I don't think I've said it in this blog yet, but I love working with kids. Love it. And I have a very strong sense of calling to invest my life into the lives of God's littlest children. Right now, that calling is taking on the form of an in-home daycare. Because I have a seminary degree I often have people make discouraging comments like, "Well that's not what you went to school for" or "Aren't you going to use your degree?" True, you don't need a seminary degree to run a daycare, but this is where God has called me and I will absolutely be using my degree. In the past two years I've learned more about teaching, education, and faith development than I knew there was to know. And I'm going to put that knowledge to use by loving on and helping raise some little kids with the strong and steadfast love of Jesus. Years from now I'll probably "put my degree to use" in a more typical way, but for now I know that this is where I'm called; and where I'm called is where I want to be.
So- in anticipation of this calling, I've been busy ordering baby gear, buying toys off craiglist, and getting our playroom kid-ready. When we were house hunting we looked for a house that had a den or bedroom on the main floor that I could turn into a playroom. This house had just the thing and it was basically a blank canvas:
Weird angle due to trying to get asmuchoftheroomaspossible into the photo.
When we moved in, the only piece of furniture I had to use in this room was a futon from our apartment. Before John and I were married, I purchased this unfinished pine futon from someone on craigslist to use as a bed for guests. It came with navy blue cover of which I was not very fond. So I lovingly and laboriously stained the pine with a dark stain, removed the cover, and beautified it (as much as a futon can be beautified) with throws and neutral pillows.
The futon got a lot of use in our apartment, mostly as a space to read or go online with a laptop.
Sorry about the poor quality photo. This was before I got a fancy pants camera.
In a playroom, however, I knew the white throw wouldn't exactly cut it in terms of keeping clean and safe from little syrup-and-maker-covered hands. So back on went the blue cover. Ugh.
If I had to stick with a blue cover, I knew I had to walk away from my go-to earthy and neutral palate and play with some real color. And not just a pop of color in a pillow or decorative item kind of color. Color on the walls kind of color.
So after weeks of starting at swatches of various greens, oranges, and yellows, I settled on Valspar's "New England Yellow." It just the right intensity for me- not "school bus" or "lines on the road" bright, but not to be described as "pale" or "understated" either. This is a kid's space, after all.
View from the living room couch:
Sorry again about the poor quality. This was taken with my fancy pants camera, but I haven't yet mastered the art of good lighting.
Inside the room:
I picked up the long pillow on clearance at Pier One and went back the next day to get the red ones. They are made of felt and down filled, which I love. The color was again, a bit bold for me, (hence not purchasing them on the first Pier One trip), but I think they work. Can I call them "whimsical?" That's what I'm going for.
These three frames are just cheapies from IKEA filled with scrapbook paper. I love the way they turned out!
Another IKEA find: kids table and chairs.
I am still deciding on what art to put on the wall above the table. I'm leaning toward an owl decal from etsy like this:
What do you think?
And of course, no playroom is complete without toys! My mom found this shelf/organizer unit at a garage sale for me, covered in marker which she patiently sanded off until it looked new (thanks Mom!). I found the baskets (still need one more- $6 each) and wire bins ($1.50 each!) at Target.
So far only Jasper has played in here, but he seems to like it! He actually stole a plush toy mushroom from a play vegetable set I have, and refuses to give it back. Jokes on him though 'cause I'm pretty sure kids don't like mushrooms, anyway.
Still to do in the playroom:
- 2-3 more art pieces on the wall
- window treatment
- add baby gear when it arrives
- more toys!