Study Room Design Ideas for Small & Contemporary Spaces

Study Room Design Ideas for Small & Contemporary Spaces

Creating a study room in your home is a great way to foster productivity and provide a dedicated space for work or study. Whether you're designing a space for your children, setting up a home office, or creating a quiet corner for reading, the right design can make all the difference.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various study room design ideas to help you create a functional and aesthetically pleasing workspace. We’ll cover everything from modern and contemporary designs to solutions for small spaces, ensuring you find the perfect setup for your needs.

Key Considerations for Study Room Design

Before diving into specific design ideas, consider the following key factors to ensure your study room meets your needs:


  • Student Study Room: Focus on creating a space conducive to learning and homework, with ample storage for school supplies and a comfortable desk and chair for long study sessions.
  • Home Office: Prioritise functionality and ergonomics, ensuring you have the necessary technology and furniture for productivity, such as a spacious desk, an ergonomic chair, and adequate lighting.
  • Reading Nook: Design a cosy, quiet space with comfortable seating, good lighting, and storage for books, creating a peaceful environment perfect for reading.


  • Available Area: Measure your space to understand what can fit comfortably without overcrowding. Ensure there is enough room for movement and that furniture placement does not obstruct natural light sources.
  • Natural Light: Consider the availability of natural light and how you can maximise it for a bright, inviting workspace. Position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light, which can enhance focus and reduce eye strain.
  • Noise Levels: Choose a location in your home that is relatively quiet to minimise distractions. Consider adding soundproofing elements if necessary, such as rugs, curtains, or acoustic panels.


  • Furniture: Determine how much you can spend on essential items like desks, chairs, and storage solutions. Look for quality pieces that offer both functionality and durability.
  • Decor: Allocate a portion of your budget for decorative elements that will enhance the room’s aesthetic appeal, such as wall art, rugs, and plants. Shop around for affordable decor options and consider DIY projects to personalise your space.

Modern Study Room Design Ideas

Modern study rooms focus on clean lines, minimalist decor, and functional furniture. Here are some key elements to consider:

Minimalist Furniture

  • Sleek Desks: Opt for a simple, streamlined desk that provides enough workspace without being bulky. Look for designs with built-in storage to keep the surface clutter-free. Consider materials like metal and glass for a modern aesthetic.
  • Ergonomic Chairs: Invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair to support long hours of work or study. Choose a chair with adjustable height, lumbar support, and a design that complements your desk.

Neutral Colour Palette

  • White and Grey: Use neutral colours like white, grey, and beige to create a calm and focused environment. These colours also make the room feel larger and more open. Complement the neutral palette with textures and patterns to add visual interest.
  • Accent Colors: Add pops of colour through accessories like cushions, rugs, or wall art to keep the room from feeling too sterile. Choose colours that inspire creativity and focus, such as blue for calmness or green for productivity.

Functional Storage Solutions

  • Floating Shelves: Install floating shelves to keep books and supplies organised without taking up floor space. Floating shelves can be both practical and decorative, allowing you to display items that inspire you.
  • Storage Bins: Use stylish storage bins and boxes to keep smaller items tidy and out of sight. Opt for bins that match your room's colour scheme and design for a cohesive look.

Contemporary Study Room Design Ideas

Contemporary designs often blend modern elements with personal touches, creating a stylish yet functional space. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Mixed Materials

  • Wood and Metal: Combine natural materials like wood with industrial elements like metal for a chic, contemporary look. A wooden desk with metal legs, for example, can be both stylish and sturdy.
  • Glass Accents: Incorporate glass elements, such as a glass desk or decorative items, to add a touch of elegance and modernity. Glass can also help make a small room feel more open and airy.

Statement Lighting

  • Pendant Lights: Use pendant lights or a statement chandelier to add visual interest and enhance the room’s lighting. Choose designs that complement the room's overall style, whether it's industrial, modern, or eclectic.
  • Task Lighting: Ensure you have adequate task lighting, such as a desk lamp, to reduce eye strain and improve focus. Adjustable desk lamps with LED bulbs are ideal for providing targeted light where you need it most.

Personalized Decor

  • Art Prints: Decorate the walls with art prints or photographs that reflect your personal style and interests. Choose frames and arrangements that enhance the room's aesthetic and create a cohesive look.
  • Greenery: Add plants to bring life and colour into the space, improving air quality and creating a more inviting atmosphere. Consider low-maintenance plants like succulents or snake plants that thrive indoors.

Ideas for Small Study Rooms

Designing a study room in a small space requires creativity and smart solutions. Here are some tips to make the most of a compact area:

Multi-Functional Furniture

  • Wall-Mounted Desks: Install a wall-mounted desk that can be folded away when not in use, saving valuable floor space. These desks are ideal for small rooms or shared spaces where flexibility is key.
  • Convertible Furniture: Look for furniture that serves multiple purposes, such as a desk that doubles as a storage unit or a chair that can be used as a guest seat. Consider modular furniture that can be reconfigured as your needs change.

Vertical Storage

  • Tall Bookcases: Utilise vertical space with tall bookcases or shelving units to store books and supplies without crowding the floor. Arrange items by frequency of use, keeping essentials within easy reach.
  • Pegboards: Install a pegboard above your desk to keep tools and supplies organised and easily accessible. Pegboards can be customised with hooks, shelves, and containers to suit your needs.

Light and Bright

  • Light Colours: Use light colours on the walls and furniture to make the room feel larger and more open. Soft pastels and whites can create a fresh, airy atmosphere.
  • Mirrors: Incorporate mirrors to reflect light and create the illusion of more space. Position mirrors to catch natural light and brighten the room.

Lamps & Lighting

Proper lighting is essential for a study room, as it affects both productivity and comfort. Here are some tips to optimise your lighting:

Natural Light

  • Windows: Position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light. Natural light enhances mood and reduces eye strain, making it ideal for a study environment.
  • Window Treatments: Use sheer curtains or blinds to control the amount of light entering the room while maintaining privacy. Adjustable window treatments allow you to adapt the lighting to different times of the day.

Task Lighting

  • Desk Lamps: Choose a desk lamp with adjustable arms and brightness levels to provide focused lighting for reading and writing. LED desk lamps are energy-efficient and offer a range of colour temperatures to suit different tasks.
  • Under-Shelf Lighting: Install under-shelf lighting to illuminate your workspace without taking up additional space. These lights are great for small study rooms where every inch counts.

Ambient Lighting

  • Ceiling Lights: Use ceiling lights to provide general illumination for the entire room. Recessed lights, flush mounts, or pendant lights can all work depending on the room's size and style.
  • Floor Lamps: Add floor lamps to brighten dark corners and create a layered lighting effect. Choose designs that complement your decor and provide adjustable lighting options.

Wall Treatment

The walls of your study room play a significant role in setting the tone and enhancing the functionality of the space. Here are some ideas for wall treatments:


  • Neutral Shades: Opt for neutral shades like white, beige, or grey to create a calm and focused environment. Neutral colours provide a versatile backdrop that works with various decor styles.
  • Accent Walls: Consider painting one wall in a bold colour to create a focal point and add visual interest. Choose colours that inspire creativity and energy, such as blue, green, or yellow.


  • Patterns and Textures: Use wallpaper to introduce patterns and textures that add depth and personality to the room. Geometric designs, botanical prints, or subtle textures can enhance the room's aesthetic.
  • Removable Wallpaper: Consider removable wallpaper for an easy, non-permanent way to update your space. This option is great for renters or those who like to change their decor frequently.

Decorative Panels

  • Wood Panels: Add warmth and character with wood panels or shiplap walls. This treatment works well in both modern and rustic settings, creating a cosy atmosphere.
  • Cork Boards: Install cork boards on one wall for a functional and decorative element. Use the boards to pin notes, calendars, and inspirational images, keeping your workspace organised and personalised.

Study project

Go monochromatic for a workspace that inspires big ideas. Give your walls and furnishings an industrial feel with Dulux Design Effects Stainless Steel Effect, Dulux Duramax and Dulux Aquanamel finishes.

What to consider before you start

How much paint do I need?

Use our simple, online paint calculator to determine the amount of paint you need. Head to

Already painted surfaces in good condition

If the surface is already painted and in good condition with no stains or mould you shouldn’t need an undercoat. Check the instructions on the product label to determine if a light sand is required. Ensure the surface is clean, dry and free from dust, oils and grease before you start.

Unpainted surfaces in good condition

If you are painting bare, unpainted walls, furniture or ceiling, apply one coat of Dulux® 1Step® Prep over the entire surface. For bare plaster ensure to use Dulux PRECISION® Sealer Binder.

Patch any cracks and holes with a suitable filler or sealant, such as Selleys® Spakfilla®®. Lightly sand down the surface to a smooth level then dust off. Apply one coat of Dulux 1 Step Primer Sealer Undercoat over the repairs.


If your walls or ceiling have mould, you will need to remove the mould with Selleys® Rapid Mould Killer™ or 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Scrub with a scouring pad and bleach solution then leave solution on the surface for 15 minutes. Wash with clean water and wipe dry. To ensure mould does not recur, it is important to eliminate the cause of the mould growth. Several applications may be necessary to remove stubborn mould blooms. Once the mould has been removed and the surface is clean, dry and free from dust, oils and grease, you can paint without an undercoat.


Wash surfaces with Selleys Sugar Soap and if stains persist use a specialist stain blocker to prevent the stains migrating through your topcoat and appearing in your new paint job. The Dulux PRECISION range of specialty stain blockers will have a product to suit your stain problem.


If undertaking a spray project, for ease of application use a Lazy Susan. This will help you spray the object evenly on all sides, without walking in circles or handling it. To help protect surfaces from overspray, use drop sheets, tape or newspaper. Also, ensure the surface is clean and dry, free from grease, rust and dirt. If priming bare steel and iron, or an undercoat is required, use a Dulux Duramax® Undercoat (Metal, Plastic or General Purpose Undercoat). Shake the can for at least one minute before use and regularly during use. After spraying, prevent blocking by flipping the can upside down and spraying until clear gas emerges. Also wipe the front of the nozzle clean.


1. Follow the preparation steps this guide.

2. Start by cutting in around the edges of the wall with a brush – these are areas the roller cannot easily reach.

3. Load the roller in the tray with a reasonable amount of paint. 

4. Start rolling the wall in an ‘M’ pattern. Start closest to the natural light source. Continue over the same section until the wall is evenly covered.

5. Using an unloaded roller begin in the top left corner of your wall and gently let the roller roll down to the baseboards in a straight line with no pressure. A lightness of touch will prevent new brush strokes from forming. Repeat this action only this time, slightly overlap your last movement so your roller rubs away the line created by the previous stroke. Continue this across the area you have painted. This is called laying off.

6. Reload your roller and apply a second and third coat. Stainless Steel Effect always requires a third coat.

7. For a brushed finish, lay off lightly with a wide brush.

Desk & Drawers

1. Follow the preparation steps on this guide.

2. For technique, start by cutting in around the edges of furniture piece

3. Apply paint to the surface using short, horizontal brush strokes.

4. Smooth over the painted section with long brush strokes. Do not reload the brush when you do this. Don’t brush it too much – a few strokes should be enough to smooth the surface.

5. Use a roller to paint in the middle section.

6. Repeat this process until complete. Allow to dry, then give the surface a light sand with 400 grit sandpaper and repeat for a second coat.


1. Follow the preparation instructions for spraying on this guide.

2. If using Dulux Duramax Black Satin and Dulux Duramax Metallic Finish Silver apply in multiple light, mist coats.

3. Follow after spraying instructions on this guide.

4. Now, admire your transformation! Great job!

Frequently Asked Questions About Study Room Design

How can I create a productive study environment?

Focus on minimising distractions, ensuring good lighting, and using ergonomic furniture. Personalise the space with items that motivate and inspire you.

What are some affordable ways to decorate a study room?

Use budget-friendly decor such as DIY wall art, second-hand furniture, and inexpensive storage solutions like baskets and bins. Look for sales and discounts at local home improvement stores.

How can I maximise storage in a small study room?

Utilise vertical space with shelves and pegboards, choose furniture with built-in storage, and keep the area organised with bins and boxes. Consider multifunctional furniture to save space.

What type of lighting is best for a study room?

A combination of natural light, ambient lighting, and task lighting is ideal. Ensure your desk has a good desk lamp, and use overhead lights for general illumination.

How do I choose the right colour scheme for my study room?

Opt for calming and neutral colours to create a focused environment. Add pops of colour through accessories and decor to keep the space lively and engaging.

Designing the perfect study room involves balancing functionality, comfort, and style. Whether you’re working with a spacious home office or a small corner in your living room, the right design can make all the difference.


By considering your specific needs, choosing the right furniture, and incorporating your personal style, you can create a productive and inspiring workspace in your home.

With these study room design ideas, you'll be well on your way to creating a space that not only looks great but also enhances your productivity and enjoyment. Happy designing!

Need help? 

For any further help on your project, call our friendly Help & Advice Team. Australia: 13 25 25, New Zealand: 0800 800 424. Or you can contact our live chat team online at

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