Designing a learning environment for children from 3 months to 12 years was a true joy! Milestones Learning and Development Center is located in the Riverstone Medical Complex in downtown Blue Ridge, GA. Trimble Kelly Studios was hired to help develop the center’s name, the logo, all the graphic design and signage in addition to the complete interior design. The daycare is located in a commercial medical office building in a mountain community. Visibility through and across the space was critical for security reasons, which led to all the interior walls having large fixed glass windows. Our mission was to make this “institutional and corporate space” feel warm, more home-like and fit within the mountain and country geographical location.
Our design incorporated natural wood beadboard used as a wainscot throughout the center, stained a warm honey color, with a high gloss polyurethane top coat. The sheetrock walls above the beadboard was painted a bright color from the graphic color scheme. Each room was color themed and designed to support the room’s specific age group. Unique visual images were selected for each room including: The Old Farm, Noah’s Arc, The Wild West, and the Tree House that would provide interest for that room, but also serve as educational tools for the staff. Our team found large murals supporting each theme and had each mural custom printed on wall papers and vinyls to fit the specific room and wall. All the furniture in each room was color coded to match, along with sizing the furniture to each specific age group. The toilet rooms adjacent to each room were themed according to the theme of the area.
Our design concept created “focal points” throughout the space to help break away from the corporate building. Views across rooms through the layers of glass windows were terminated with an image to soften the hardness of the glass and walls. For example, from the front entry, Visitors look straight through the managers office, across the two centrally located nurserys to a back wall mural of a window looking into the night sky, with a stars and a partial moon.
Being environmentally sensitive was a focus of our team, especially since the space was for children. Everything needed to be low maintenance, hide wear and tear, be safe and supportive of the children and withstand years of use and abuse. We used a Green and Sustainable carpet tile by FLOR that is installed without toxic glues. Neither the carpet or the installation will result in any “off-gassing” of toxic fumes. The carpet tile color of multiple hues and the tweed pattern were selected to support the design concept but also to hide traffic patterns and spills. If any areas are damaged, the owners can simply replace or rotate the tiles. For the wet and messy activity areas, we selected a sustainable vinyl floor from Forbo called Marmoleum that is very durable, enviropnmentally friendly and will not show wear and tear with the excessive use from the children.
For the graphic design, our design team worked with the owners to formalize a name that linked the center to the medical campus. We then developed the logo that matched the learning center’s mission of “supporting children in a learning environment from infant through middle school.” The logo shows an infant sitting, a toddler taking tiny steps and an adolescent running. The color scheme departed from the standard “primary colors” to more updated colors including: lime green, deep purple, cranberry red with chocolate accents. The graphic colors were also the colors used throughout the center’s interior design.
Lining the exterior walls are rows of lockers for each child. The owner’s designed the cabinets, but we selected the facing material which was also by Forbo. It is a recycled cork material that will allow each child to have their own “tack” board above their private storage for diapers, coats and any other personal belongings. This particular cork is blended with polymers to hide tack holes and not show wear or tear for many years.
After 6 months of operation in a very challenging economic time, Milestone’s Learning center is going very strong! The parents have expressed how happy they are with the environment and with their children’s experience at the center.