Also, I thought I’d show you how we’ve decorated. In this stage of life, it’s all about family and practicality for us, so a lot of our décor consists of projects the boys have done. I really love the memories that hang on our walls! It just took a few really nice touches, to pull the whole thing together and make it look planned.
Be sure to read to the end–I have a link to 1,000 more ideas (no kidding, it’s really 1,000), and two great giveaways. I also have an invitation for you…..
I love the children’s rug in here. We had so much fun choosing it when our youngest two were little. We’ve repurposed it from the boys’ bedroom to the library, and we love to play games on it. This was a total splurge for me, but I think the rug really pulls the room together, and unites the blue couches and the burgundy accents. I’ll probably keep this rug even after the boys are grown, just because it reminds me of their sweet toddler days.
The couches are something my husband picked up at a second hand store for just over $50. He cleaned them, and then somehow manipulated them through the door. They’re really comfortable, and the leather makes them dust-able, which is a must for me.
All of the shelves were found on Craigslist. We purchased the paperback shelves from a used bookstore going out of business for $5 each. Ed cut them to fit the size of the room (one even goes around the window), and then we stained them a dark color. I love the paperback shelves because they’re shallow (allowing the couches to fit), and the shelves are really close together, so they hold a ton of books. The paperback store made the shelves using wood planks, so if you’re handy, this is totally a project you could take on yourself (though maybe not for $5 a shelf).
In the paperback shelves, we have literature by series (I also keep some of our Christian fiction grouped by publishing house) at the top, then the books are shelved by the last name of the author. This system has been a great way for the boys to learn to learn to alphabetize–I just ask them to reshelve a book or to find one for me.
I keep multiple-author series together at the top of the shelves so the series will stay together. The Christian fiction is at the top because when the boys were young and wanted to read a book, I’d ask them to choose from the top three shelves. I didn’t want them to accidentally grab something beyond their emotional maturity, or that required interaction from me. Now that they’re older, they choose from the lower shelves, but I retain veto power (or the right to a commentary before they read). There are some things I don’t want them to read until high school.
We also house puzzles on this shelf as well as our stacks of Dover coloring books. Oh, how we love Dover’s historical coloring books to go along with our history read-alouds!
I like to shove little memories onto the shelves. On our biography shelf, I have the Velveteen Rabbit I was given at my sister’s funeral when I was nine, a photograph my aunt took of me when I told her I was pregnant with our first biological child (which we didn’t think would happen) along with a nursery jar, a little tile one of the boys received at his baptism, and then a bunch of adorable cardboard bugs my youngest made. It’s eclectic, but it makes me smile, and I think it gives the room character.
On the shelf behind the couch we have a power strip with all our electronics cords. It’s our little hidden charging station.
The shelf to the far right has a little burgundy basket for pens and supplies, a stapler and scotch tape, and books I’m reading now. Also, there’s a shofar. Because every kid loves to blow a shofar in the middle of reading the Old Testament–and because my mom brought it back from Israel. There’s also a spelling tool from 1916 that belonged to my grandma.
Well, friends, now you’ve seen my very favorite room in our home. We have more bookshelves throughout our house, but this is where we like to hang out.
Remember, homemaking is all about making beautiful and welcoming that which the Lord has provided to you, so just take the ideas that work for your space and circumstances, and leave the rest.
More Ideas and Show-and-Tell
If you need more homeschool storage ideas, check out my massive (1,000 post) Homeschool Rooms and Storage Pinterest board!
If you’d like to send me a photo or two of your homeschool room, library, or book storage idea, I think it would be really fun to put together a post or two showing them off! Just email me at Danika (at) DanikaCooley (dot) com at put “My Favorite Room” in the subject line. With your photos, please include a line releasing me to use your photos and tell me how you’d like the photo credit to read (ie: “I give Danika Cooley permission to use the attached photos with credit given to ___.”).
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.