As students prepare for a return to in-person learning, parents are keeping the learning areas they built during the pandemic intact
Emily Porche created a learning space for her two children in her five-bedroom Marietta, Ga., home. Emily Porche
Emily Porche swears by one holdover from her family’s life under lockdown: her children’s learning space.
Ms. Porche initially designed the room as a virtual classroom for her young daughters, but now it is a favorite hangout. With both girls back in school, the hanging chair is a spot for reading and the hand-built desks are used for cursive-writing practice. Having a kid-approved study area has made school assignments less of a chore for Avery, 8, and Hadley, 5, she says.
“Looking past Covid, this is now a space for homework and projects,” says Ms. Porche, owner of an online interior-design company who purchased and renovated a Marietta, Ga., five-bedroom home four years ago for $680,000, according to public records. The classroom-turned-homework space fits the home’s overall modern-classic farmhouse vibe, she adds. It cost her about $3,000.
Even as school districts have proclaimed an end to virtual classes, parents have come away with their own lessons from the experience: the need for organized, stand-alone learning areas far from chaotic kitchen counters or distraction-filled bedrooms. In addition to repurposing rooms in existing homes, developers and real-estate agents also are marketing and staging these spaces to would-be buyers.
“The family’s priorities have changed,” says Fredrik Eklund, an agent with Douglas Elliman in New York. “People want these learning centers.”