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When the pandemic descended, designer Chalea Fields, co-owner of Everyday Lovely, faced a conundrum all too familiar to working parents at the time: How could she help her young daughters adjust to at-home learning while juggling her own work-related to-do list? The solution was a design upgrade for her Aurora home—specifically, the transformation of a quiet, second-floor area into a focus space for the whole family. Here’s how she pulled it off without breaking the bank.
A little whimsy goes a long way in an office space. To create it here, Fields employed an easy-to-install, peel-and-stick wallcovering from Carter & Main. “My kids are little right now, so we wanted to do something super-fun with a punch of color,” she says of the wallpaper’s jungle-inspired design. “I’m obsessed with leopard print and so are my kids. It’s really bold, but down the road if my girls want something else, it’s easy to take down.”
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With supply-chain shortages hindering timely furniture deliveries, Ikea desks came to the rescue. Fields positioned one desk between and perpendicular to the other two so that she or her husband had space to sidle up with a laptop. “I don’t really care if the kids beat up [the furniture] because it’s not expensive,” Fields says. “My youngest was five when we were doing this, and she would color and put stickers everywhere. Use a Clorox wipe and it all comes right off.” The acrylic chairs from Design Within Reach easily wipe clean too.
Having dedicated places for assignments, coloring books, and loose papers was key, so Fields installed Ikea bulletin boards and hanging storage bins above the workspace.
“That Urban Outfitters ottoman is great as extra seating, and I love the texture it brings in,” Fields says. To contrast the colorful wallpaper, the designer created a trio of artworks with black wall paint on paper, which she displayed atop an Ikea shelf; HomeGoods finds, including the task lamps, add a bit of eye candy. “It was fun to do this with the girls,” Fields says. “They had a lot of input on what they liked and didn’t like.” And now that the kids are back in the classroom, the workspace lives on as a hub for homework, puzzles, and video games, Fields says. “It’s the go-to spot!”