Learning To Dream Again

January 31, 2016

When Shelly came to me and asked me to design a play room the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Yes! I get to work with Shelly again!…  Crap, my clients are kids. And kids don’t lie.”   For those of you that don’t know me, you need to understand one thing, prior to 19 months ago, I didn’t really ‘do kids.’ Please understand, I love and adore my nieces, nephews and God children.  But, if my memory serves me correctly, playrooms were messy and I hadn’t changed a diaper in more than a decade. Yep, I left that pretty little job responsibility where it belonged, with my last baby sitting job – when I was fourteen.


Then, June 17th happened and my world changed. We had our first daughter and thank God she’s given me a new perspective in life that far exceed my previous highs in life. One that previous to this, may or may not have included Nordstrom Anniversary sales, shopping, eating and sleeping whenever I wanted and late night frozen yogurt runs.  I hate to say it but my mom was right, you just don’t understand until you get there. So for all of my friends who had kids {everyone} before we did, please accept my heart felt apologies, I had NO idea. As everything in life, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect to take on a project like this. I now get to tackle this one from a new set of eyes, the ones that really matter, our kiddos.  And that’s exactly what I did when tackling this play room.


Let me take you into my mind and the vision I had when this began. Picture this, floor to ceiling draperies dazzled with light pinks, ivory and gold. I knew there was going to be texture, LOTS of texture; but I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to accomplish that. And yes, one amazing light fixture. People, when God said, “Let there be Light.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t messing around. And my clients should know by now, I don’t mess around when it comes to this crown jewel either. The rest…. Is a bit of a fog. But, that’s where my three little clients came in. The number one thing these girls loved to do was to play dress up. And mom wanted a safe place to do so. No more tripping over their dresses while they came up and down the stairs and no more wondering what the girls were exactly up to while upstairs running around. This safe haven was this family’s lifestyle solution.


Photo Jan 16, 6 03 35 PM


And, with that being said, the room was founded on four pillars. One, place where the girls could put on shows and dance in their little dresses on the runway. Two, a place that felt like the ultimate party place with layers of lighting, lots of ribbon and banners bring texture. Three, functional storage. And last but not least, a space that would allow these little girls to dream big and ultimately discover that their universe will become much brighter when they’re focused on the fruits of the spirit.


But first, let’s dial back for a moment because I think it’s important to take you there. This room didn’t happen over night. It started with a vision, multiple conversations, a plan, a few bumps in the road and then a race to the finish. I actually remember one of my first conversations with Ben… It sounded something like this. So, we talked about the wainscoting and chair rail in the room – the height, slat spacing, thickness, color…. But now I’m thinking I need a little more… {Say a little prayer.} What do you think about this? Can you build two customized sets of cubbies for seating, a corner stage for the girls to perform and a custom closet for storage? I honestly didn’t know how he was going to respond because we’ve been balancing the tight rope of morning sickness, family, our careers and this little weekend hobby of design. Thank GOD he loves the Mace Family and me because he didn’t complain once and he didn’t miss a beat. In eight weeks, this little vision became a little girl’s dream come true. Custom seating, custom storage, a little dance party USA business and an amazing closet so that mama can hang all of those pretty little dresses and toys when they’re not in use. You’re welcome 😉


Photo Jan 16, 6 03 58 PM


Now onto the real deal, the design. Let’s be honest. I’m the friend that will wants to tell you all of the tricks I have up my sleeve.  But there’s not enough time or characters on this page.  So, I’ll just give you my favorites.  After all, a good friend should always share her goodies and that’s what I’m going to do here… I love you too. 🙂


Photo Jan 16, 6 36 02 PM


When designing this space, one non-negotiable was floor to ceiling draperies and lots of amazing texture and activities galore. If you don’t know this by now, that’s my thing. I love texture and I love lighting. My belief is that a room you’re designing should feel a little like an onion. Yes, I said an onion. Not smell, just feel. Try to picture this.. Layer by layer it all starts to come together; but leave out one or two steps and it can affect the entire design process. You can’t decipher one detail that hits the nail on the head, but you love it all. And the more you’re in the space, the more you begin to discover the little details that make this a space you never want to leave. That’s a little how I describe the love I feel for my hubby and sweet Kennedy but that’s for another story… 😉 This is the secret to design. All you need is a vision and this sweet blended cocktail.  There’s no wrong way to do it, trust me.  You just have to be brave enough to begin.


Photo Jan 23, 2 26 04 PM


In this room you have multiple spaces to live, dream and play.  These little girls now have a space to dance and perform their princess dresses, a customized chalkboard with faux draperies for chalky messes, an art easel to draw like a pro painter only would, a reading and storage nook for their favorite books and toys, a miniature settee for movie and karaoke night and a little piece of history.  This sweet piece of history is a children’s table Shelly’s grandfather hand carved years ago.  And with her mother’s talents, Denise offered to repaint this piece and bring it back to life.  It’s really the perfect touch for a sweet space to keep these girls engaged and entertained all day long.


My favorite part of this room? It has to be the draperies, blending of fabrics and prints and the customized banners across the room. This screams fun, luxe, whimsical and party all at the same time. And, who doesn’t love all of the above? Without those touches, it would have been a room with a big mirror, a table to draw and place to sit. Boring. Who wants to hangs out in a classroom? Instead, it screams a place you can “Dream BIG,” “Inspire,” create “Fun,” “Read” to your sister, “Love” your neighbor and give thanks for what you’re given on your “Grateful” calendar. These words found on those banners inspire a whole new meaning to the room and what it means to be a kid again. Yes, the space was created for them, but it was also created as a springboard for all of their dreams to come true. Amen.


Photo Jan 23, 2 29 39 PM


Sam, Shelly, Ava, Stella and Addy – I hope you love your new play room! I can guarantee, there’s no one else in this world who has a space quite like yours. And there’s no other person like you – So go and be the very BEST God created you to be. If not, the world misses out on YOU and that big future that awaits.





Add a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

x close