Study Complete!

By Kate Riley October 9, 2012

Well I’m excited to announce I finally finished up the study space makeover we started way back in May.  I had every intention of finishing up this space before school started for the kids in August but life and other more important spaces kept me occupied.

Anyhoo.  Last weekend, I finally was able to tackle the final projects that remained – stitching up a cushion cover for the window seat and installing a window treatment above.  I decided to have a lot of fun with color in this space especially since it’s for the kids.  I stuck with a blue and green palette (predictable much Kate?) and mixed in a lot of pattern to keep it fun.

blue and green study with window seat


With a width of 9 ½ feet, the room is not gigantic, but but it’s just big enough for its intended purpose, as a creative zone for art and games, for reading or watching movies, and a place for the youngsters to hang out with each other and their buddies. 

kids doing art


Yeah that window seat we built from IKEA refrigerator cabinets over the summer sure looks great topped with a cushion and some fun pillows!  I’ve always wanted a true window seat similar to the built in nook I had when I was a kid. 

I sewed a cushion cover with a foam insert for the window seat, but let me tell you, it was the ultra lazy ‘sew the bare minimum’ method. I had lofty ambitions of a piped cushion cover with a perfect zipper enclosure but instead settled on a knife edge cushion, stitched up with some green canvas outdoor fabric I found on sale at Joann’s Fabrics.

window seat from ikea cabinets centsational girl


Hello beautiful modern oversized drum fixture!  I searched high and low for the right pendant, and even considered a DIY version, but when I saw the Finley fixture at Crate + Barrel, I decided it was the one.  Large in scale, clean lined and modern, and perfect for the space. 

new fixture in study


To the right of the window is the blue sofette I bought earlier this year and the new wall map and art gallery wall above.

wall gallery and blue sofette

pillows on sofette

marking pens and books


The campaign desk I painted Kelly green earlier this year is still hanging out on the wall opposite the window.  Inside I store most of their art supplies with the bottom drawer dedicated to their multiple completed masterpieces.

kelly green campaign desk in study


To the left of the window and across the sofette is the set of Vittsjo shelving we modified earlier this summer by painting it white and replacing the shelves with stained wood instead. 

white painted vittsjo shelving


The shelving units are narrow and perfect for storing books, games, and a small TV.  More kid art is on display up above.

vittsjo shelving centsational girl


It’s a small but stylish space perfect for kid activities and one that will grow with them over the years. 

blue and green study with window seat


Sources:  Paint: ‘Oyster Bay’ by Glidden; Rug: Green and blue medallion from Overstock;  Sofette: Bayonet in Caribbean Blue (purchased on sale at Joss & Main); Drum shade pendant: Finley from Crate + Barrel; Pillows: Joss & Main, World Market, and DIY;  Shelving: Vittsjo by IKEA, modified by us; Table: DIY, how to here; Window treatments from Lowes: Levolor bamboo blinds and Calendale panels; Desk: thrift store makeoverGreen chairs from Target.

Let me know if I forgot any details, I’ll answer them in the comments!




  1. Kate! Absolutely beautiful! I love the colors. The room looks very bright and cheery. Perfect for your children. You really are amazing at what you do! Can’t get enough!

  2. Kate, Absolutely beautiful! Love the colors you picked. The room looks so bright and cheery – perfect for your kids! You really do produce amazing work. Can’t get enough!

  3. Love it! I would spend all day in that room if it were mine!

    Can you tell us where you got the shelves the little car and kid art are from? the ones over the desk? Are they IKEA, too?

  4. Another great job! I had a window seat built in our master bedroom and I, too, had great plans for a fab cushion. Some details on your cushion, please? Did you use foam you found at the fabric store? Did you have to glue/piece the foam to the dimensions you needed? Any info you might offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Love it! Where is this space is your house though? You should do the layout on so we can visualize – like BowerPower and Young House Love do!

  6. wow! i love everything! thanks so much for the inspiration – these colors are great together: )

  7. This is a great space Kate and as always you pulled it together so nicely! I wish we had a dedicated study room for our kids but their study “wall” works out well too.

    If you don’t mind me asking, what is your opinion on the Target chairs thus far? Are they holding up well?

    • Hey Melanie, I’ve had the Target chairs for almost two years and so far so good!

  8. This room looks awesome! I love the bright green and blue for the study room. Such a lively space, i wouldn’t mind doing my studying there :)

  9. I love it! So inspirational that it makes me want to design my own kid friendly space. We have 4 children and they love nothing better than to sit at the kitchen table and make ‘art’. To have a space dedicated to that would be so amazing. Great work!

  10. What a beautiful space Kate! You pulled it all together amazingly, I love how it turned out :) It’s so sweet that your kids have a space like this to hang out in.

  11. Wow you did a brilliant job. I love that you created the space by a window letting all the gorgeous natural sunlight flooding in. I love the details, the markers in the shoes, the hard covered books..

  12. The room looks so inviting! Where do your curtains/curtain fabric come from? I always on the hunt for fabric sources…. please share yours! Thanks.

    • Hi Karen, the window panels are from Lowes, the Cavendale, no online source but they should be in stores. Lowes! Who woulda thought?

  13. I totally just had to go buy those books at Barnes & Noble! Love them…I added Peter Pan and The Wind in the Willows as well…all the basis for Disney films/attractions! HA!

  14. Beautifully done Kate. Such a fresh looking room! I’m a huge fan of kids artwork…so fun to see in a space. Your kids are adorable.

  15. Kate this room turned out great. LOVE all the colors and pattern and texture. The couch is gorgeous!!! Love the color and the texture of it. Looks like a great room for the kids, heck I would be happy in the corner of that window seat reading a book. ;)

  16. I love what you did with your study. I especially love the way you incorporated the kiddos artwork. That makes it all the more special. Thank you for the great ideas!

  17. That is so beautiful….I’m so sick of my sage sofas in the living room; I’m wondering if a shock of blue and fabulous prints would look as good as this! And that rug….I’ve been salivating over that since the last time you showed it!
    So…..sage and blue? Thoughts?

  18. What a BEAUTIFUL room!! I, too, have been lusting after that rug since I first saw it. I sure hope they decide to carry it for a long time yet.

  19. I love the Levolor bamboo blinds that you got from Lowe’s – did you find those in the store or did you have to custom order them?

    • Hi Pat, the blinds are in the store, they will cut them there for you if necessary.

  20. Love love love this room and the color combos! I actually went to my local Lowes to purchase these exact curtains and could not find them. :( How long ago did you purchase them?

    • Hi Meagan, I purchased the panels a month ago, but I saw them again there last week, they come in taupe, blue, and green and they’re reversible.

  21. I love the room! The colors the are wonderful I so want to paint some the kelly green like your desk. I think I may have to hunt down those curtians this weekend. Everything looks just so great, well done!

  22. The room is lovely and so full of happy colors!

    Quick question, I see a peek of a wall mounted, swing arm type lamp. Where did you find that? I’m looking for something similar for our uber small guest room.


    • Hi Lexi, did I not link to it at the bottom? Oops! It’s the swing arm sconce from Pottery Barn.

  23. What a lovely room! THANK YOU for sharing it – I have a room of almost the exact dimensions and layout that I was contemplating setting up like this as a (current) writing room for me and (future) study room for children and it’s so great to get a visual. I even have the same CB light!

    That being said, I would be grateful if you could share the approximate dimensions of your pieces – especially the table in the center of the room. Pretty please?

    I’ve been debating between a rectangular table and a round table for a long time and this might help me finally make a decision and move forward!

    Beautiful job!

    • Hi Anne, thanks so much! The X base table we built is 55″ x 21″, hope this helps!

    • Hey Taylor, I’ll write up a quick ‘lazy girl’s guide to knife edge cushion’ post next week!

  24. The room looks great! How did you make the cushion cover? I’d like to make one for our window seat but I don’t want to spend too much time on it.

  25. Kate,
    Long time reader…love your blog. Would love to know about the curtain rod and rings. Where did you purchase them and is it wood or metal and also the rings…are they sewn to the curtains or clipped on? Love the beefyness of the rod and rings! Thanks!

    • Thanks Debbie! The white pole and rings are also from Lowes and I did sew each ring to the curtains with a needle and thread, it doesn’t take too long. I didn’t want to see clips so I just stitched the rings directly to the cloth.
      Hope this helps!

  26. Love, love what you’ve done, Kate!! Quick question…how did you make the curtains work with the pillows on the bench. I have a bench and would like curtain panels on the window, though the pillows would ‘squish’ the curtains. How did you make it work…or do they squish a bit?

    Thanks for all of your inspiration!!!

    • Hi Darcy, there is a bit of “squishing” at the bottom if the pillows are flattened against the curtains, but that window shade helps to keep them full and straight because the panels are flat against them. Make sense? Anticipate a little flattening at the bottom though with pillows next to the panels.

  27. LOVE it! Stylish and functional. You couldn’t ask for anything better, especially for a kids space (and the color makes me so happy)

  28. Love it! specially the rug, the cushions and the desk. It’s all beautiful!! May I post some of these pictures in my blog? I’d love to share with my brazilian friends. xoxo

    cheers from Brazil!!

    Nena Lira

  29. Such a great space! Makes me want to paint my dining room and library! I have a window seat and bookshelves..I think I’ll add a little table and two chairs now after seeing yours! So fun!

  30. Hi Kate,

    Can you tell me where the coloured frames above the Ikea Vittsjo are from?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Aussie Maven, good eye! They are from Aaron Brothers, I found them on clearance earlier this summer but maybe they still have them? I think I paid around $10 each.

  31. GORGEOUS! So light and airy! Perfect kid’s room! I was just looking at that rug on overstock! Looks perfect in there!

  32. Love the colors!
    Did you purchase the curtains recently? I couldn’t find them online.

    Where did you get the pillows?

    • Hello MB, the pillows are from a combination of places, World Market, Joss & Main, and from Festive Home Decor on Etsy.

  33. Kate, this is perfection. The colors, textures, and space planning – all brilliant. Bravo! I’d love to see a tutorial on how you created the banquette out of the cabinets and the cushion too.

  34. I believe the name of the curtain panels are Wave Thaddeus from Lowes. They are reversible. I actually just bought them!

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