Friday, April 15, 2011

Born to Design...

Early childhood education is a passion of mine, but home decor and design is equally important to me. As a child, I wanted to be a teacher (before I knew what an interior designer was), but I always had a drive in me to design. In first grade, I would wake up in the middle of the night and rearrange my pink bedroom. I even turned my closet into a baby doll nursery. I drug my dad to the hardware store and gave him my exact specifications for a changing table. He let me pick out the trim and handles, and it was a masterpiece!

The rest of my room was almost a full classroom. My mom wanted me to have a vanity, but I had other plans. I instructed my dad to remove the mirror, and I screwed a real pencil sharpener into the top. It became a desk, survived a house fire, and I still use it today!

We moved in third grade, and I took full advantage of a new space. I was tired of Pepto-Bismol pink, and against my mother's dreams, I asked for a black and white bedroom. Well...demanded is more like it! She took me to K-Mart, and I picked out a black and white striped comforter. She fought me tooth and nail on the paint, and I settled for white walls with black trim. By this time, the rest of my room was a full blown classroom. I had two real student desks, my "teacher's" desk, a file cabinet, and a large chalkboard. Yes, these are the things I asked Santa for!

In mid elementary, my closet changed again. This time, it was "Crystal's Country Closet". The sunflower was my "logo". With tape (for laminating), paper, markers and a repurposed pin back, I made my own name tag. I cut a white tank top down the center and made a uniform vest. Using cardboard boxes for shelving and baskets for display, I gathered things I didn't want anymore and sold them to my little brother and the neighborhood kids. Yes...I even had a real cash register too!

By fifth grade, I soaked up the JCPenney catalog and begged my parents for a daybed. I convinced my mom to order a floral bedding set (remember when hunter green was in) and got to work on another transformation!

In high school, nothing changed. I saved my baby sitting money and painted my room and my desk myself. I replaced my black outlet plugs with white ones (yes, I actually turned off the power and did this myself), sewed matching pillows in Home Economics and made collage wall art. I even gathered old glass Coke bottles and covered them with dripping crayon wax and candle wax. Then, I put a white candle stick inside each one. My mom nicknamed my room "Apartment 1A". I was a budding amateur designer! With the first promo for "Trading Spaces" hitting the airways, I knew it would be a hit, and I would be their biggest fan!

Moving away to college may have meant partying and freedom to most. To me, it meant complete design control, and I took full advantage. When new friends visited my dorm, I beamed when they commented on how "homey" it felt!

My first apartment was no different. Because we couldn't paint, I covered my kitchen walls with striped school folders. I liked the print, and they were on sale. Believe it or not, they were actually easy to clean too, because they had a laminated-like coating.

During student teaching, I moved back home and turned a bedroom into my first full blown office. I drug my dad back to the hardware store and gave him exact specifications for a wall mounted ribbon display. He ended up making me two! My childhood desk was painted once again, and I was given such satisfaction in working in a perfectly functional space.

Fast forward to modern day, and I find myself once again wanting more. While PreschoolDoll Designs has turned into more than I could have even imagined, and I am honored every day to work successfully from home, I have a desire to once again give my desk a face lift...

My new Etsy shop, Modern Bungalow, will be launching in May! Inspired by our cozy, little bungalow, I will be offering an array of home decor accessories and finally tapping into that side of me professionally. Won't you please come on this newest journey with me!

Enjoy your day!

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