I was asked to help revamp a childcare center that had been foreclosed on and recently purchased. I spent a lot of time (as in months) organizing and clearing stuff out. Once everything was ready, I was able to consult on the paint colors, curtains and other general decor of the business. This was my first commercial endeavor. One of the primary goals for the look of the interior of this building was to create a place that feels a lot like a home: inviting, warm, cozy.
As you enter the building, you see the reception desk and built-in bookcases. Here, we wanted to create a welcoming space for parents to be greeted, relax as needed, and take care of necessary paperwork. As part of this, we wanted the kids to feel included, so on the shelves were placed children’s books in baskets from Michael’s. Most of the other shelf decor came from personal collections.
The walls in the reception area were painted a smokey light plum to compliment the dark plum valances. The hallways in the entry and throughout the building are a soft springy green. We framed a blown-up version of the logo to hang over the desk.
Baskets were also used for parent paperwork, the rug was purchased at Cost Plus World Market, and favorite Colorado nature photos were framed and hung on the green wall. The red box on the opposite wall and the framed maps are all placed per fire code, so not much you can do about that! Throughout the center, we used framed pieces from YourTrueNature.com that reference tie-ins to the Mountain/Woods theme of the center, such as “Advice from a Mountain” and “Advice from a Tree”.
In the main front hallway, we strung wire line from IKEA with colorful book tags welcoming the incoming children, and placed a wall decal quote “Every child is a story yet to be told” over it. This line also functions for displaying children’s artwork as needed. On to the classrooms: first up, the Infant Room.
The Infant Room was the employee room and storage upon purchase. We made it into a cozy and inviting environment by painting the walls a cheery yellow, putting up plum curtains over the open shelves and plum valances over the windows, and bringing in new toys and other needed items. The woodland rug was purchased at IKEA. My favorite thing about the infant room is the alphabet cards we put on the walls. They are the same ones we put in my boys’ nursery, purchased from Land of Nod originally, but available on Amazon. We framed them in white IKEA frames.
All of the classrooms had a lot of STUFF in them. Most of the ‘after’ photos were taken before the center opened, so there is most certainly more stuff in the classrooms now, but it was great to start with a clean slate. Again, in this classroom, the walls were painted, valences were hung, and curtains were placed over the open shelves. All of the rooms had different “theme” colors before we started, for instance, in this room, the countertops were purple. In another room they are red. Things to work with and work around! The curtains used previously were a mix-mash of sample shower curtains from Wal-Mart, so the new curtains made quite a difference!
In this room, tan curtains are over the open shelves, the long wall is yellow and the other three walls are green. The rugs are from IKEA. In this room and others, we were able to find needed preschool classroom furniture at a local store that specializes in resale items like these. Wires were also placed along the long wall after this photo was taken to display children’s artwork.
In this large room, it was necessary to split the space for different ages, so a baby gate runs across the center. This room was painted entirely yellow and given tan curtains throughout because the built-in countertops are red and would not work with the green and plum used in other rooms. It was important to keep this room as light as possible, as it is north-facing and isn’t as bright as some of the others.
This room is quite large, and as such, has a variety of different areas. The countertops in this room are blue, so the entire room was painted yellow and given tan valances and curtains for the open shelves.
In the final classroom, the “theme” color was yellow, so we were able to pull back in the green and the plum.
The book bench was a find at the local re-sale store, and we were able to cover the pillows and cushion with the same plum fabric as the valances in this room.
As does happen, as enrollment grows and changes, the space needs to change. Here are more recent photos from this facility:
It is interesting to look back at these photos and remember where this project really started. The entire facility was very dirty, and STUFF was everywhere. There were murals on the walls that had to be painted over, supplies all over the place that had to be organized, and textiles that had to be pitched because they were just so gross. Artwork was hung in all of the hallways that work with the mountain theme and chosen colors. Even the bathroom got a makeover with the soft plum paint used elsewhere and a rug from Cost Plus World Market. So much work had to be done to prepare for the grand opening, but it all came together quite nicely, if I do say so myself!