I owe you some photos of our fall fun as of late. We did some pumpkin picking not too long ago, and went on a wonderful small trip to Bar Harbor, Maine to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary. Little P. loved collecting the plentiful fall leaves! I got to take lots of beautiful photos while we hiked around Acadia National Park...a favorite place of ours. We also got married in Bar Harbor, so it's a very special place for us. It was great to show it to Paige, even if she is a little too young to really appreciate it yet!
For this past week, Little P and I have been very sick with colds and all the fun that entails. I'm currently in bed, propped on pillows as I write this. Thank God for the weekend and my amazing husband who is tending to all things house and toddler. I'm looking forward to feeling better. Another week ahead, another chance!
SO! On to some exciting plans that I'll share with you!
I have decided to convert our office into a playroom for Paige (and future kids when the time comes). Since having her, I've put my business on hold so that I can focus on raising her (and future kids, hopefully...and NO I'm not pregnant but I like to think ahead!) I figured the room is just sitting there unused, so why not change it so it can be useful again? The other reason I'd like to change it is because I'm still fighting with my television addiction (Curses!!!) and thought that spending our time in a different room will help us (i.e. ME) avoid the tv all together. I'm sneaky like that. The end benefit? Hopefully Paige will increase in her language and comprehension and communication and have a fun place to enjoy.
Here's the room as it was a while back as where I did my work.
First step: we've taken most of the desks and other equipment out of the room and found new homes for most of it around the house. I'm leaving a few pieces of mine in one corner of the room so that I can be in there with Paige and have my own spot for doing computer work, painting, drawing, etc. Since the tv won't be there to distract me, I figure I'll be able to actually create more and Paige will benefit from seeing me do creative things. Win-Win! The challenge for me is to actually decide WHAT to create/draw/paint and actually DO it. That's a whole other issue!
The rest of the room will be all kiddo-ready.
1. Paint the walls a fun and cheerful color.
I flirted with the idea of doing the same color as Paige's nursery, but I wanted to try something new. We chose Benjamin Moore's "Fresh Cut Grass".
It's a VERY loud color and not quite what I had in mind once it was on the wall (the swatch certainly wasn't exactly what appeared in real life.) I found this online swatch and it actually matches what's on the wall more. It's a very yellow-ish bright green. It was more green on the swatch. Isn't that always the way?? ANYWAY, I've decided to go with it and see where it takes us. I don't hate it and it certainly has some cheer about it! Don't barf! I had a more soothing yet cheerful color in my head, though, I must admit. I'm thinking that once the furniture and decor is up, it will look very different. What I put up as accent colors to COORDINATE with this color is going to make all the difference. I'm thinking TURQUOISE (think Tropical ocean blue) will be great. Chris finished the painting last night, so the room is covered in tarps and piles of my junk on the floor in the middle of the room (no photos for now!). Thanks so much Chris! He's the labor behind the plans. Nothing would happen without him! Now, I just have to find homes and a place to put all the rest of my stuff. blech.
2. Create a Reading Corner
I've ordered a few materials to create a cozy corner for reading and relaxing. Paige's favorite activity is to root through books, so this will be a vital area to focus on. I'm keeping myself in mind here too since I'm the one who reads the books to her and the one who keeps things in order as she's still learning to pick up after herself. I also have a mini surprise in store for this spot that I will share with you once it is complete! Wee!
3. Create an Art Corner
This will be a space for a children's easel (I'm thinking of the Ikea easel), paper, play clay, paints (liquid watercolor), and all the materials for creating. I will store the art supplies in a place where she cannot reach them. Perhaps when she is much older and knows how to responsibly use the materials I will put them where she can access them on her own. For now, I know I am asking for trouble if I leave them out. At this point, artistic pursuits need to be a well-chaperoned activity.
4. Create a play area.
Her toy stand will go here so she can reach all her things and put them away herself. I will include a small play rug to keep her comfy while she does her own "work" of playing.
5. Create a kitchen area: plan a few months away
I don't know what Santa is going to bring, but perhaps a certain Grandparent will gift Little P a play kitchen at Christmas? A little birdie told me. Keeping this special knowledge in my back pocket, I will leave an area open for this and consider what I need for storing play food, play utensils and pans, and kid-sized cleaning supplies. I figure it's ok to write it here since Little P can't read yet, right? I'm thinking some sort of shelving, hooks for broom and mop, hook for apron and cloths...
6. Table area
Her mini table and chairs can go here so she can work at the table as she wishes, host tea parties, do arty stuff, or whatever she wants to do.
7. Music Area
I'd like some shelving to store her musical instruments so they are all out for her to see. My parents found my old keyboard from when I was a preteen and it still works great! So, I'll put this here along with her wooden drum, wooden xylophone, maracas, etc. She LOVES to make music so I think having a little spot to keep these things out for her to see and use will be a great boost for her.
8. Dress Up Area
This is for the future, but I'm bearing it in mind. I know when she's older she will want to dress up. So, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the best ways to store little outfits and such. I've also saved all my old cheapy necklaces and jewelry for her to play with. Again, I need to find a way to neatly store/display these for her . I'm keeping my eyes open for old handbags, wallets, shoes, and other accessories. She'll certainly need a superhero cape. That's most important, right? This is a zone that could get very messy and crazy, so I'm starting to search the internets for solutions that are easiest for kids to maintain and enjoy. We'll also need a little shatterproof tilt mirror or the like so she can see herself. Why dress up as a super-surgeon with killer shoes when you can't see the fruits of your labor?
I'm still brainstorming this. But, I have some much loved Norman Rockwell prints I got in Vermont years ago just waiting to be framed and hung. I think this is the best place for them as they each have a child's theme. I'd like to create my own print to frame for the reading corner. I'm working on what this is to be; we shall see! I have other bits and bobs hanging around that I can also use to decorate in there. The key is to find things that are whimsical and colorful and "go" with the room. This is the stuff that give the room it's "look" and I want to carefully curate how I decorate it. I think the room will have a more "lived in" look about it than P's nursery. For example, I don't think everything is going to match just-so. I think it will have a nice homey feel, which will be right what I'm after!
So, there you have it! I will share our journey of creating Paige's playroom with you so you can follow along my thinking process from beginning to end! I hope you don't mind! I love this stuff. *sigh*
I'm thinking it will take a few weeks to get the bulk of it done, and should be mostly done just after the holidays. I'll share photos of nooks and progress as we inch along.
I will be sure to label all my posts about the playroom and call them "Playroom for Wee" so you can refer to them in the right column under "Topics". In case anyone has future questions about where something came from, etc. everything will be found in one place. Sharing is the name of the game!