A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to design the lobby and front section of the new daycare center going out at Firelake casino. This was my first commercial project I had ever done besides my store of course. The thought was very intimidating and I questioned myself over and over if this was something I should take on knowing I only had 10 days to complete this job! That is 10 days to come up with a design plan, a budget, a team to work with, layouts, order décor, move and install! That in itself would be a miracle to follow through. At the time I had 2 other active design projects and the demands of the store.
I'm not going to act like I wasn't scared to death because I was, but also I knew I couldn't run from this challenge either. A lot of times I tend to get comfortable with my routine and a major switch up can be terrifying. So I put in my bid and prayed that if this job was meant for me, I would be hired, if not I would continue as I was with no worries. The day I received the call I could start, my heart sank. I had no time to spare and no time to think anymore of being scared, it was go time and I needed to roll. After all, how can I ever learn to grow my abilities if I stay in my comfort zone? If I'm not ready to run with whatever is given to me? In the back of my head I KNEW I COULD DO THIS. It was just a mind shift that needed to happen for me to focus on what needed to be done and doing it instead of wondering how will this ever be accomplished?
I wanted this to look differently than the way I do homes. It needed to be creative and fun for these kids. I thought what would I want a school to look like that I was taking my own kids to? What would take my breath away every time I stepped in those doors? Creating an environment that would put the momma's worries to rest knowing that this center has went above and beyond to make their children have the best memories. I tried not be too trendy, but give a classic look that could grow with these children.
As you first enter, I wanted something inspirational. Every single morning I listen to a motivational speech to start my day. It keeps me going when I want to quit. Its a mind shift. Following my dream is definitely apart of my everyday life and I want these kids to know that NOTHING is ever to big for them to do. That's the first thing they need to see in the morning. This art mural couldn't have turned out any better. It was so perfect in every way! This once lifeless corner is now filled with inspiration and wonder!
This little nook needed something bold but functional. These weird nooks can be overlooked very easily because we tend to want to minimize the space and let it fade into invisibility. But I say get creative with them and go bold. Add drama to these areas. Turn an awkward space into a focal point. These vintage lockers were the biggest pain restoring life back into them and may have caused some tears but they were WORTH IT ALL! They are super stunning and tuned out to be my favorite of it all! It also gives storage for the staff to put their personal items. Sometimes its the hardest things we face that end up making the biggest impact on our life, just like the story behind these lockers.
At first glance, this llloooonnnng hallway was overwhelming to me. I had no idea what I was going to do to make this space functional and beautiful. When designing spaces like these, I do not like hanging a bunch of flat pictures on a large wall. A helpful hint is to add as much texture and dimension as possible. It helps create an illusion that the wall isn't as long and flat as it really is. A feature wall, mounted lighting, and built- ins are all great options. I wanted a very "old school" vibe here which is why I have the classic green chalk board, vintage wooden chairs, and a fun pop of color to bring character to the space. I added books to read, baskets of blocks, and all the needed utensils to draw. This is the cutest yet a very functional space for the kids to let their imaginations go wild.
Last we had one more hallway to complete. It had a lot of doors to classrooms surrounding so I wanted to simplify by adding seating and simple textures. My thought was for those that may have to sit in "time-out" to give them something to look at and study, entertain the mind a bit. This helps them not to get to restless staring at blank walls!
This was a tough design but I also needed this job. It helped me to step out of my box and get creative in a way I didn't know I could. This job was completed within our 10 day dead line with the help of Gods grace and many friends that I couldn't go with out. In the beginning my thought was "God will never give you more than you can handle" but looking back now I was so wrong. He absolutely will give you more than you can handle. So that you will lean on him in time of need. For his peace, his comfort, and for a strength I didn't have on my own. But because I listened to him even when I was scared, I walked away feeling more proud than ever!
I hope this center brings inspiration to those little minds and pushes them to always be their best versions of themselves! Thank you to all who helped and for the center for trusting in my work!