Help me make a mother-and-child home office
July 15, 2021 7:39 PM   Subscribe

We have this little area which used to be my son’s playroom. He’s not really using it that way anymore and I would like to turn it into a home office where I can keep my computer and he can have a little drawing/homework desk. Looking for ideas on the best way to set it up!

This area used to be some kind of sun porch in a previous life, and in my time in this apartment it has always just been an extra area at the back of the living room. When my almost 5-year-old was a baby, this was his playroom but over time, most of his toys have migrated into the bedroom and the remaining items which he keeps here are arts and craft materials, board games, puzzles and Lego. He has lately started sitting at his little baby desk and coloring. I was thinking that I would really like is to make this area more of an office for the two of us.

I am linking to a picture of how it looks now. The big shelving unit, and the table the Lego is on will stay. I’d like to replace the revolving bookcase, which has not worked out for us, with some sort of console/stand/thing where the printer, laminator and things like that could go. Underneath the window, I would like to have either a desk/long skinny table for two (I worry this will be too high for him?) or two desks which have a cohesive look, but one of which would be adjustable to his size.

He likes the little desk he has right now, and he still fits it, but it is a very small surface for his colouring books. And to be honest, given that he does most of his ‘playing’ in his room at this point, I don’t think it is unreasonable for me to want to reclaim some of the space for my own use. As he gets bigger, I would like to be able to sit by him and work on my own things while he does his homework and so be handy if he needs assistance. I welcome any and all suggestions for how you would set up this space, including links to products. I have access to Walmart, Canadian tire, and IKEA. But as I am in Canada, we don’t have Target here.
posted by ficbot to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
MICKE (Ikea) is on the smaller side of long, narrow desks for two and it has a matching console you could stick your printer on. Something a bit taller might be nice if you have a lot of electronics, but it's unclear how much space you have - the revolving bookshelf is narrow enough that it may be hard to fit something into exactly that space.

If you care less about the kid stuff being separated from the adult stuff, you could replace your ikea bookshelf with an even bigger version of the same shelving unit. It'll give you a more cohesive look and about 30% more storage space for the printer/laminator/etc.

As a kid, I always had adult sized furniture and it was fine. My only advice is to get sturdy chairs - I destroyed a few caned chairs because I sat on them in weird ways and they really don't hold up well to that. If you go with height adjustable desks, make sure you know what you're getting and that it'll work with you + your kid - a lot of sit/stand desks only go down to 30" which a "standard height" that's a bit tall for short-ish adult humans who care about ergonomics.
posted by A Blue Moon at 7:44 AM on July 16, 2021

In terms of the desk being too high for him, you could get one of Ikea's Junior Chairs most of which look like regular chairs only they are higher and have a place to rest one's feet.
posted by momochan at 8:07 AM on July 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: No doubt this is because I am insufficiently disciplined, and you would do much better, but I have a lovely big worktable that I share with my daughter and the result has been that she has colonized 9/10ths of it, and my home office desk space is reduced to the tiny strip at the end where my laptop is perched.
posted by redfoxtail at 11:07 AM on July 16, 2021

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