This post is different from the hundred other posts on this blog because it is about you all – the readers of “dress your home” who have kept it going for so long with your kind words of encouragement. Namratha, a reader, wrote to me about a fortnight ago asking for suggestions to do up her study room.

I could have replied as I usually do and not reached out to you. But, I felt this project is like a clean slate to begin with and a great platform for us to tap into our design sensibilities collectively, toss the ideas back and forth, and see what would work and why. So, I’m reaching out to you all to suggest how you can transform Namratha’s existing study into a more fun, efficient and functional space where work doesn’t seem like work (if you know what I mean).

I asked Namratha a few questions to better understand her requirements, the layout of the room and any special preferences for colors. This is what she had to say —

We haven’t done this room for last 6 years and now with a baby we are forced to redo stuff to meet her and our requirements. We have a temporary storage unit which I want to dispose right now. 
I the room, I want to create space for all the books in the house, for the computer and all its accessories like printer, scanner, fax, wires, wi-fi, papers etc..

The room measures 9.5 X 11.5 feet. Her daughter has a separate room, so she wants to use this room as a library and an office room. Eventually if she wants to use it, she can use the same room. So, nothing in specific for the kids. It just has to look more organized.

A desk and chair occupies one corner of the room.

As Namratha said, this storage unit will go away freeing up the floor space. She is not looking at dedicated book shelves. Partly open/partly closed should be good enough. The idea she has in mind is to build the whole wall with a cupboard, from the roof to the floor. All future requirement of books will also be taken care of. Do you think a wall to wall book shelf with a working space in the center would be a good idea, or should she make use of the window and place the desk overlooking it?

Please don your design caps and tell me how would you design it to suit your tastes. Never been this eager to see your creative responses :) To make it easier, how about leaving a link to a particular study you like in the comment section below? Or, if it’s even just  one part you like in a room like a study desk or a book shelf from a retail site, go ahead and let’s get the conversation started!

I’ll collate them along with a few more one week from now.

Image courtesy: Namratha



  1. Hi Lakshmi,

    Thanks for giving us such a great opportunity! I’ve been a long time follower of your blog :)

    For Namratha’s study, as it is a small room, I would suggest that she make a long, cushioned window seat with storage shelves below to span the entire length of the wall with the two windows. This would eliminate the need for any other seating and give her some storage space without dominating the room. A nice floor dhurrie/ rug and a bean bag would be good for casual seating.

    My favorite office space is the one from Young House Love – I love the design, the colors and the placement of the desk.(
    Maybe Namratha could try something similar??

  2. I just sent her a mail! She requested for the pictures, asked a few questions and then created the blog.

    Organizing books has become a real challenge for me. Discussions and sharing of information can create a lot of new ideas. Lakshmi’s blog is a best place for this I thought.

    Thanks to Lakshmi for agreeing to do this for me.
    I’m open to any kind of new and different ideas.


  3. Thank you Sarah. Haven’t thought about that at all.
    Have listed your idea.

  4. laksh

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your kind words, and making the first suggestion here. I think a seating arrangement by the window is a brilliant idea, and the young house love design is extraordinary (anything those folks do is always splendid). I liked this makeover I saw recently on AT – Somehow I feel the room’s layout and the size are similar to Namratha’s. Choosing the right wall color and furnishing is half the battle won.

  5. Hi Lakshmi,
    You’re absolutely right! The dimensions of Namratha’s study are almost the same as Christina’s room (the link you posted)…I love the wall shelves too…that would be a great addition to Namratha’s study.

  6. Daikin India


    We might not be as big an expert in decor like you and others who have commented, yet here are few suggestions. :)

    1) Since it is a study/office room, it should be brightly lit with light sources on the ceiling and not on the walls.

    2) The book shelf should be on attached to the wall and not a separate unit. Instead of having one big and only shelf, she can use the small shelves as wall accessories too. Probably having two-three different small shelves could help. The point is to have an attractive shelf, which without the books also adds up to the decor.

    Hope this helps Namratha.

  7. laksh

    Thanks for the follow-up comment Sarah. Any ideas on how to use corners in a more useful way?

  8. laksh

    Thank you for your suggestions, Daikin India. The point you’ve raised on lighting is a thoughtful one. And more the natural light, the better it would be. Wall colors also play a role in this..I’d personally stay off dark colors for the study.

  9. Thanks Daikin India. I love what you said…attractive shelf, which without the books also adds up to the decor.

    Please share more ideas on this if you have.

  10. Angelic Angel

    I loved Sarah and Daikin India’s ideas.. Infact, I thought on the same lines… This is my first suggestion to anyone on interiors so I dunno if this is what you are looking for.. But its an idea anyways… right?
    1. Make the room white or a very light shade of cool colors like blue or green.
    2. Instead of making one storage unit across a wall… make it a lil more interesting. Start creating the unit from the middle of one wall right upto the end and extend it to the next wall upto two-thirds or half the length of the wall. This unit can be of d same color as the wall colors. Just paint the inner planks with bright colors. Also this unit can be made more interesting by replacing the conventional shapes with an arrangement of, say, hexagonal boxes.. or with an asymmetric collection of rectangular and square boxes with rounded edges. The ones at the bottom may also be closed so that we can rest our backs against them & use it as storage.
    3. We’ll need an asymmetrically shaped rug to go to this corner of the room… This will help it blend with the walls. There’ll be a number of pillows here.. This could be the space for the young child while the parents are busy working. This could also be a place where you could just sit against the wall and relax.
    4. There could be a long & wide couch near the windows, (spacious enough to lie down) again in white with a no. of colorful pillows Or in a bright color with toned down pillows
    5. One corner will have a sleek table and chair for the work area.
    6. There could be a big family picture on the wall between the windows and the door or in between the two windows..

    Well… hope it was not very confusing.. I just had a design in my mind which i tried to convey…

    And by the way, I love this Blog :)

  11. Hi Nam,
    My 2 cents based on my experience raising 2 kids and having to pick up after them – Your existing desk looks nice so maybe you can keep that and work towards adding closed bookshelves to match it. Closed bookshelves will ensure your toddler is not taking out books at every given chance and will also keep everything inside it relatively dust free. Since she may also use this room at some point, like some of the suggestions above, you can have some comfortable seating for her as well. You can leave some part of the wall blank so that you can display pictures of the family or your child’s art.

  12. Angelic Angel, I love the idea in point 2. Can you please post some pics for an idea or a link if you have any. thank you.

  13. Thanks Deepa, You really brought out a good point. Maintaining will be a nightmare if we do not make it simple and dust free.

  14. Angelic Angel

    Hi Namratha..
    I don’t have a link showing the exact idea but something to give you the feel of it. Rest you’ll have to imagine ;)
    This is the shape and structure I am referring to

    Another link..
    You can have the hexagonal unit in white as in the picture and the inner wall of the unit of another color as in the pic of ‘Ikea billy units'( just above the hexagonal unit pic)

    And when i say.. starting from one wall, ending at another and an asymmetrical rug/ carpet to go with it.. you can get the feel for the same from these pics by Design Star from HGTV:(the 1st pic in d link below)

    I hope these help..

  15. Hi :

    This is the first time I am getting an opportunity to express my decor ideas in a public space. Thanks to Lakshmi for providing this forum.

    A few inputs :

    – For books it will be good to use one corner space with a tall bookshelf having glass doors. If the collection of books are high then another option would be to have a wall mounted book shelf instead of a bookstand. The side where the study table is currently place probably you can use this space. It will be a change
    – You can use the space between the windows to putup some floating shelfs (coloured) where you can probably keep some family photoframes etc.
    – The windows open inwards hence it may not be possible to make seating arrangement just below the window instead may be you can place a bean bag on the floor between the window and the study desk opposite side to the window (where currently the bookshelf is placed).
    – A colourful rug will again add colour to the room

    Rest you can leave it open to accomodate changes in future which may arise from your childs need for a study space.

  16. Angelic angel,
    It’s clear after the pictures. Thank you very much for sharing.
    I love the idea and pinned it.

  17. Hi Nirmala,
    Thanks to Lakshmi for helping us in different ways. Floating shelves idea is good. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hi, I am avid reader of this blog. I am going through a renovation crisis. I am in bad need of advice pertaining to my apartment. It is a small apartment but the space usage is not appropriate. After living in this apartment for close to 4 years, I realized I needed to something about it. If there are any interior designers cum architects in Bangalore, I would be happy to take their advice. Thanks.

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