Our IKEA and Chalkboard Homeschool Room

What began as a simple love of chalkboard resulted in a homeschool makeover of house-sized proportion. A redo based on learning styles, storage needs and sanity-saving measures. (With plenty of consulting from Master Artist, Nana).

That first summer we painted the red wall and made our chalkboard desk, our eyes were opened to more we could do. Simple changes and rearranges. Our latest additions are the IKEA baskets above.

If you are considering a homeschool makeover, I suggest taking it a step at a time. Please keep in mind that we did these projects one at a time – a month at a time – over the course of now two years. We tackled the areas that were bothering us the most. The places that needed some learning love. Like the big, blank wall and the well-used school desk.

All Things Chalkboard – this original post from two years ago, updated last year, includes details on the three-day weekend makeover of our living room into a workable homeschool room. It includes the chalkboard desk, rearranged bookshelves, buckets and more. But we’ve come a long way on this journey to really enjoy our learning space. And I’ve shared the how tos each step of the way.

We realize we are very blessed with a homeschool room. And like many homeschool families, we enjoy learning wherever we are in our home. Some have a preference for the family room couch, the kitchen table – even backyard swing set.

Now, if you know me, you know I have a heart for the practical. If we use it a bunch then we build it into the decorating. So, I will share with you all that I have written about our homeschool makeover. I hope that you can find some ideas here.

IKEA Desk in a Bedroom

First of all, my eldest wanted a desk for her room. This was our first trip to IKEA. Just a small, simple desk. And my daughter wrote about it in My Room Re-Do. She uses this desk mostly for getting ready each day.

Our Homeschool Room

Each of the links below will take you to either a how-to or to more information.

Red Wall School Room

Paint is a frugal way to transform a room. We painted one wall red, as an accent.

Chalkboard Desk

Why not paint the surface of the most used desk with chalkboard paint? Makes for a handy math scratch surface. And many a road has been drawn for matchbox cars.

Maps as Window Treatments

Ebay-found roll up maps keep geography handy.

Buckets for Pencils and More

Ribbons as Window Toppers

Display winning ribbons where you can see them (and plain, cheap, flat sheets for curtains)

Little desks for little ones

Those we started homeschooling with in 2001.

Our Cubby Bench in the Window

A recent addition for our littlest ones, with a cubby for me!

Storage for a Kinesthetic Learner

A sanity-saving measure for mama, a way to provide easy access to learning for our kinesthetic learner.

Those Marvelous IKEA Baskets.

These are our latest edition – IKEA Branas baskets – bought with birthday money! Baskets hit the storage problem head on. I’ve paid more money for a less sturdy basket. These, I believe, will stand the test of time. With supplies for five children, record keeping, crafts, display board supplies, paper and more paper – it was visually overwhelming. Now I feel a little calmer and our homeschool room is such a nice place to be. We know where everything goes. There’s even ONE empty basket for growth! My next plan is to paint chalkboard paint on cardboard for little labels.

The homeschool makeover also spilled over into the other parts of comfortable spots…

Our Homeschool Family Room

The Most Used Bookcase near our kitchen table

An IKEA Expedit 2×4  houses science, nature study supplies, notebooks and more.

Frugal family room makeover

Red couches. The first couches we’ve ever bought in our 17 years of marriage. Our dear, hand-me-down couches were a little sprung after five children.

Around the Couch

We like to enjoy our morning quiet time in a comfortable spot on the couch. IKEA 2×2 Expedits house Bibles, journals, devotionals, spiral notebooks and serve well as end tables. Our stacks are now in baskets!

School Books on the Mantel

This was a big ‘duh’ moment for me. Why not display our current reading within plain view? The mantel is now a homeschool tool. (with details on the Bible verse stenciled and seasonal ideas)

The History Bookshelf

An IKEA 2×4 Expedit is the one stop spot for all of our history resources. We store all our Tapestry of Grace binders, lapbooks, everything goes there!

Homeschool Makeover Tips:

  • Go vertical! When I’ve shared about our school room in the past, there is usually one who says she does not have a school room. My suggestion is to go with bookcases wherever it is most comfortable. Storage is glorious going up your wall!
  • Baskets hide it. (like my stacks)
  • I have a little thing for chalkboard and for maps. I’ve been collecting even more ideas on my All Things Chalkboard and Marvelous Maps Pinterest boards.
  • Our homeschool makeover series.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of our homeschool room and more! I invite you to subscribe to Hodgepodge so you won’t miss a homeschool post. Be sure to check out all the homeschool rooms via the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop at iHomeschool Network and at Real Mom Resources.

nbtsbloghop2013Check out all the inspiration at iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop

The latest update — > 10 Homeschool Learning Centers at Hodgepodge


  1. 1

    Mary says

    Tricia – I have loved watching this transformation!!!

    Is this your home’s main living area? Or, is this a dedicated space just for school? We are changing our family roomand I am curious how it works in your house!

    • 2


      Thanks Mary – it has been fun to find what works. A big mess at times with everything all spread out…
      We have a dedicated homeschool room – that was intended to be a formal living room. We have also worked to make our family room more learning friendly and comfortable. So this post first shares about the homeschool room changes and then the family room changes. I hope that makes it a little clearer? It all tends to blend and blur :)

    • 4


      Vicki – that is a high compliment from one who is chief organizer and creator of the Before 8:45 Checklist! Thank you. Love, love IKEA – simple, frugal and visually pleasing.

  2. 5


    Your schoolroom is so light and inviting. You have done a wonderful job of arranging all your resources. We have always used the one end of our family room for official schoolwork as well. I love that it is visible and people are attracted to come in and take a peek.

    Love IKEA.

  3. 9


    It looks great. Very neat but not fakey neat, you know? It is obvious you really USE the room. I love it. The red makes a huge visual impact. FUN!

    • 10


      It really is fun – I am a big fan of these color combinations. And, yes, I think you can tell by the ‘real’ photos that we really use it. Spread things far and wide!

  4. 14


    Love it!! The organization is fantastic! I really love the Ikea baskets! We also have a piece from Expedit. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing your room with us. Blessings for a great school year!

  5. 15


    I love your schoolroom! The red wall really sets it off and the chalkboard desk just gave me a few ideas :-)Very inviting and looks like a wonderful place to learn everyday. IKEA is a favorite spot of mine too.

  6. 16


    Hello Tricia,

    I absolutely LOVE your homeschool room, especially the red accent wall. I wish we had an Ikea close to us but I plan to do some online ordering until I can visit one.

  7. 18


    Tricia, your homeschool spaces are so warm and inviting. I’d already used some of your ideas from being a regular reader of your blog–it’s great to have this post with all the ideas in one place.

    We’ve really filled up our schoolroom, so I especially love how you spread into other spaces, keeping books and supplies where they are most often used. I had done a little of that but will expand that with inspiration from you.

    Beautiful spaces!

  8. 19


    Those baskets are awesome, and totally cut down the visual clutter. Love it! Actually, I love your whole space! Like you, I like chalkboard and maps, so your chalkboard desk and your map window shades make my heart go pitter patter! And the red wall? Perfect!

  9. 21


    All those BASKETS are so great! My husband isn’t into IKEA- at ALL- so I can only dream of something like this. But your red couches are awesome. I would love red couches. They look so comfy! Thanks for sharing your room with us! I may reproduce your computer desk… we need one large enough for 2 to work at the same time and yours is perfect! :)

  10. 22


    What a bright and cheery space for learning!

    I love your chalkboard desk :) I want to paint a whole wall in chalkboard paint, but I have to convince my husband that it’s a good idea…haha 😉

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

  11. 24


    I love the baskets! I have my dream homeschool wall as of last month, but now I am turning my mind toward what I want to do with my sewing and crafting desk. Love the cubby shelves with baskets!

  12. 27


    Oh, I love the red! And you bought the Ektorp couches, too….I’ve been longing after those for years. The whole arrangement looks both tidy and comfortable but still organized and easy on the eyes….I’d say you’ve done a fantastic job.

  13. 30


    I love your room! I like all the baskets and the red wall. So Cute! I also love all the little touches that you have added into the room. Beautiful and fun space. Great job!

  14. 31


    Great ideas! I love the Ikea Expedit for storage too. We just added one to our homeschool room to house the board games and one to our playroom in order to create some boot room type of storage. This year I also added a chalkboard idea to our hs room that you might want to check out if you are still looking for chalkboard ideas.

  15. 32


    I am so inspired by the roll down maps over the windows! I LOVE that. I’m definitely checking out your pinboard about maps. We school throughout our first floor with no dedicated room and I’m looking for a way to put up a map or two that doesn’t scream “school!” lol It all looks great. I love the ikea baskets.

  16. 33


    I love your school space! I no longer have a dedicated school room, guess I will take pics of every room in my house since that’s pretty much where we school. I’m subscribing to your Pinterest boards cause I’m a sucker for all things chalkboard paint and maps too.

  17. 34


    Love your wicker baskets on your shelves. We use some wicker baskets as well.
    Also, love how you did your chalkboard wall and the mantel for books!
    Thanks for sharing your room with us!
    Popped over from Sunrise Learning Lab to see your Week 2 – School Room Tour post that you linked up with the iHomeschool Network’s Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop.
    So neat to see your school room!
    Have a wonderful homeschool year!

  18. 36

    Andrea Laughmiller says

    Hi, Tricia,
    I noticed you use Tapestry of Grace. HOw long have you used it? I’m looking at it again now for the third time. I just love it every time I see it and am so impressed by it. But I also feel totally overwhelmed and like I couldn’t really commit to it without a co-op to do the journey with. Plus I think it would be so much more meaningful for my kids. My kids are 7th, 4th, and 2nd. Are you part of a co-op? If not, do you do the 2 hour weekly lectures yourself? Any thoughts?

    • 37


      Hi Andrea – we are into our 5th year of Tapestry, still finding more reasons why we love it! I am not part of a co-op but am in a homeschool group. It is not for Tapestry of Grace but a support group for moms with some activities for the children too. I really only know of two more that use Tapestry of Grace locally. But I have leaned heavily on online advice from Barb-Harmony Art Mom: http://harmonyartmom.blogspot.com/search/label/tapestry%20of%20grace I invite you to browse my Tapestry of Grace page, as well. http://www.hodgepodge.me/tapestry-of-grace-at-hodgepodge/ It has links to not only my review of Tapestry but to all else I’ve written on the topic, including answers to specific questions like how do you plan, etc. Two hour weekly lectures?? We have tailored it to fit the needs of our age range :) Tapestry takes some studying and getting used to but we have found it to be very rewarding.

  19. 38

    Tammy Jones says

    I love all your storage. Everything is so nicely displayed and easy to get at. What kind of shelving did you use against your stairway? Did someone hand craft it? It looks so sturdy and would fit all the extra large books that do not fit into regular bookshelves. Again, beautiful learning areas.

  20. 41


    Oh my, It’s so lovely! You have done so much and I love how practical it all is. I’ve had those Branas baskets for a few years (in a different size) and they sure hold up. My daughter stores toys in one and uses it daily! Your lovely post is making me wish I had an IKEA near me! Have a great year!
    Chrissy recently posted..Our Homeschool RoomMy Profile

  21. 44

    Julie says

    Loved your schoolroom, was wondering where you got the wall sticker from on your fireplace? Would love that Bible quote in my kitchen :)


  22. 46

    Tracey M says

    I absolutely LOVE your homeschool rooms and your entire website! Do you recall the name of the Ikea desk in your daughter’s room? I’m considering the Ikea Micke desk for my young kids’ in our new homeschool room. I was just wondering if it’s the same desk and, also, how well you like it??? Thanks!

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