Let's Play!

It's true what they say about small packages, and we have the proof. This playhouse is tiny in stature but filled with big ideas.
Todd Childs

There is a certain amount of indulgence that can be expected for a first granddaughter. And if you're lucky enough to have Birmingham architect J. Edward Bailey as your grandfather, you would be delighted with this petite cottage that is a study in playful perfection.

Size Wise
With a footprint measuring barely 16 x 8 feet, this playhouse packs in some pretty cool amenities: two porches, a vaulted ceiling, cedar shake siding, and a fireplace. Openings on all four sides allow for cross ventilation. The windows and doors are completely open, although the original intent was to screen them along with the back porch. (Hanging out the windows was just too much fun!) While the playhouse is scaled perfectly for children, adults still find enough headroom inside after negotiating the doorway. Birch plywood covers the floors; beaded-board paneling on the walls adds warmth.

 

Attention to Detail
Little touches take this playhouse a notch above the norm. Two low-voltage Arts and Crafts-style fixtures on the front porch provide illumination. While the interior is filled with inexpensive furniture painted green and yellow, the porch required a bit more planning. A custom-made swing invites children to take a break on the shady porch. Even life in a dream house can be tiring.


Built To Last
Think of alternative uses for a playhouse. After children have grown up, use it as a potting shed or for storing potted plants during winter. When the grandchildren arrive, the structure can return to its original purpose.


"Let's Play!" is from the August 2007 issue of Southern Living.