19 Sep Sunset to Sunset || Modern Playhouse Build
As with most things in this season of life and during Covid-19, the kids and their well-being are top priority. So, while we are busy making our home ‘Sunset Magazine Ready’ so to speak, we also have a trio of adventurers to keep schooled and entertained. When we were planning the landscaping for #SunsetToSunset , we always knew that we wanted a kid friendly space that was aesthetically pleasing as well a standard play structure was just not going to cut it. With my background in designing and building unique projects for homeowners on the DIY Network and HGTV, creating our own custom playhouse was a no-brainer. We had our kiddo helpers along every step of the way and we’d love to share with you how that all went down. The kids loved this project, and so did I — we encourage you to take on a creative outlet with your little one’s as well, it’s so fulfilling for everyone involved!
FRAME IT OUT
I wanted the design of the playhouse to accentuate the lines of the architecture on the main house. We started with a basic platform for the floor atop a stump from a tree we had to remove. Adding typical floor structure with joists and a rim supported by the stump and a few posts for good measure. Adding the shed roof line makes for a much more dramatic silhouette than your typical cottage style playhouse and the roof also mimics the overlapping angles of our 60’s style home. Adjacent to the main ‘house’ portion is a climbing structure, which we repurposed from a more standard playground structure and that we gifted to the kiddos for Christmas. Spanning between the two is the swing set, which of course the little one’s had to use right away! In addition to swinging, we also purchased bars and added a new 4″x6″ in parallel to discretely add monkey bars. We designed the height for the playhouse so we could attach a slide from the re-purposed structure to the front of it and voila, a playtime paradise!
FILL IT IN
You’ll see in the photos that we next laid out a landscaping paper barrier prior to placing steps and laying mulch. Remember that tree stump? We made use of the rest of the tree by cutting various heights of rounds to use as steps leading up to the playhouse. Paver stones were also set in place as a pathway across the play area. Paver sand is essential to keep your stones in position and keep them level. Finishing up with a layer of mulch really makes it all come together!
Another way we decided to tie in the look of our main home is with the use of the same Redwood siding. It’s such a beautiful material and speaks to the modern updates we have throughout the exterior of the house. Adding this special finishing touch to the exterior of the playhouse really took it to the next level and we are so happy with the outcome! Finishing up the roof trim with the same black paint color as the nearby pool house and the trim on the main house, plus some corrugated acrylic roof paneling finished up the mid-mod inspired look. Lastly for a little tropical/personal touch, my husband and kids added the palm fronds to the front – they actually give some dramatic shadowing during certain parts of the day!
COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES
With the kids involved, it’s only natural that we include a hands on special touch! Like me, my kids are super into all things colorful! We took to the handy paint deck to select our swatches and decided on these vibrant colors to make the playhouse door really POP! The problem was that we couldn’t all agree on which color – so my oldest came up with the brilliant idea of doing a marble pour with all the colors! If you’ve ever done a paint-pour artwork before, you know it’s a messy good time! The marbling effect is so dynamic and we think it turned out wonderfully! We made the decision to make it a dutch door so the kids could be inside with it closed for safety, but still be able to look out. It’s super cute to see a dutch door in that small scale, don’t you think?
PLAY ALL DAY
With the final touches in place, all that’s left is to run wild! Our family has made such use out of this playhouse this summer, especially while sheltering at home. We love that it was an all hands on deck project for the whole family and it’s a space we all have enjoyed. Creating a more aesthetic play area like this is a great way to visually extend the usable area of home and yard. It’s creating a consistent flow from the home which you’ve spent so much energy making it feel special and this is surely an extension of that. We hope you feel inspired to think outside the box with your own creative play structure and don’t be afraid to act like a kid sometimes. 😉