Problem Solving in the classroom…

Earlier this week,  I helped a close friend of mine set up her new classroom,  to be ready for the beginning of the next school term.  It was an insightful and exciting experience  knowing we were planning a room for thirty,  seven year old children to interact and learn in a comfortable space.  We had the responsibility of designing specific areas that would encourage their learning whilst still making it  captivating and fun.  It was important to create an interactive  engaging environment for all the children to benefit from no matter where they were sat in the classroom. We were limited in space and had some obstructions in terms of pieces of furniture which could not be moved or changed,  however the transformation was a huge improvement from what we walked into in the morning!  Dedicated zones for Reading and Maths were incorporated,  together with a  more open plan feel in the main floor space,  by getting rid of unnecessary clutter and furniture.  By doing this it provides an inviting space for the children and a much more coherent place for my friend to teach and keep an eye on everyone!

Here are a few snaps of what we achieved on the day…

What we found…

The beginning photo 3The beginning of the day

What we left… Including Maths Area, ‘Under the Sea’ themed Reading Corner and desk layout.

photo 1 - Copy (5)photo 2 - Copy (4)Nearly there   Under the sea Reading CornerReading cornerReading cornerDesk formation

This little project got me thinking about zoning in general.  No matter what room you plan, it is an important factor to consider in any space.  It can play a crucial part in your design,  and is key to fighting clutter and avoiding that feeling of continually cleaning up.  These days we are looking for more flexibility in our lives which means multi-functional living is extremely desirable.  Open plan spaces have become more and more popular over the years however a lot of the time areas can feel monotonous and uninteresting.  With a little creativity you can define areas affordably whilst injecting a sense of style to a room. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

1.  Use a rug to designate a particular part of your room. For a seating area,  dining area,  or play area for the kids,  this idea has an instantaneous visual impact,  which defines the space and creates a boundary for the activities that take place within it.  Be bold and choose a brightly coloured design for maximum effect.

blue rug
By decor8
Photographer Armelle Abib
Photographer Armelle Abib
from Contraforma, via FAb
From Contraforma, via FAb

2.  Use furniture to act as a visible divider for different zones.  They can be striking  eclectic pieces or something as simple as clever placement of existing furniture,  for example sofas, chairs or console tables. Alternatively you could use open book cases,  folding screens or even a sheer to act as an interesting barrier as well as providing a talking point among friends.

Libreria Romboidale Design by Pietro Russo
Libreria Romboidale Design by Pietro Russo
from Better Homes and Gardens
from Better Homes and Gardens

wrap around storage unitbeautiful trellis worksheer divide

3. Use art work to draw your attention to various areas. Whether it be a striking piece of abstract art,  an orderly arrangement or an eclectic mix of art. This will really accentuate any area whilst also showing off your best art work.

art wall
From Better Homes and Gardens

desk area


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