Here in Oregon we get a little rain now and then. I love the rain, but having a back up option for indoor play is not a bad idea! The fun thing about building is that it gives you the chance to be a kid again, but with much better resources. Our home is a ranch style with a large space above the garage. The main room is about 20 x 16 feet. Several months ago I got it into my head that this would make a beautiful play space, with the added bonus of hopefully leaving the main floor a little more presentable. The inspiration for our design was Restoration Hardware’s cabin bed. What kid wouldn’t want this?
We knew from the start that we wanted to raise the cabin and take advantage of the space underneath. And the kid in me was screaming for a bridge to be part of the end design. Making this a playhouse rather than a bed also meant creating a design that was more like a house on the sides and back, so we reimagined those with doors and a window that mirrored the front windows. Our ceilings are only eight feet tall, so we pushed the design right up to the ceiling. Obviously this would only be cooler with high ceilings.
What playhouse would be complete without a slide?!
As you can see, the kids could not wait to try out their new digs. We had to work quickly to put up stairs and safety railings because they didn’t want to wait for it to be finished.
I do not have a tutorial for this build because just as I was about to wrap up the basic design Jen at The House of Wood published her plans for the bed version. Her tutorial does a lovely job showing how you can build the plans so that they can be disassembled, a great feature for those who cannot navigate hallways with a five foot by eight foot structure! I may in the future add some more details about how to make the raised version as well. Our playroom is up a narrow stairwell with a ninety degree turn, so we chose to build the structure in place.
The “stain” is my own copycat of Restoration Hardware’s lovely weathered look. I mixed gray paint with about 50% water. I just grabbed whatever I had on hand, which I think was Uncertain Gray by Sherwin Williams, but really it doesn’t matter too much. Give it a try and see how it looks! I brushed the mix on then immediately wiped it, so the color was not too saturated. I did the whole thing, then went back with a whitewash stain and wiped it on with a cloth. I really worked the whitewash in. (Seriously, my arm was sore the next day.) Here is the whitewash I used.
After that what’s left is the fun details! I sewed the curtains out of inexpensive duck cloth. The interior is a $20 carpet remnant from Lowes that just happens to work perfectly. And those reclaimed wood walls? Wallpaper, baby! Even better, it is $30 wallpaper from Target. I love that it makes the interior smooth, allowing us to use a plywood that isn’t necessarily the highest grade. That adds up to some nice savings.
Speaking of savings, let’s talk numbers. The playhouse approximates the dimensions of the full size cabin bed that inspired it, a bed that will set you back $3,000. The cost of my version is under $300, with another $200 added on for the slide and interior design elements. Saving $2500 and getting an elevated playhouse with a slide and a swanky interior?! Heck, yes!
One final note. Perhaps you may have noticed the extra door on one side…
The cabin playhouse was phase one of our playroom design. I’ll be back with a post about how we added a two story reading nook joined to the main cabin by a planked rope bridge! Thanks for reading!