Summer is on the horizon, which means it’s time for kids to bask in the sunshine and dive into the great outdoors. Even if you don’t have an elaborate summer vacation on tap, your children can enjoy magical green adventures by journeying into their own backyard, through the door of an eco-friendly playhouse! Here are five tiny abodes with giant “wow” factors. From DIY playhouses built by ingenious moms and dads, to sustainably designed diminutive dwellings you can buy, take a look at every kid’s summer dream home. Warning: You may be the one who wants to escape to these playhouses as your own summer retreat!
Arguably the most sustainably designed playhouse on the planet, the Dreaming Spires Willow Playhouse is as enchanting as it is green. Handmade in Surrey, England by artist Judith Needham, this beauty is fashioned with annually renewable English Willow which naturally degrades over 4-5 years. The structure may then be recycled directly back into the garden in which it resides: used as fire kindling, placed in a compost bin, or shredded for garden mulch.
“Choose-build-play” is the motto for qb playhouses, which kids may customize themselves to make their backyard castle truly unique. The qb design team will even tailor-make a playhouse according to a print or photograph you upload to their website. Check out the playhouse at the top of this post to see an example of the delightful and whimsical qb playhouse, all of which are made with eco-friendly wood. Doesn’t it look like something straight out of a Tim Burton film?
Mum/textile designer Erika Harberts built, landscaped and decorated the interior of this breathtaking playhouse, dubbed La Roulotte (gypsy caravan) for her two daughters. Built as a family project, the dreamy space was created with “recycled, vintage, given and handmade materials.” The inside boasts cushions made from vintage scarves, a quaint play kitchen punctuated by live plants and a bedroom designated by a homemade patchwork curtain. Visit the playhouse’s Flickr photo page for more inspiration, ooohs and aaahs!
Artist and dad Joel Henriques custom built this chic playhouse for his kids, transforming an unassuming strip of cement behind his garage into a space filled with boundless charm. Joel says this venture was simple – economical – and he used all non-toxic paint and varnish, including chalkboard paint which turned the interior walls of the house into a constantly transforming canvas.
If your kids are too young to venture outside by themselves, but you still want them to engage in independent play, consider building them an indoor abode out of cardboard boxes and household materials. Designed by mom, Mia, for her toddler who is obsessed with the film Up, she explains, “The entire project is composed of used cardboard boxes, cleverly recycled into the walls and rooflines of her new digs. All support pieces are from empty wrapping paper rolls and packing materials that came with said boxes.”