Friday, May 28, 2010

A Happy Place to Play

This weekend we are visiting our son, his wife, and their two adorable children. My daughter-in-law, bless her heart, has given me carte blanche to decorate the kids' playroom. What a privilege! Nothing could please me more than to create a happy place for the most adorable little girl and sweet-natured, little boy to play.

Not wanting the room to be either feminine or masculine, I chose a color palate of bright colors. Several months ago, I was getting rid of a wing chair, and I had it slip-covered for the room. Because this is a room where children paint, snack, and play, I shied away from popular neutrals. I found a fabric with yellows, blues, pinks, oranges, purples and greens to use as the only pattern in the room.
My husband and son will paint the walls with a satin-finish paint for ease in wiping off tiny hand-prints. (Maria, at:, would approve of the color-choice, because--following her advice--I put the fabric on a large white paint sample. The colors died against white. Next, I tried a beige paint sample, but against this background the fabric looked dirty. However, the buttery cream color was perfect--light, but with yellow undertones which complement the fabric.)
A major challenge in any playroom is what to do with all the toys. Even at thirty percent off, the storage bins at the Pottery Barn outlet were prohibitively expensive. Hum...what could I re-purpose for toy bins???

I drove over to a fruit-packing company, bolstered my courage, and found a foreman who sold me new apple crates for eight dollars each. What a deal! The sturdy wooden crates are the perfect width to sit on the shelving in the room. I am painting them the happy colors in the fabric colorway!
Furthermore, they are just the right height to serve as seating for the play-table.(I found the play-table at the Pottery Barn outlet, marked-down as a discontinued item; besides, a Memorial Day sale added twenty percent off the outlet-on-sale price. I love a bargain!)

The next dilemma was how to make the crate-seats comfortable for little bottoms. Out came the staple gun and fiberfill. I wrapped the crates in vinyl as if they were a present, stapling as I folded. Two pink and two blue benches are perfect.

Here is the sample board for the room.

I received a lot of joy in doing this creative project for my son and his wife. Isn't it amazing how true St. Francis of Assisi's words are: "for it is in giving that we receive"?

I'll post before and after pictures when we get back.


  1. That's my mama...SO creative! I can't wait to see the before and after pictures.

  2. Thanks for the mention! I love the way you analyzed the colours and worked it out!

  3. It is so fun and I love the creative use of the apple crates. What a loving Mom and Grandma you are.

    Becky K.