Gratnells Blog & Buzz

Gratnells manufacturers the world’s most popular educational storage solutions, the result of research and partnerships with educators around the world. Here you can find information about our dedication to learning and educational spaces as well as our headlines and accomplishments.

Designs that allow teachers to thrive

by Dr Robert Dillon

Designing an effective and efficient classroom is not just about aesthetics and student engagement, it significantly impacts teacher wellness. A well-designed classroom can contribute to a teacher’s sense of well-being and job satisfaction. Space design alone won’t bring the holistic wellness that we need for teachers. It can play a role as we outline below, but it is important for educators to see wellness as a continuous process that relies on before, during and after school strategies.

Space design plays a key role during the school day, but educator wellness begins before the school day starts. Goal setting, gratitude journaling and exercise can all play a role in bolstering energy and mindset leading into a school day especially after a thoughtful night of sleep.

Following a long and stressful day, it is important to have a community of individuals that can help you to process the day, let some of the stress go and place the difficult moments of the day into context. These can be colleagues at school or members of your support team beyond the school. This wellness strategy along with managing communication and email so that it ends at a scheduled time and getting the nutrients that your body needs each night are a key to this cycle of wellness.

During the school day, wellness can’t be just an act of subtraction. It requires proactive efforts to maintain and add to the right energy needed for effective and efficient teaching. Below are five learning space tips to contribute to an environment of wellness during the school day in your classroom.

Personalized Touches

Allowing teachers to personalize their classroom space can lead to a greater sense of ownership and comfort. Personal touches can make the classroom feel more like a second home. It is easy to get this out of balance though, so personalize without adding clutter.

Natural Lighting and Ventilation

Incorporating natural light and ensuring good air quality can boost mood, energy, and cognitive function. A classroom that is well-lit and well- ventilated can make the teaching environment more pleasant, which is beneficial for teacher effectiveness.

Incorporate Greenery

Adding plants to the classroom can purify the air and bring a sense of calm to the space. The presence of greenery has been linked to reduced stress and improved teacher daily satisfaction.

Clutter-Free Spaces

A clutter-free classroom can significantly impact teacher mental clarity. Organizing materials and minimizing clutter can help reduce anxiety and promote a calm, focused learning atmosphere, contributing to a teacher’s peace of mind.

Flexible Seating Arrangements

Implementing flexible seating allows students to choose where and how they learn best, fostering a more dynamic and interactive learning environment. This adaptability can reduce classroom management challenges, allowing teachers to focus more on teaching than on discipline, thus reducing stress.

Color Palette

Developing a color palette that carries across all aspects of your classroom can take time, but it is worth the effort. Our brain seeks balance and coordination. When the colors of your classroom don’t fit together, it subconsciously taxes our day slowly stealing energy and endurance from the day.

Well-designed classrooms extend beyond educational effectiveness; they are a form of teacher wellness. Teachers spend a significant portion of their day in the classroom, and an environment that is visually appealing, make a considerable difference in their professional and personal well-being. By implementing thoughtful design choices, teachers can create a space that not only enhances learning outcomes but also supports


Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2015). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment, 89, 118-133.

Heschong, L. (2003). Windows and Classrooms:
A Study of Student Performance and the Indoor Environment. California Energy Commission: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Raanaas, R. K., Evensen, K. H., Rich, D., Sjøstrøm, G., & Patil, G. (2011). Benefits of indoor plants on attention capacity in an office setting. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31(1), 99-105.

Proshansky, H. M., Fabian, A. K., & Kaminoff, R. (1983). Place-identity: Physical world socialization of the self. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 3(1), 57-83.

“Resources for Individuals.” Education Support, Education Support Partnership, View Article. Accessed 9 April 2024.

“The TFA Editorial Team.” Teach For America, 15 May 2020, View Article

Professor Peter Barrett, Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Oxford University, has dedicated over a decade to classroom innovation.

Clever Classrooms Website

Physical Classroom Design & Learning Outcomes

Professor Peter Barrett, Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Oxford University, has spent over a decade studying how learning spaces impact learning outcomes. Gratnells is pleased to work with Dr. Barrett and share his research with educators and administrators as we continue to advance and refine classrooms worldwide.

Innovation in classroom design involves looking at these spaces from a a variety of aspects. Take a look at Dr. Barrett's '10 Tips' guide to classroom innovation, and if you would like to take a look at Dr. Barrett's more in-depth study, download his Clever Classrooms research report.

Ten Tips for Classroom Innovation

Clever Classrooms Detailed Research

Introducing the Virtual Classroom

Gratnells is pleased to introduce our products through our all-new, interactive virtual classroom. Check out videos and download spec sheets covering our [...]

Gratnells Donates for Scout Project

Gratnells was very happy to donate trays to Girl Scout Troop 3877 from Suffolk County, NY for a nursing home community planting [...]

Gratnells Anti-Microbial Trays and Carts

Gratnells has been producing antimicrobial trays in the UK for the medical sector for years. In these extraordinary times, Gratnells is increasing [...]

Designer Binder Now Available on MRL 4.0

MyResourceLibrary is the premier digital library serving the contract market. MRL’s virtual library offers you access to all of the resources that [...]

New MakerHub is the Perfect STEAM Cart!

Coming soon to the Gratnells collection of STEAM storage systems is the MakerHub, a newly designed multi-functional resource cart that promotes collaborative [...]

Arduino + Google + Gratnells!

Arduino, in conjunction with Google, has selected Gratnells to package its fully self-contained and classroom-ready Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab developed especially [...]

Robolink Chooses Gratnells For Drone Packaging

Robolink (San Diego, CA) has chosen Gratnells to produce the latest specialty packaging for their popular CoDrone kit. Established in 2012, Robolink’s [...]

Gratnells Trays Key in Makerspace @ ISTE 2019!

Technology in schools may be new but organizing the classroom is as old as the moon. EdTech companies looking to supply new [...]

June Newsletter Released

Our June newsletter is out! Take a look here if you aren’t already a subscriber, and be sure to sign up so [...]

Gratnells – Our Amazing Process

Gratnells creates the finest configurable storage systems in the world, and now you can get an inside look into how it’s done. [...]

EdSpaces 2019 Keynote: Tony Wagner

Gratnells is pleased to announce our sponsorship of EDspaces 2019, the premier conference dedicated to the future of learning environments. This year, [...]

GESS Education Awards – Gratnells Wins!

Gratnells scoops second international award for its MakerSpace trolley The GESS Education Awards were established to encourage the raising of standards in [...]

Manufacturing Guild Mark Awarded

  Gratnells has been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark from The Furniture Makers’ Company after successfully passing the rigorous independent audit. [...]

Activity: Festive Tree Maze

It’s December! ?❄️?Check out this fabulously festive task for elementary school students. Challenge the students to create a Christmas Tree shaped maze [...]

Pasco Expands Gratnells Partnership

PASCO, a global leader in classroom scientific solutions, trusts Gratnells to provide a wide range of storage options for scientific and lab-based [...]

Michael Horn: The Future of School Design

The Future of School Design / Michael B. Horn The steady march of disruptive innovation is growing louder in K–12 schools across [...]

Gratnells makes its debut at EDspaces

Gratnells has appeared on the US exhibition circuit for the first time at EDspaces in Kansas City. The company demonstrated its continued [...]

Gratnells – Great YouTube Resources!

Gratnells is committed to partnering with the educational community, and we regularly release information that applies to students, educators, and administrators. Our [...]

Gratnells MakerSpace Trolley Wins Award

The 2018 Worlddidac Association award-winning Gratnells MakerSpace trolley, launched in early 2018, is designed to respond to the growing trend for collaborative [...]

Gratnells committed to educational partnerships

At Gratnells, we are committed to supporting education and positive learning environments around the world. We offer resources for educators who would [...]

Gratnells Education Matters Newsletter

Gratnells is pleased to offer a substantive monthly newsletter that explores many facets of classroom environments and learning spaces. We offer in-depth content, educational resources and ideas, as well as information regarding Gratnells award winning products.

Sign up for free today!