Thursday, 24 July 2014

Classroom Furniture: IKEA Edition

     August is almost upon us but I am not back in my classroom quite yet. We actually have a significant amount of construction happening in our school this summer (redoing the roof, redoing exterior walls.... AND a brand new science lab directly beside my classroom!) so I am unsure of when I will actually be allowed back in my classroom. In fact, depending on how the construction goes, there is a chance that I may not be back in my same classroom at all; I may be relocated for part of this year until everything is back to normal.

     Luckily for me, I was only in my classroom one year and I had very little storage area so I did not accumulate much stuff if I do have to move rooms. Regardless of what room I am in, however, I have been eagerly shopping around of some new furniture to add to my classroom. My husband and I are actually remodelling our home this summer and have chosen to install an IKEA Kitchen System while they are hosting their "kitchen event". This means that we got 20% back in the form of gift cards!! With the low costs, I'll be able to pick up a few things we need for the home as well as new things for my classroom, yay!

     I like keeping my classroom organized, colourful, but also minimal in regards to the amount of "stuff" that is around. Don't get me wrong, my classroom (like everyone else's) gets cluttered over the year; especially when I had four different classes working on large-display projects (I need to plan better, haha). I try to, however, incorporate organizational choices that keeps clutter hidden and strategically placed furniture to help create designated spaces within my room. I was fortunate to have wonderful custodians last summer that snagged two big pieces for me that are now permanent fixtures in my room and are great for organization:
My bookshelf is divided up by specific grade and all of our textbooks are
hidden away behind the curtain!

This is "Grand Central Station" for our classroom. This counter holds our Hand-In Box
and our We Missed You system. The shelves behind the black curtain hold
all of our classroom supplies that students can access.
     The one area that I want to work on this summer is our "Chill Out Space". This was an area of my room that I actually outfitted for furniture from my old dorm room! It served as an area for students to hang out and visit before class started, a silent reading area, a conference zone, an independent work area, and sometimes a napping area! Here is what it looked like this year:

The "Chill Out Space"

     The first thing I want to change is the shelf on the left-hand side. I hate this shelf! It is SO heavy, the wheels at the bottom do not roll any more, and the shelves are not deep enough to hold printer paper! I would like to replace it with the KALLAX Shelving Unit. It will still divide up the space from the rest of the room and allow for lots of storage. I'd like to pair it with the DRONA Storage Boxes, which match my classroom perfectly!
This baby is almost five feet tall! I like how it will divide up the two spaces
but still ensure students can hear what is happening while providing storage!

These storage boxes fit right into the shelving nooks and match my
blue colour scheme!
     The other thing I would like to add are two additional chairs. This area was always very busy in my room and if we happened to be doing a centre activity that featured a conference in this area, then we would run out of seating quickly if groups had 4-5 students. Chairs, however, take up a lot of room and can be quite costly so I was having a hard time finding something that looked nice but didn't eat up my budget or floor space! I did find the LOCKSTA Easy Chair which is small, cheap (only $40) and the cover is even machine washable! Plus, again, fits the colour scheme:

     I am hoping that by focusing on one area of my classroom I am able to refresh the space and make it more functional without spending a lot of money or cluttering up my classroom! How do you refresh your classroom over the summer?

*This post was written based on my own personal opinions. I was not asked by IKEA to promote their products and have received no compensation for this endorsement. 


  1. I have seen so many cute reading areas for elementary, but I wanted some secondary examples..thanks! Now I just wish I had an idea how to find room for this in my class....hmmm

    Kovescence of the Mind

    1. Thanks Sarah, I'm glad I could share mine with you :) I am lucky to have a relatively good sized room; I hope you can find space in yours

  2. I do like those chairs! Our teachers are trying to adapt our 1960s classrooms into modern learning environments through the use of furniture or floor space (we can't shift the walls unfortunately, maybe one day we'll get the internal walls removed so we can have shared teaching spaces for cross-grouping). We think we're doing pretty good with the resources we find or up-cycle. Good luck setting up your room!

    1. Thanks Gemini! Our walls do not shift either. There is, however, a school near us that I have visited that have 80% of their interior walls removed and just use furniture to divide spaces when needed; it is a very collaborative atmosphere! Best of luck with remodelling your spaces :)

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  5. Beautiful! and so cheery! Ikea is heaven for classroom furniture. It is my love. I get coupons from them all the time and they always have great deals when I come in. Deals like “50 off” And “ 30% off” are what make me save a lot of money everytime I shop there.


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