10/30: Basement Playhouse
[Note: check out this family’s blog for a cool adoption fundraiser – it’s a calendar with GORGEOUS photos from Vietnam]
Today is long overdue post about the Toddler Disneyland we built in our basement this summer. I have a few more posts for the basement series and a couple giveaways to get to as well, but I’m going to revisit the basement by first highlighting the most creative part, the playhouse. I stored up every ounce of creativity I was born with, which wasn’t much to begin with, and used it all up on this little pet project of mine. I’m SO proud of it, if you can’t tell!! To give credit where credit is due, I found inspiration in this family’s playroom, and we found an amazing contractor, looking for work on Craig$list, who completed the most incredible, cheap, skillful execution of my design. [To be fair, Travis did a lot of the work, including all the trim and the cute touches.] If you are in Colorado and would like info, he comes with nothing but the BEST recommendations Travis and I could ever give anyone, so feel free to drop a comment or email me.
In the process of designing the playroom, I spent countless hours googling “creative play spaces,” or “basement playrooms,” etc. Which gives me an idea…how fun would it be to do a post on creative kid play spaces that exist in the homes of REAL PEOPLE in REAL LIFE, as opposed to homes featured on HGTV? As in YOUR homes (unless you’re a celeb, in which case I’m full of $hit because I’d totally want to feature your playroom here too;)?! Everyone who has a kid(s) knows creating a playroom / play area is about how to use the (sometimes) little space you have in a way that maximizes its function. I don’t care if it’s a tiny little corner, a big basement, or a nursery…email me a picture(s) of your creative play space with a short description and your blog address if you have one, and I’ll compile it all into a post on CREATIVE KID SPACES belonging to REAL people in REAL life! Email that to me (laurie at goodhappenings dot com).
Back to our basement playhouse…we had a small, awkward space to work with downstairs in one area that was sort cut-out like a closet, and at first, Travis and I were inclined to put a desk there and make it a study nook. But that was when we planned on using the basement as “adult” living space. We had plans to build a wet bar, where the kegerator would live, a media center, and Travis’ fusbol table was going to have its own special spot, like it did back in the old days (pre-tots). Bwahahaha!! An arts & crafts table, playhouse, slide, train table, and 3’x 4’magnetic chalkboard later, we are glad we didn’t use that space for ourselves because our kids really love their playroom, and so do we. And it’s going to be CLUTCH in the winter.
I wanted the playhouse to look like a real house, like a replica of ours, so it has trim, roof shingles, windows, a working doorbell, their own little light switch that control recessed lighting on the 1st and 2nd story (a special type that doesn’t get hot), a ladder going upstairs with a slide exiting the 2nd story window (because all real houses have that feature, of course;).
The doorbell…pushing that thing just never seems to get old:
The downstairs playroom (kitchen, ladder upstairs, recessed light on a kid-controlled switch):
Here’s a view from upstairs looking downstairs (the slide is on the bottom, lefthand side of this picture):
So, I’m serious, send me your pictures!! Your creative playspace doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just highlight an area you made kid-friendly and fun. It’ll inspire lots of other ideas from lots of other people who need a creative spark for their homes. Someday I’ll re-write this post and do a Mister Linky so we can all share the cool bars, media, and wreck rooms we built for ourselves and our adult kids! But for now, it’s all about the tots.