It started with a hole in the wall. Actually, there were two. We had a small storage area under the stairs that we weren’t using, and a daughter who needed a spot to play, so we grabbed our hammer and went to work.
After framing out the doorway, we installed two lights; a porch light ($8 at homedepot.com) and a small chandelier ($15 on craigslist). Then, my amazing husband replaced and repaired the drywall. While I don’t think he should quit his day job, I do think it looks fantastic! I framed the window with hardboard, which is super cheap and smooth, so it’s easy to wipe clean. We then added trim and decorative detail to the door and window, painted everything using leftover paint from other rooms and projects, and laid down some carpeting from when the previous owners had finished part of the basement. Overall, this was a fairly inexpensive project, and we’re really happy with the results. More importantly, our daughter loves it!
The best thing about this project is that we did it all ourselves instead of paying hundreds to have it completed. We also didn’t have to buy any decorations or furniture for this DIY playhouse. The doll bed, rug, and chair were all gifts. The picture of our dog was something my daughter had requested, and we happened to have the frame. The other artwork was made by my adorable tiny artist. The exterior paint was a color I had leftover from another room in the house, and the trim color is the same as the built-ins that I’d recently refinished. We did purchase the flower pot (also a homedepot.com find), and the flowers and “mulch” were about $8 at Michaels. I almost bought one of those foam flower molds, but they were way more expensive than I thought. I used a regular household sponge that was only $2 and covered it with the faux mulch. Of course my daughter picked out the pretty flowers.
Originally, we planned to drywall over the opening that just went to the ugly water heater and furnace. However, I’m really glad we decided against that. We positioned the kitchen so that it partially blocks off the utilities, and hung a cute curtain to hide the rest. It’s not perfect, but it was less expensive and will definitely make it easier for us to transition the space back to a storage room in the future if necessary. Another plan we changed mid project was the front door. Although a small dutch door would undoubtedly be adorable, it could also be a safety concern. Little fingers have a tendency to get pinched in doorways and they’re also a lot more difficult for moms and dads to crawl through. We’ve even thought so far ahead to realize that there will likely be times that we have to grab a little girl, kicking and screaming, and drag her through said doorway. We instead opted for curtains. These curtains were completely FREE…kind of. I had bought these panels on clearance at target.com for my kitchen window, cut them down to size, and then had enough fabric to make two smaller valances for our breakfast room windows. That’s right; two curtain panels covered THREE windows, one playhouse doorway, and I’ve still got two very small pieces that I could even make tiny draperies for the playhouse window if I really wanted to be a kook. (I might some day. I’m tired today.)
This morning, I took care of another little girl the same age as my daughter, and they played in the playhouse the entire time. I’m proud to say that my daughter was an excellent hostess to her friend, offering her refreshments and the
only best seat in the playhouse! I can see her enjoying this space for years to come, and I hope she does.
I’m giving 5 bonus points for anyone who can figure out the meaning of the address.