Creating a Multipurpose Room for Homeschooling, Working and Playing

This second-hand table and chairs just needed some stain to fit with everything else in this room.

Refinish table and chairs

For a multipurpose room that partially serves as a homeschool, we need a table.
After a little sanding , the top of the table is ready for a new coat of stain.

We also recovered the chairs with new fabric. (You should have seen what was on them beforehand.)

Install Sliding Doors

The Bass’ home has a clear view of the formal living room from the foyer — not a good thing! We’ll cover it up with sliding doors.

We’re ready to install the sliding doors over the cased opening to the room.

Once the track is level and secure, we can hang the doors and add the accessories. Then it’s time to install the display shelf.

Sliding doors can drown out nearby distractions so the children can concentrate on their school work. The doors also allow John and Emily to hide the play area from visitors.


Add Open Book Shelf in Book Nook

A display shelf for children’s books will encourage John and Emily’s kids to read.
The book covers on display will also add some visual interest to the room.
After we build the shelf, Emily helps John apply the stain.


Install Light Fixture in Ceiling

This light fixture adds a modern elegance (and ambiance) to the mulipurpose room.

John and Danny carefully remove the crown molding so wiring can be routed from the ceiling cavity into the wall cavity, without removing drywall. We’ll re-use this molding, so it’s important to remove the nails carefully.
Our electricians, Wayne and Jeremy, finish adding an overhead light.


“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf visit with John and Emily Bass, and their three children, John Findley, Ellie and Shepard.

Post-Production Thoughts

The formal living room in John and Emily’s house wasn’t needed for a formal purpose.

With three small children, the need was much greater for a play space, homeschool activities and Emily’s home office.

Plus, the room lacked good lighting and a way to close it off from the rest of the house.

The addition of overhead lighting will make the room much more useful and the sliding doors will allow the kids to focus during school time while John and Emily can hide the chaos of their play time.

The display bookshelf is both attractive and an encouragement for the kids to read often.

Our second-hand table and chairs cleaned up nicely for the kids’ learning space and the chalkboard makes it all seem “official.”

And the cubicle storage system will allow Emily to keep their school materials and toys well organized.

Best of all? This entire project (for materials only) cost just under $950.

That includes:
• Doors: $64 per door
• Door Hardware: $440
• Light Fixture: $82
• Book Cases (4): $175
• Lumber for Chalkboard: $24
• Chalkboard Paint: $10
• Table/Chairs: $50
• Corkboard Squares: $12
• Fabric to Recover Chairs: $12

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Trimming Trees? Do This to Extend Your Reach 5 Feet

You can trim high, hard-to-reach tree branches with this Simple Solution from Joe Truini. Watch this video to learn how. Watch video.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
This Reciprocating Saw Offers More Power, Less Mess

Ridgid’s 18-volt octane reciprocating saw has a brushless motor, so you’re going to get more power and longer battery life. Watch video.

Watch and Learn:
How to Hang Sliding Doors

Sliding door hardware can be used on almost any style of door. Here’s how to install these popular “barn” doors. Watch video.





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Creating a Multipurpose Room for Homeschooling, Working and Playing