■ Use a contrasting color to define a homework niche in the family room to make it feel like its own distinct area.
— David Eisen, principal at Abacus Architects + Planners
■ Incorporate mailbox-like slats in kitchen built-ins for school notices and permission slips.
— Jill Litner Kaplan , designer
■ Large European-sized square pillows in a down/polyester mix and upholstered in a thick material are the perfect firmness to lean against on a bed.
— Christine Tuttle , designer
■ Electrify desk and night stand drawers with USB ports and 10-foot cords.
— Heather Vaughan , designer
■ Offer a balance ball instead of a chair and consider a standing desk, or better yet, a standing desk with a treadmill.
— Elizabeth Lowrey, principal and director of interior architecture at Elkus Manfredi Architects
■ Hang an extra-large monitor or flat-screen television in your workspace so kids can project and practice multimedia presentations at home.
— Kelly Taylor, designer
— Marni Elyse Katz