My dad made me this dresser when I was a little girl. Originally, it was stained dark–almost espresso. This photo shows the dresser in Abby’s playroom way back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I don’t remember the exact date–but she was still in early elementary school. P.S. I am terrible, terrible with dates!
Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from home renovation to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, we are kicking off a new series–which will be all about throwing it back to the beginning and early stages of my art creations and home renovations. I believe that having a bit of a backstory is important because it shows the progression and improvement of both the art and the home projects.
In the beginning, the hubby and I had no idea what we were doing–and most of the projects we did because we were young and broke–but we knew we wanted to make improvements…we knew we wanted to create.
From Abby’s rock collection.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted her playroom to be painted like a handful of rocks that she showed her parents. This little girl had ridden in a Lowe’s buggy just as much as she had ridden in a car. She had very strong opinions on what she liked and didn’t like, so her parents learned to let her pick out her own room themes and paint colors. They explained, “Why shut down the creative process of a little one, when it is only paint and a few decor items!”
Staring at the handful of rocks, her mom was a bit unsure on how to make it work–stripes? No, the little girl did not want stripes. She hated stripes. Hmmmm. Now, while the mom was trying to figure out how to bring rocks to a wall–the little girl brought her a book about volcanoes. She loved volcanoes…and rocks…and dinosaurs…and her American girl dolls…and feathers…and lava lamps.
At first, the mom was going to redirect the little girl away from all of these ideas. Tell her that is was impossible (thinking that it was going to be more ugly than impossible), but what kind of message would that send to her. Limit your creativity. Limit what you want. Nope. The room had to be designed around all of those things to show her that creativity and dreaming has no limits.
Abby helped to tie-dye the curtains for her playroom, and she even helped with the feather-boa valance by picking out the ones she wanted and the order of the colors.
So, how in the world did we take all of those very different things and create a space that Abby “designed” and wanted. Well, it wasn’t easy!
First, we painted the walls in a red-orange color that Abby picked out. Next, we painted an abstract border at the top to represent the lava of a volcano (it was Abby’s idea–I remember her sketching it out on a piece of paper!). The final touch to the walls was gold glitter–spray glitter–so many cans of spray glitter. Now, her walls shimmered and sparkled just like the rocks.
Abby has been mixing patterns her entire life. The hubby and I wanted her to see her ideas come to life–even though her decorating taste and ours were and still are totally different.
After painting walls, we created the curtains she sketched, and we begin to add all the decor items from her shopping list that she made while “shopping” in a storage closet in our house.
She wanted a bulletin board, so we designed and made this one together. If you look closely in the photos, you can see the shimmer of the gold glitter on the walls.
A little closer look. Notice all the sparkle! She loved the sparkle–still does *wink*
She chose the fabric for the ceiling fan blades because it looked like some of her fossils *smile* Abby helped me with this DIY project by applying the glue to the fabric and blades.
Another easy DIY project was decoupaging tissue paper and paper butterflies to the outlet covers and light switch cover. Abby got a little carried away and decided to decoupage a few butterflies to the walls *smile*
We went shopping in the closet (you know the one that houses everything from coats to Christmas decorations) for accessories for her playroom. We also took the leftover fabric from the ceiling fan blade project and framed it in a frame that Abby found under my bed. *Our house was a crazy construction zone for several years!*
Abby was so proud of her new playroom. She had a place that she could play with her dolls and read about volcanos, rocks, and dinosaurs. She wanted to spend time in there because it was exactly what she had dreamed of *big smile*
I tell folks all the time to let those kids be creative. Let them pick out their room themes and decor items. After all, it is just paint and trinkets. What they learn from the process is their opinions do matter. Let them help with the painting, with easy DIY projects, and with putting those trinkets on the shelves (right where they want those trinkets). After all, they will be the ones spending time in their rooms. What they learn from the process is that hard work pays off.
A quick trip to Birmingham, Alabama with Abby for the Home + Remodeling Show.
Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we threw it way back to when Abby was in early elementary school! I think I am going to go cry that “my-baby-is-all- grown-up” cry.
Be sure to check out Abby’s current home and decorating style + celebrity interviews with some of her favorite designers. Click here for VIP Home.