the Ludlow collection to create a storage solution for our outdoor items right next to the rear entrance. Now we have a place to store the cushions for the patio furniture, sports equipment, and BBQ tools.
We used a combination of the Sliding Door Cabinet and the Storage Cabinet to keep most of the items out of sight. I’m thinking of rolling the beach towels to store in the Open Display Shelf and the open half of the Duo Storage Cabinet.
We could have stacked the units to make the whole thing symmetrical, but we intentionally stacked them this way to give the kids a place to sit to put on and remove shoes.
If my kids were younger, this collection would also work great to keep toys organized. In the family room, it can double as a display case and storage unit. Because the collection is modular, you can change how and where you use the pieces depending on your family’s current needs!