As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I had always talked about building a playhouse when we started a family. Initially when we'd sit and talk about what the design would be for the house, we envisioned it for a little girl. So when we had our son, we had to rethink how to design it to suit a growing little boy turning 3 this month (it's part of his birthday present).
I think we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself! We made it a little more gender-neutral with the color scheme and the the overall décor (although I admit that the flowers give it a feminine touch, but hey...a mom's gotta have some fun, right?!)
Let me preface this by saying that my husband is not a professional contractor or carpenter, and we're far from wealthy! We built this ourselves using free scrap wood, discount materials from surplus home builder centers, lots of careful planning and shopping on ebay, craigslist, etc...and lots of ingenuity, creativity, thought, and love! That's not to say that it was cheap to build, but that we took great pains to keep costs down and stay within our budget.
For inquiring minds, we built this for around the same cost as one of those fancy, schmancy wooden backyard playsets/swingsets that you see everywhere! At least with the playhouse, he can play in it all year long - including rainy & snowy days! (which we get a lot of in PA!)
It took my husband four months to build it! That's working on it nearly every evening/weekend for four grueling months! Nearly every part of this was custom-made by my husband or myself. He's extremely gifted when it comes to anything mechanically-inclined and very creative.
I've been adding little touches and taking photos for weeks, but I'd say that for the most part, it's as done as it's going to be. I'm so happy with how it turned out! And I'm so very PROUD of my husband for building this - without any plans!
So I hope you sit back and enjoy the grand tour :)
His front porch decked out for fall with our garden-grown pumpkins! We couldn't find a front door of the right proportion, so my husband made this one.
His front door features a climbing frog door knocker.
I had the lanterns from eons ago; I freshened them up with a coat of hammered metallic spray paint and purchased wall hangers from Ikea to hang them from. I just LOVE the Stop sign doormat!
Below: waving from his front porch!
The key to get in has a mini popcorn popper toy on the keychain:
Of course any true house has to have an address marker, right? So I had one made just for his...
Here's the ladder that my husband built to reach the loft to the outside deck.
And here's the view from up on the loft. He loves to peek out the dormer window that my husband made.
Below: I just love the cheery, banana-sundae-colored walls against the rich cherry wood flooring.
The Calvin and Hobbes mural was hand-painted by moi! I'm a huge fan of the comic strip! Precocious Calvin reminds so much of my son with his wild antics and vivid imagination...perfect for a boy's playhouse!
Below: an old pine shelf on the wall was given an updated look with some coordinating red paint and wainscotting. The handmade wooden train on the shelf was bought at a craft festival.
We hung some airplanes from the ceiling to look as though they're soaring overhead...
Including this model biplane that my husband put together just for the playhouse...
I made a little directional sign for his front landscaping highlighting a few of the playhouse amenities :)
Here's a side view on the front porch that showcases the window boxes and lanterns (the lanterns have flameless tea lights in them and look darling at dusk).
Here's the garage side...my husband was insistent on his son having his very own garage!
At my suggestion, my husband made these wrench handles for the garage doors.
I think they turned out great!
We hope to eventually cover the interior doors with license plates!
What's a garage without a little workbench? My husband put this one together with scrap wood and an inexpensive peg board where I could hang our son's play tools.
Our son made the little wooden tool caddy at a Home Depot workshop for kids! That's where he got the apron, too!
I did race track wall decals on one wall...
And my husband went to town on the others covering them in car emblems, road signs and garage memorabilia...you know, guy stuff :)
Below is a view of the back of the house so you can see the palladium window and the deck and patio. Next year we plan to add a slide to the back of the deck so he can slide down to the yard.
Here's a side view of the house. The loft door handle is a brass lizard in keeping with boys' fascination with creepy crawlies...and the deck holds one of his little adirondack chairs. The patio holds his basketball hoop, his sandbox and another chair for lounging and enjoying a popsicle.
Below: an adirondack chair on the patio that my husband built.
I did all of the landscaping around the front and made a rustic, little flagstone pathway to the front door.