The kids are heading back to school, and their study areas should be ready for them. An ideal area meets each student’s specific needs and style.

First and foremost, the area has to meet the student’s organizational style. There are basic two types of organizers: the “everything in” and the “everything out.” An “everything in” person wants items out of sight unless they’re being used. This sort of student needs a work area with drawers, compartments, and containers that allow a place for everything while keeping everything hidden. An “everything out” person likes all but the most seldom-used items kept at their fingertips, with no need to open a door, drawer, or lid to reach anything. These students are fond of pigeon-holes, vertical sorters, and hooks.

With the overall organization style in mind, it’s time to consider the student’s equipment and supplies. Will the student need a desk that accommodates a desktop computer, monitor, printer, and scanner? Will a space for a laptop and hook-up to the family network do the job? How are the wires and cables to be run? Does this student have an extensive library, or are reference materials compact and electronic?

Lighting is a factor. Every person works and learns best under the light that is most comfortable to the individual. Will this student prefer a bright room, or a well-lit space within a room with subdued lighting? Does this student find it more comfortable to work under florescent or incandescent lighting?

What shape of work area is most comfortable for the student? Some people prefer a place that feels cozy, with everything within easy reach. Others prefer a more spacious feel and enjoy the chance to get out of the chair to fetch art supplies or books. The area must also suit the student’s preferred work flow. A student who likes to work from the top of a pile will want a differently designed space from a student who prefers to have everything spread out and visible at once.

Only after all of these factors are taken into account is it time to start to think of the overall look. Young people like anyone else, love spaces that allow them to express their personalities.

When the time comes to put it all together, a skilled decorator can take every factor into account and develop an area that allows the student to work at peak comfort and performance.

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