Home Improvement Projects That Will Make Teachers Swoon

These 8 upgrades should be on every educator’s to-do list.

Home Improvement Projects That Will Make Teachers Swoon - Confident Older Woman Sitting at Her Home Office Desk

by NEA Member Benefits

While you’re nesting at home, you’re probably thinking about all of the home renovation, decoration and organization projects you could do that would breathe more life into your living space.

As an educator, you’d likely be drawn to shelves upon shelves bursting with well-worn books, an open canvas to document your spontaneous thoughts and structured plans, and spaces that make it easier to juggle work-life balance.

Read on to get inspiration for personal projects—everything from simple DIY upgrades that don’t require tools to bigger home renovation jobs—that say “an educator lives here!”

1. An expansive built-in bookcase

Custom Built-In Bookcases Along an Entire Wall

Is there anything else that’s as simultaneously soothing and exhilarating as seeing a wall of nicely organized books? With a custom-built bookcase spanning the room, you can take comfort in knowing that your entire reading collection is at your fingertips whenever you get the urge for inspiration, information or entertainment. Bonus points if you have a big comfy chair nearby to curl up in.

2. A small nook for a home office

A Desk with a Laptop in a Home Office

The temporary switch to remote learning in response to COVID-19 has taught us that having a dedicated, organized space at home to grade papers and plan lessons is a necessity. Take time now to consider what you’d really like to have in your working-at-home space—everything from location (near a window; in a separate room with a door) to furnishings (desk, countertop space, chair, etc.). Pepper your work area with accessories to make it comfortable.

If space is tight, or if you just want be able to hide your stuff, a creative DIY hack is to convert a standalone wardrobe with doors into a multifunctioning desk. Or stow away a narrow desk inside a closet with folding doors.

3. A cozy built-in window seat

Comfy Window Seat at Home

Energizing daylight, soft blankets and plump cushions will beckon you to your special spot, reserved for reading, working or simply daydreaming.

4. A chalkboard paint wall

Two Young Boys Drawing on a Chalkboard Wall

Paint a section of a wall with black chalkboard paint, and use it for artistic expression, making lists, tracking schedules, assigning chores, jotting down ideas and more. With all of your scribbles in plain view, everyone in your family will be on the same wall—er, page.

5. Double sinks in the bathroom

Bathroom with a Double Vanity

There will be no more jockeying for mirror space when you expand your vanity area to include two sinks. The extra space will help everyone get ready for school and work easily and on time in the morning.

6. Upgraded kitchen appliances

Father Smiling While He Prepares Lunch for Son at Home

With a new oven and large refrigerator/freezer, you’ll be prepared to make and store lots of meals in advance, which can make it easier on yourself during the school week. Pre-pack healthy lunches that you can grab in the morning, and use your new microwave to warm up your homemade dinners in a flash.

7. An outdoor entertaining space

Happy Friends Holding Glasses and Toasting at a Garden Party

If you love decorating your classroom, you probably love decorating your home for parties, too. Get your back yard ready for celebrations again by installing a patio or deck, a fire pit, lush landscaping, a fresh fence, maybe even a water feature. Then outfit your new digs with durable outdoor furniture, a high-capacity grill and more. Top it all off with colorful streamers, serveware and string lights to create a festive space for your family and guests.

8. A workout spot

Mature African-American Woman Lifting Weights

Fitting in fitness can be a challenge for busy educators. And with concerns about coronavirus making some people hesitant about going to the gym, now’s a good time to dedicate some space in your home to working out. Whether you allocate space in your garage, basement or a corner of your bedroom, you can set up a home gym with anything from small gear like resistance bands, dumbbells, foam blocks and a mat, to big investments like a treadmill and a weight machine.

If space is limited, look for items that can be easily stored in a container, a closet or under your bed. Consider mounting a mirror to the wall so you can ensure you’re using good form.

Tackle your home improvement projects