Sunday, June 9, 2013

I'm Obssessed With Design...This I'm Sure Of!

Ever since I can remember I've been obsessed with decorating and making things look cute. When I found The Applicious Teacher's blog post about a classroom decor linky I knew that I had to jump on the boat! It's the first linky of her "Apple a Day" series and I love it! 

I might not have gotten my Mom's blue eyes, but I definitely inherited her Martha Stewart gene. My first year of teaching I walked into an empty room with a little over a month to make things happen. It was a blank canvas that I struggled to make look the way that I wanted. I had big design plans, but those plans were no match for what my first year of teaching had in store for me. Sadly the room never looked as good as I wanted it to. It didn't look like a Dad built a gigantic tiki hut (complete with built in shelving) that my kids absolutely adored...and the fire marshall hated despised. I've been searching all day, but I can't seem to put my fingers on a picture of its fabulosity. Just know that I would give my right arm to have it back in my room it was that fabulous. The next year I moved to first grade and dove head first into making my classroom what I wanted it to be. I've found that if you're not happy with how your space looks, your days will never be as great as they could be. (Of course how your class runs is crucial for happiness too, but this blog is about what it looks like).

I'm very visual and I need clean, clutter free spaces. I also love, love, love bright colors and fun patterns- -with white concrete block walls they're a must to warm things up and breath some life into what could be a very sterile environment. I'm entering my 7th year of teaching and I can finally say that I've gotten my room to look exactly the way I've always wanted it to...well for the most part. I do have a few upgrades that I want to make for the upcoming school year, but who doesn't? If you don't think that you have room for improvements you're crazy...or I'm crazy for constantly wanting to improve upon or completely change things!

Currently my classroom is all packed up and shoved to one side for summer cleaning. I won't be able to get in to set it up until the cleaning is done and that could take until the end of July (major bummer).  Buuut I do have pictures from last year-which give or take a few changes is how it will look again once I get back to work.

 My room definitely has an islandy/beachy/tropical feel. Instead of the typical rocking chair I have an adirondack chair for my read aloud seat (made even more comfy with a giant flamingo pillow). There are even kid sized adirondack chairs in my listening center because nothing says beach like an adirondack chair! I've pulled in tropical colors everywhere I could put them to keep up with the island feel--rugs, pillows, tissue paper poms- -you name it, it's colorful. There is even an umbrella palm tree. Is it ok to be absolutely in love with your classroom because I am head over heels in love?!? 

Instead of desks I opted to have round tables. They still tend to migrate across the room by the end of the day, but they're less messy than desks and they take away the cluttered feel that I feel desks can sometimes bring to a classroom. My kids always sat in groups even with desks so the seating arrangement wasn't something that I had to adjust to. I did have to adjust to the lack of storage. Cubbies can only hold so much without looking like a hot mess so my wonderful Grandma created chair pockets sized perfectly to the chairs in my classroom. They are absolutely fabulous and I don't know what I would do without them. They're made out of heavy canvas fabric and hold a lot of stuff. However, just because it fits in the pouch doesn't mean it needs to. After a year of wear and tear more than half of my chair pockets need to be sewed back up, but they are wonderful...seriously the stuff dreams are made of.

My room wouldn't be what it is without the help of my extremeley talented Dad. I'm definitely a daddy's girl. What I ask for I get...because he can make it himself! I mentioned the tiki hut and the shelving already. The tiki hut had to go a few years ago (witchy fire marshall), but the white shelves got to stay. My class library is stored in baskets on these shelves by topics: animals, people, abc, numbers, science, Clifford, Eric Carle, Arthur, etc. The labels on the baskets are something that I'm re-making this summer. My dad also built a computer table for me. I HATE and absolutely DESPISE the bulky metal computer tables so I had a cute little table that matched my round tables housing my computers. BUT technology came in, took it away, and replaced it with one of those gigantic ugly metal tables over the summer last year. I flipped out and dad came to the rescue (again). He built me a sturdy but cute table that matched perfectly with my design scheme. Of course the white concrete wall block above my brand new computer table needed some love too. It took a while, but I finally found some "Pinspiration" and made my own chalkboard/corkboard/colored canvas work of art. All of the squares are canvases attached to the wall with velcro dots. Super easy and super cheap because the canvases just happened to be on sale at Michaels when I bought them.

I could go on for days about my class and how much I love it, but who wants to hear that mess? Definitely not my starving husband and walk deprived dogs. So, until, love, and decorate your little heart out!


  1. I love your fun classroom! I too am a daddy's girl and what I can't make (or get my hubby to) he makes for me. Sometimes I give him jobs to do just to keep him busy! My mom loves me for it! I'm glad I found you through the linky party, I will be back to read future posts! And oh yeah, I am your newest follower!
    Heather Langley

    1. Thanks! I don't know what I would do without my Dad. My husband has some big shoes to fill now that we have a garage that he can work in!

  2. Isn't is such fun to have a dad to make things for you? Mine is just like that too. The own downside is he lives half the year here in Florida and then half the year home in Rhode Island. I wish he was here during the summer when I have projects to be done! HA!

    The Resourceful Apple

    1. I wouldn't be able to function without my Dad. My husband is pretty handy too, but my Dad understands my crazy ideas because he's heard them for 20 years longer than Jonathan has. :)

  3. I love the hula theme! That theme is in my future! I am in love with the idea of kid sized Adirondack chairs! Fabulous! My theme this year is Wizard of Oz-- check it out on my blog when you get a chance! Your blog name is so cute-- love it! I am glad that your family has been so helpful to you-- they are a blessing indeed! My husband is helpful to me and I am thankful for that! Glad to be a new follower of yours!

    First Grade and Flip Flops

    1. Thanks! The Wizard of Oz theme is a super cute idea! The possibilities are endless!

  4. Ooooh a big flamingo pillow - how fun! I think islandy/beachy/tropical is a great theme. I'm sure the kids love it.

    room 4 imagination