Back-to-School Home Decor: Cool Desks, Bookcases and More for Kids and Adults

Whether you’re looking for a sturdy desk for your child or hoping to upgrade to a more luxe WFH setup, these six furniture pieces make the grade.

#1 School Desk

school desk
Photo courtesy of Bien Hecho.

Designer-woodworker John Randall took inspiration for this piece from his childhood memories of public schools, with their ubiquitous open-shelf desks. He elevates the form here by recreating it with white pine and antiqued brass. His company is based in Brooklyn and some of the wood was salvaged after Hurricane Sandy.

$5,000 at

Biscia Burlwood Geometric Bookcase by Mermelada Estudio for CB2

biscia burlwood geometric bookcase
Photo courtesy of CB2.

The pandemic rekindled for many a love of print books, and this bookcase, which seems to zig and zag up a wall, is a fun, unconventional take on a furniture standard that’s typically, well, standard. The dark Italian Mappa burl wood adds depth and richness. The bookcase, which stands on its own, can also double as a room divider.

$1,299 at CB2,

Kids Canyon Natural Desk by Leanne Ford for Crate & Kids

kids canyon natural desk
Photo courtesy of Crate & Kids.

Designer and HGTV star Leanne Ford came up with this desk with her toddler daughter’s future in mind. It’s made from solid white oak and natural cane, and the production process is environmentally thoughtful. The result is so stylish that grownups will likely want one for themselves.

$599 at Crate & Kids,

Etting Bookcase 

etting bookcase
Photo courtesy of Room & Board.

Room & Board is known for its high-quality, long-lasting pieces, and this versatile bookcase has the added appeal of its unique materials. It’s sustainably made from Douglas fir that was reclaimed from old row houses in Baltimore, as part of Room & Board’s Urban Wood Project.

$999-$1,299 at Room & Board,

Paravent Ambassade Screen by Charlotte Perriand for Cassina

paravent ambassade screen
Photo courtesy of Cassina.

This screen, made of 313 solid wood blocks connected with metal tie rods, can be shaped into a room divider and would certainly make for a killer Zoom background. The piece was designed in 1966 by Charlotte Perriand—one of the most celebrated designers of the 20th century—for the grand residence of the Japanese ambassador to France. It’s in production for the first time as of this year.

$12,460 (as shown, in American walnut) at Luminaire,

5-Drawer Pivot Cabinet by Dottus Design

5-drawer pivot cabinet
Photo courtesy of the MoMa Design Store.

Love color-coded organization? Look no further than this multi-color cabinet that’s made in Italy of durable, power-coated steel. The five drawers swing out completely for easy access to whatever you’ve got inside. There are a variety of cool color combinations to choose from.

$295 at

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How to Help:

For design lovers who want to give back, consider attending the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, which is accessible virtually through summer 2021. Since 1977, the showcase has raised over $17 million to benefit the San Francisco University High School financial aid program. This event continues to allow hundreds of deserving Bay Area students access to a world-class college preparatory education.

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Lisa Boquiren is an architecture and design aficionada who provides brand strategy for creative businesses. She has overseen rebranding initiatives at EHDD Architects and the San Francisco Design Center, and she creates convergent conversations on A+D, and presents, at the American Institute of Architects’ San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters. Photo by Thomas Heinser

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