You may not have noticed back in the day, but your childhood classrooms were stacked with textbook examples of great design. Crib some notes from these straight-A settings.
Put an end to cram sessions—as in cramming your work bag onto an overloaded coatrack every evening. Open lockers and a sporty bench offer ample space for everyone’s gear. A few more ideas: chalkpainted walls for messages, a playful floor “runner” made with stripes of removable gym-floor tape, and a metal cabinet to keep keys from playing hooky.
Stevens I.D. Systems open triple lockers with shelf, in Maple, $674, wayfair.com. Crate & Barrel dark-blue metal locker baskets, $25 each, crateandbarrel.com. Hallowell maple bench top, 36", $61; and adjustable bench pedestals, $151 each, wayfair.com. Sandusky Buddy 28- hook key cabinet, $54, globalindustrial.com. Champion Sports vinyl floor-marking tape, 1", in Yellow, Black, and White, $5 for 36 yd., officedepot.com; and 2", in Yellow, $16 for 60 yd., amazon.com. Opposite: Oak + Made Hemmingway board, 16" by 20", in Oak/Black, $55, oakandmade.com. CB2 cork globe, $129, cb2.com. Poketo Object notebook (top), in Cobalt, $24, poketo.com.
Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint (on wall), in Alligator Alley, benjaminmoore.com. LV Wood Patina wood flooring (throughout), in Walnut Storm Cloud, lvwood.com. Pendleton Badlands National Park twin-size wool blanket, $219, pendleton-usa.com.
Pop quiz: Why should you reassign a sciencelab table to kitchen duty? A) Its classic clean lines. B) Its chemical-resistant surface that stands up to any culinary experiment. C) Its book slots that seem customized for cutting boards and rolling pins. D) All of the above. Paint it to match an open shelving unit—this is a set of preschool cubbies, with black hooks in place of the standard brass—and get cooking.
Schools In Science table with book compartments, 24" by 54" by 36", $395, schoolsin.com. Wood Designs Contender wall locker, from $184, hayneedle.com. Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. backed utility stools, 26", in Navy Blue, $229 each, schoolhouse.com. Rejuvenation Eastmoreland pendant, 8", $390, rejuvenation.com.
Behr paint (on wall), in Campfire Ash, behr.com. Benjamin Moore Advance satin paint (on cubbies and table), in Peale Green, benjaminmoore.com. Eric Bonnin Ceramics Kam bowls, in Oatmeal and Black, from $65 each, ericbonninceramics.com. Brook Farm General Store oak twine stand, $28.50, brookfarmgeneralstore.com. Peterboro Basket Co. Peterboro in the Pantry storage basket (left), in Natural, $54, peterborobasket.com. Goedeker’s willow hamper (similar to shown), in Honey, $87, goedekers.com.
The Dean's List: 9 More Elements of Style
Swap the books for cocktail supplies, and a sturdy standardissue library cart moonlights as a sleek bar, with cafeteria trays holding bottles, glassware, and tools. Mixologists will appreciate the nods to chemistry, namely glass-beaker vases and a periodic table used as oversize art. Similarly schoolinspired: an updated pupil’s chair and walls reminiscent of classic green chalkboards, swiped clean in time for first period.
Guidecraft heavy-duty twoshelf book truck, $85, amazon.com. Industry West Linus chair, $145, industrywest.com. Marabou Design Elemental print, 40" by 30", with Classic frame in Black, $410, minted.com. Borosil borosilicate glass flat-bottom boiling flask, 1,000 ml, $23, onlinesciencemall.com. Cambro fiberglass trays, 14" by 18", in Dark Peach and Cottage White, $125 for 12, centralrestaurant.com. Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. mini compartment tray, in Parchment, $10, schoolhouse.com.
West Elm Chelsea Barware brass ice bucket, $69, westelm.com.
Who’s got spirit? You do, when you breeze into a home office that’s totally clutter-free, thanks to accessories that think like a teacher. A wall-mounted file sorter and tiered inbox keep papers and mail in check. Roomy drawers and pullout surfaces make a vintage steel tanker desk as hardworking as it is handsome. Warm it up with a professorial wooden chair, a task lamp in the bold hue of Ticonderoga number-twos, and pinboards in collegiate colors.
Bergen Office Furniture desk, $1,049, bergenofficefurniture.com. Pottery Barn armless swivel desk chair, in Espresso Stain, $399, potterybarn.com. Schools In PremaTak vinyl bulletin boards with aluminum frame, 18" by 24", in Berry, Spruce, and Navy, $34 each, schoolsin.com. Anglepoise Type 75 Margaret Howell Special Edition desk lamp, in Yellow Ochre, $225, lumens.com. Newgate Watford wall clock, in Black, $140, williams-sonoma.com. Unison Bunbuku ivory waste can, $52, unisonhome.com.