Summer’s Canceled, So We Built a Playhouse!

WARNING: proceed with caution. There are only about 55 thousand and a half photos of this dern thing.

Now that we’ve had that talk: hello, good morning! Playhouse deets are here at last!

Okay, most of them. This is the thing. Aaron made it up as he went along. But I managed to wrangle the material info from him and a loose how-to, so if all goes well, this post will be 5-8% percent helpful. Hooray!

It all started on a Thursday evening a couple of months ago when we were sitting out on the back patio, glass of wine in hand, reality of summer at home concrete in the brain, when I pulled up Pinterest on my phone and found a photo of an A-frame playhouse and gently asked, “So hey, could you build something like this this summer for me? I mean the kids? Me?”

Without hesitation, “Yep! I’ll start this weekend.”

WELL OKAY.

So we (he) did.

So, for the deck he used treated lumber. And he said to tell you this, if you go with 8×10, you don’t have to cut anything. Ha! (He didn’t laugh, I did. But his face had a giggle in it when he said it, so I’m laughing in place in that hidden face giggle. Never mind.)

It looks like this.

Also I don’t know what treated lumber means.

You have to dig some holes in the earth where you want to legs to be. This is what he used. And this is what he says about it:

Posts = quickset concrete: instead of mixing and pouring, you can just dump the dry concrete in the 15-inch deep hole, and then use a hose to add the water.

Did you get that? We good? Okay.

And then he basically built a deck! This is what he said about that part:

Floor = premium cedar boards, they’re more expensive, but so pretty and less chance of giving the kids splinters. SISSIES. (<–I added that part.)

Sides of A-frame = just cheap 2x4s. 

He also said this:

This video made building and setting the deck in concrete a lot less intimidating:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6fBHCBYyJY

You got that? We good? Okay.

So theeeen he built the sides, which creates the A-Frame, right?

This is what he said about that part:

This isosceles triangle calculator came in handy for figuring out angles I needed to cut (30 degrees at the bottom, 60 degrees at the top) – and to make sure the length of the sides/roof would match the 8ft-long polycarbonate:https://keisan.casio.com/exec/system/1273850202

You got that? We good? Okay.

The steps, dude, I have no idea. But it’s basic framework, and then reclaimed wood for the front with various shades, giving it a fun rustic cabin feel. At least in my head it does.

The sides (the MOST ASKED ABOUT) are polycarbonate. Clear, corrugated, sturdy, and I love it so. Remember we just used it as a roof to our pergola? Well I became so quickly obsessed I had to have it for this playhouse, giving it more a chic GREENHOUSE feel. And since I’m a British grandma hippie at heart, it only made sense.

That long skinny window in the back? Habitat Restore! I swear that place is a gold mine for thrifted finds for nerds like us.

AND THERE YOU GO.

The back wall is also cheap reclaimed wood from Habitat Restore. I lovelovelove the different shades of wood. Gives it so much visual interest and dimension, right?

And did I mention cheap? We are in a recession, guys.

Soooo this is where I came in. The styling, decorating, jushing.

Oh!

I should mention before I go any further, we used this clear wood stain all over to protect it from weather. And it seriously works.

You got that? We good? Okay.

I wanted to keep the whole pallet very soft, very natural. Tones of blush, cream, tiny touches of barely-there aqua, a splash of mustard. You know. A bohemian fairy’s dream land.

The pillows – I’ll start with the cream floor cushions, they’re from Amazon. I adore the shape, the look, the color. I WILL say they’ve gone up in price since I ordered. I paid $35 each, so don’t get mad at me when you see the price now. Also, I sprayed them with a water protector! So if they get wet the rain just bubbles up. So glorious.

The white pillows on top with the little balls, also Amazon.

The paisley lumbar pillows next to them, thrifted!

And the mustard pillow is IKEA years ago before pandemic.

The rug is from Rugs USA! I LOVE it because it’s not stiff, but stays in place on the floor. I also sprayed this with the water protector. I’ll try and find the brand I used.

The size? 4×6. Not that you asked. But in your head you asked. I felt it.

I did add a little one panel curtain to create morning diffusion. (dang it went up in price, too!) That sun comes up and baaakes. So this helps add a little softness to the playhouse. Aaron just used little hooks to keep them in place. And I just like how it looks, duh.

Here’s the polycarbonate again, because I know it’s your favorite. (It’s overlapped, by the way. I’m sure you would know that, but just in case not, overlap them!)

We added ferns and hostas to the front to add curb (haha!) appeal, and little potted plants on the sides to sort of anchor but soften the look.

Oh – the macrame planters – also Amazon! (WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC DO NOT COME AT ME.)

Little baskets filled with art supplies, ya know.

Little blanket here or there, ya know.

From here on out it’s basically photos from every single angle. I WANT to apologize, but…

That Little Bo Peep metal rod? We’ve had it for years! Slung a hanging planter up there to add a little more whimsical garden charm.

Also, I can’t even talk about how cute Will’s going to be at 16. I can’t. Just look at those little legs crossed and that little casual glance. I can’t. I cannot.

The little art table is IKEA from years ago, which you already because you have it, too.

That back skinny window, it was simply meant to be. There is nothing better than that back skinny window, I sayeth.

Oh! The string lights – yes you guessed it, Amazon.

The Noah bell is Golden and Pine from a while back!

THE EAGLE, hahahahaha. Oh gosh, we’ve had it for over a decade. Thrifted in a tiny Arkansas town, I’m sure.

The top little COVER – yes yes. So, it’s a thrifted (Habitat) metal cover thingy. I have no idea what the word is, but it covers where the A-frame meets. Aaron doesn’t know the word either. We’re the worst.

I discovered that less is more with this playhouse. I’d wanted to pimp.it.out. with a zillion pillows and blankets, then realized I love the organic structure so much, that I pulled back and went with a simple desk, a few pillows, a rug, couple of plants, string lights, the end.

ALSO, I will say that for the most part, we bring the cushions up when we’re not in it. It’s honestly not a hassle, either. The kids grab two each when they want to play, and then bring them back end of day. Keeps the whole thing a little cleaner and less buggy. And you know me and bugs. C A N N O T.

But I mean, just look at that. I’m sure we’ll add more plants over time, tweak this little detail or that one. But I just love it much I can hardly handle it.

Here’s onnnnne more photo from this angle because I feel like you just need it.

And oh – the last comment from Aaron, once again:

Time saving tip for lazy people like me:Making the dimensions of the deck 8ft x 10ft meant that instead of cutting every single piece of lumber to size, I could just buy 8ft and 10ft boards, bring them home, and screw them into place. (Did the same thing with our pergola.) Ha! (<–he didn’t laugh. I did. But again, his face had that hidden giggle. Never mind.)

A grainy night view with the lights on, just in case your soul beggeth.

And that’s it! Our Bohemian fairy dream land playhouse. Let me know if I missed anything, or if you have any questions, or if you want to see more photos. Ha, just kidding.

I think.

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34 Responses to Summer’s Canceled, So We Built a Playhouse!

  1. Leslie June 23, 2020 at 8:28 am #
    Love! Love! Love! And one more..... Love!
    • Bev Weidner June 23, 2020 at 9:13 am #
      Thaaaaank you, Leslie!
      • Louise Fair June 24, 2020 at 7:40 pm #
        So, how much did the wood for the deck cost and could it be used as a normal deck if we added sides? I really love this, but, we bavea big olaybouse, seing structure and a bazillion toys. What we don't have is anywhere to sit lol
        • Louise Fair June 24, 2020 at 7:41 pm #
          Sorry for the typos
  2. Meryl Carver-Allmond June 23, 2020 at 9:11 am #
    Will the ferns live through the winter, do you think? I've never planted them in the ground before, but they're lovely.
    • Bev Weidner June 23, 2020 at 9:13 am #
      These are actually in pots! But to answer, they'll die out at the first freeze, late October. Then I just store the pots over winter and will refill the following April!
  3. Brooke June 23, 2020 at 9:21 am #
    I can’t get enough of these photos. LOVE.
  4. Aimée Wimbush-Bourque June 23, 2020 at 9:31 am #
    Gah!! Just so darling. I've Pinned this exactly 5,000x. Enjoy!
  5. Kathryn June 23, 2020 at 9:57 am #
    Your writing is so fun!! Your playhouse is beyond adorable!! Your kids are so so cute!!!
  6. Autumn June 23, 2020 at 10:23 am #
    so dang impressive how this all came together! and it's just so dreamy!
  7. Chelsea June 23, 2020 at 11:22 am #
    Um. Can I borrow Aaron for a weekend? Gonna need one of these ASAP.
    • CarrieP June 24, 2020 at 7:36 pm #
      This, exactly. I’m even in KC! It’s gorgeous.
  8. Karen June 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm #
    Love everything 🥰. Thanks for sharing the details!
  9. Dawn June 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm #
    This is SO SO CUTE!! I can't even.
  10. Diane June 23, 2020 at 12:29 pm #
    I LOVE it!!! Perfect little getaway!
  11. Trisha F June 23, 2020 at 12:45 pm #
    The absolute sweetest thing ever! XO
  12. Anonymous June 23, 2020 at 12:46 pm #
    So.... Ummmm...... Does Aaron have a brother? Asking for a friend....
    • Bev Weidner June 23, 2020 at 12:54 pm #
      Hahaha! He DOES. But he's 30. And lives in Japan. :)
  13. Dee @ The Kitchen Snob June 23, 2020 at 12:56 pm #
    This is great! Thank you for sharing.
  14. Jennifer June 23, 2020 at 7:39 pm #
    This is incredible, thanks for sharing!
  15. Brigid June 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm #
    That is the dearest wee garden house!!!! Well done Team x NZ 🇳🇿
  16. Christi June 23, 2020 at 8:35 pm #
    Ok, seriously. This is fantastic. I love Bev. I love the kids (Nat is my spirit animal). But I covet Aaron. I love how creative you guys are. But most of all, gotta love a guy that build the vision. Can't wait to see all of the pics of this being used in the future.
  17. Lindsey June 24, 2020 at 8:11 am #
    So 👏 awesome!!! And thank you Aaron for the deets 🥳
  18. Bianca June 24, 2020 at 1:32 pm #
    LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!! Do you have a how-to guide for your pergola too somewhere?? Thanks!!
  19. Colleen June 25, 2020 at 6:08 am #
    Ooooooohhhh, we have a pergola too and the polycarbonate is an interesting idea. We don’t use it as much as we want because indoor kitty SCREAMS at us when we are out there. Thinking about how to screen in the porch/pergola, this would let us use it in the rain. WHICH IS MY FAVORITE, BEING COZY ON A PORCH WATCHING THE RAIN. Ideas...
  20. Tracy June 25, 2020 at 3:39 pm #
    I can't believe how awesome this turned out! Darling! I must know how Aaron knows how to do this and make it look so easy? Does he have an engineering background before his current career? Or did he grow up learning how to build? The both of you are so talented!
  21. Carly June 26, 2020 at 7:34 am #
    So cute! I love the greenhouse look! 😍 FYI, the little cover at the top is called a ridge cap.
  22. happy wheels June 30, 2020 at 1:54 am #
    Your share is the great knowledge I have gathered, you are an important person I admire, thank you

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