For the family

In plain sight


A third workstation is tucked behind the refrigerator in this L-shaped homework center that's designed to keep kids and parents in close proximity.

Thomas J. Story

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Family workspace

When this kitchen was remodeled to accommodate a family of five, one of the major priorities was to incorporate a homework center with room enough for three computers. The parents wanted to interact with their teenagers when they were on their computers, says kitchen and bath designer and general contractor Iris Harrell, who reconfigured an 11- by 4 1/2-foot closet with senior designer Beth Leibbrandt, creating this homework center on one side of a kitchen and family room.

A large skylight delivers natural light to the desks, a bank of cabinets keeps messy papers behind closed doors, and fabric bulletin boards function as message/reminder centers. "The space is close enough for the mother to supervise homework and chat with the kids while prepping and cooking," Harrell says.

Design  Harrell Remodeling, Mountain View, CA ( or 650/230-2900)

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