Help your children study or get creative with an inspiring desk

Your son or daughter is likely to spend many hours at his or her desk during the school years – and it's not always to study, either! Arts and crafts, reading a book for fun or playing games on a laptop all require a sturdy yet inviting desk space. 

Sometimes it can be hard for them to feel motivated to study before an exam or assignment, and in these cases a well-designed desk area can go a long way towards inspiring them to knuckle down and put in the hard yards. 

Here are some design ideas for a desk in your child's room, based on their schooling age.


Let's make learning fun! In primary school it's more about introducing the little ones to reading, writing, math and science. Make their bedroom feel like a mini classroom by painting the wall above their desk with Resene Write-on Wall Paint, a great study tool as well as a chance for you to play teacher when you spend time supervising them as they do their homework. Magnetic whiteboard markers can be placed onto the wall directly, so they are always close at hand. 

The desk itself shouldn't feel like a scary, daunting area – instead, encourage them to use it often by painting it with bright, welcoming colours such as Resene Daredevil in a warm red, Resene Spotlight in a sunny yellow, Resene Bingo in an emerald green or Resene Captain Cook in a deep blue. Or let your child choose their favourite.

Paint the chair in a different yet complementary colour. Add a cushion to the back of the chair for comfort, and perhaps your little one may also need a pillow on the seat of the chair for some added height to reach the desk. Keep the playful environment by adding colourful picture-books or colour-by-numbers books on floating shelves above the desk, using chunky toys as book ends.


Teach your child the importance of organisation. Mastering this skill during these two years can help make high school a breeze. Add storage options by placing stationery organisers on the desk for loose sheets of paper, pen stands for brushes and pencils, and make a small shelf system for placing to-do assignments, photocopies for research and finished notes in different levels.

You can stack folders along the desk's edge, colour coordinating them by subject. A great way for them to have unique, one-of-a-kind folders for each class is by wallpapering the outside with patterns in different colours such as Resene Ibiza or Resene Charm. You can always recycle leftover scraps in your home for this DIY project, too. 

Touch up the desk's paint with more grown-up, neutral colours such as Resene Ditto, Resene Blast Grey or Resene Double Sea Fog, setting the stage for high school just around the corner.

High school 

Celebrate the occasion by making the desk a truly special part of the room. Add shimmering, metallic accents by painting drawers and legs in Resene Allusive from the special effects range.

A useful DIY project is to nail wooden clipboards to the wall, easy for these young scholars to clip their permission slips, homework or exam summaries to. Paint these in metallic colours too, to match the desk, using shades such as Resene Alcatraz, or Resene Bedazzle for a girl's room.

Hang the clipboards in neat rows, or salon-style with different framed prints or quotes between them for these budding academics to gaze at.

Here are two top motivational quotes that you can print and frame for a high-schooler:

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

– Nelson Mandela. 

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."

– Sydney J. Harris. This quote would look lovely painted onto a mirror, hung beside the clipboards and prints!

Have fun getting your geek on with the kids!

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