I am about to give a brand new playground a makeover. Does that sound crazy? Not so much…if you agree with me that most playgrounds are not very attractive. The playground market is saturated with sets in pine or cedar with accessories in primary colors (red, yellow, blue) or green. In general, I don’t like primary colors.
My dream playset would be anything from the Serendipity collection by CedarWorks. They make a beautiful product with stunning curves and nicely colored accessories (blue, red, and light green). The downside for us was the price and the size of the sets. We almost could look past the price…we are always willing to pay extra for high style and quality. However, we just couldn’t look past the size issues. We have a large yard, but less than half of it is level enough for a playground. On to Option B…
Option B was to find a nice, quality set and give it a makeover. Since I have this weird thing about seeing large purchases in person before buying, we decided to go with Rainbow Playsystems. They had a showroom less than an hour away. We actually spent the better part of a Saturday morning in the showroom letting the kids try out all the playsets and accessories. The prices were good and they were offering free delivery and installation…the free installation alone had me sold! I know how slowly we make progress on large projects with two kids running around, so I am always up for someone else doing the hardwork, especially when it is free.
This is a true before picture. There have already been a few changes. They brought the wrong slide and baby swing. Since, the slide has been swapped for a nicer looking yellow scoop slide and the baby swing is yellow, too. The green mini flags have got to go, but they installed them before I had a chance to stop them.
The downside of the Raindbow Playsystems…the rainbow! Remember I am not a big fan of primary colors, yet all of these sets came with canopies striped with a band of red, yellow, and blue. They made me cringe! The only alternative offered was forest green. For some reason, forest green is one of my least favorite colors…I don’t like it on anything. But it was a better, more subdued choice than a rainbow canopy. The accessories all came in the rainbow colors or forest green. Cringe again! However, I was able to order all the swings, slide, and hand rails in yellow. I can live with that…I like yellow (evident in our interior accessory colors). Yes, I actually though about how the playground would look with our interior colors, because it will be directly visible from the family room. No need to have a big eyesore out the window. Instead, the yellow would go well with some yellow accents used in the family room.
Just to prove how crazy I am…I snapped a pic from the living room looking out at the plaground. See that awesome Eames chair with fun yellow zig zag pillow…and see the playground outside. The yellows work together. That forest green blob and mini flags need to go.
I only left the store content with the playground color choices, because I knew that green canopy would not last for long. I was already daydreaming about the great outdoor fabrics I could replace it with. I almost had them subtract the canopy, but I knew it would be helpful to have as a pattern and possibly to keep on the play set during the winter months.
I found so many fantastic outdoor fabric options at our two local fabric stores, Joanns and Hancock Fabrics. I was looking for something with a nice bold pattern, but nothing too wild for our traditional neighborhood. I was also looking for something with a nice sunny yellow in the print or other colors that would coordinate well with the yellow.
I snapped a bunch of iPhone pics for the hubby to choose from. Here are the options I came up with and some thoughts we had on each:
Parterre Grass Outdoor Fabric – Now this pattern is more like it (bold, but still curvy). Not so sure about the green with sunny yellow on the play set. Way better than forest green, but I am still not sold on a green and yellow combo.
Multi Stripe at Joann Fabrics – This is a total departure from my normal color scheme (and makes me gag a little bit), but the yellow is a perfect match to the playground accessories. Not certain my neighbors would love looking at such a bright and busy pattern. Oh yeah, I don’t like primary colors (hence the gagging).
Waverly Coral Cascade Outdoor Fabric – So I am developing this attraction to navy. I think it could be very nautical with the bright yellow and the playground has a ships wheel. But the coral print might be a little too literal.
Solarium Halliwell Caribbean Outdoor Fabric – This is a total safe choice with the perfect yellow stripe. It would be classic and traditional…and totally not us.
Parterre Indigo Outdoor Fabric – Ooh…the trellis print I love on navy. Really starting to daydream about navy, white, and yellow. Totally a color scheme I could carry onto the deck for a fully coordinated backyard.
Green Multi Geometric at Joann Fabrics – This is what you get when you are trying to specifically match a sunny yellow. I think if you look at this one long enough you might get a headache. I can’t imagine stretching 6 yards of this fabric anywhere. Might be fun in smaller doses.
Turly Outdoor Fabric – This is the kind of pattern I love…super bold and simple. Red is not really our thing. Bright red and bright yellow is really not our thing. Wish this came in another color.
Bamboo Striped Outdoor Fabric – Really like the subtle bamboo-like pattern. The yellow here was a little too mustardy.
Baja Floral Outdoor Fabric – Another blue option (this is a playground for boys after all), but I think it was still to feminine and busy.
Spring Dot Scene Outdoor Fabric – This one makes me smile. The yellow was not as bright as the playground accessories, but I don’t think you would notice. The lighter brown shade perfectly matches the exterior of our house. The dots might be a little on the small side.
I did not buy any fabric right away. It was all full price and I did not have any coupons. I also waited for the playground installation to measure for the amount of fabric I would need. I really wanted to spend less than $100 on fabric, but of course we settled on the playset with the largest canopy. I decided to wait for a sale or a coupon.
Luckily my mom had a 40% of coupon at Joanns, then when we went to the store we discovered the outdoor fabrics were already 50% off…even better. I was able to get 7.25 yards of my favorite fabric for $9.99 per yard. The grand total was $72.43, for a total savings of $72.43 (50% off). I only need about 6 yards for the canopy, but there was 7.25 on the bolt, so I took it all. When you do that they will usually rewrap it on the bolt for you to take home. I also knew the extra would be great for some pillows on our future deck.