Schools and Colleges are often faced with the difficult challenge of trying to design a common room that both looks great and functions as a place of study, relaxation and fun all in one, so we have put together a short list of ways to help you create the perfect student common room.
Now, we might be a little biased here, but we believe seating is one of the most important elements of any common. After all, students primarily use common rooms to sit and either study, relax or eat. Therefore, the seating needs to be first and foremost comfortable, but also configurable. By configurable, we mean the seating should be able to be moved around into new layouts to suit different tasks and to meet different requirements.
Modular seating is freely-moveable and widely-configurable, and serves as a great platform for shared learning activities and group debates, but you can read more about that here.
(2) Interior Decor
Students respond well to bright colours, so it’s a no-brainer to opt for bright blues, yellows, greens, reds and even pinks. What’s even more impressive is if you can coordinate some of the decor in your common room with the colours featured in the school’s logo and branding.
Inspirational quotes and motivational pictures (such as shots of great sporting moments) have been proven to have a positive effect on students too, so get looking for posters and canvasses to inspire your young people.
(3) Forms of Entertainment
We know there is a fine balancing act required here. There’s a tight-rope to walk, so to speak. Offer no form of entertainment and students will feel demotivated, bored and may hold the school in an unfavourable light, but offer too many and you may see a sharp decline in work ethic.
On our travels to various different schools, we’ve found the establishments that seem to have the perfect chemistry in their common rooms are those with something audio (e.g. a CD player), something visual (a television) and something for students to play (e.g. a pool table or chess board). Three forms of school-provided entertainment seems to be about the right number. We tend to think games consoles can become a bit too addictive, so advise against them.
(4) Food, Glorious Food
This is an incredibly simple one: whether it is a toaster, microwave, fridge or even just a vending machine, offering students a way to either prepare or buy food and drink is a sure-fire way to keep them happy.
(5) Windows, Natural Light
Having plenty of natural light flooding in not only helps to make common rooms brighter and livelier, but natural light has been scientifically proven to boost productivity and alertness in people. Now, we appreciate that some schools may not be blessed with a common room boasting an abundance of windows, but if you are designing a brand-new common room, this should be right up there at the top of your list of considerations.
And there you have it, our 5 most important elements needed to create a common room that both looks great and meets the demands of your (very demanding) students.