Communal Spaces – What is the role of furniture?

Epsom College Seating

Communal areas are essential spaces across school estates and require careful design, in order to create an environment where students can collaborate, socialise, and enjoy both their study and free time.

Are you happy with the current design of your communal areas and study rooms, or could it be time to transform these spaces with furniture solutions that help to make them more inviting, comfortable, and fit for purpose?

If you are looking at creating communal spaces across your school, here are a few key design factors that you may want to consider, to ensure you create an end product that both you and your students will love. 


Comfort is key to ensure students use your communal spaces.

It is clear that common rooms need to be comfortable to encourage more social and relaxed use, but comfort is just as key in study areas.

This is because study areas require a level of comfort that will enable students to focus and not lose concentration by uncomfortable furniture with poor ergonomics.

Therefore, seating within these spaces needs to be supportive and practical.


Seating can play a vital role in spaces such as common rooms and break out areas, where you want to achieve a more relaxed, comfortable feel.

We believe that in order to achieve a space that students will enjoy and truly use to relax and unwind in, a key focus should be on creating a ‘home away from home’ feel.

Soft seating can add this homely and comfortable feel to a space when designed with the right materials, colours and shapes.

Colour Choice

Colours are of course another critical consideration; it is important the space is as aesthetically pleasing as it is comfortable and your choice of colours will affect this.

We can work with you to advise on colour choice, to help give the space a certain mood and feel.

For example, in a study area you want colours that help to increase alertness, without being too overly stimulating. Whereas in a common room or breakout area, you would opt for colours that encourage feelings of relaxation and calmness. 

These spaces do also present an opportunity to maintain your brand and aesthetic. We can colour match to your school branding or even match to the chosen subject colours for the classrooms in that building, depending on what you would like.

The possibilities with colour are endless.

Student Involvement

It is a great idea to incorporate your students in the design of communal spaces, as they will be the ones using them.

Gathering their ideas and what they want from the space is the perfect way to ensure you create a space that they will use and enjoy.

We have extensive experience working alongside schools, teaching staff and students, to discuss design ideas and collaborate to create a space that meets everyone’s requirements.

In some instances, having students input in these types of projects can present ideas that your school may not have even thought about.

This can result in spaces that are innovative, quirky and a real key focal point of your school, ideal for helping you to leave a lasting impression on prospective students and visitors.

Cleanliness Considerations

In regard to maintaining the highest levels of cleanliness across your school estate, when it comes to designing soft seating for communal spaces, we do offer a variety of fabrics some of which are anti-microbial, a great choice to help maintain cleanly and hygienic environments across your school.

If your school is looking at creating communal spaces across your school, or you are planning ahead to give these spaces a refresh, we can support you in creating spaces that are fit for purpose, whilst being inviting and comfortable areas that your students can enjoy.

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