Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flutter-By Cottage

It is so exciting to see an idea materialize into a place! The first image is a sketch that I did in March of 2008, over a year ago. It is a concept that I knew would be lost forever if I did not record it somewhere.

In the end the playhouse developed a more whimsical character than the original sketch. The cedar shingles along with the swooping roof line are both characteristics of the storybook style. The operable windows across the side let in natural light and ventilation, not to mention they are just fun to open and shut. Flower baskets hang on the eaves. I can imagine lanterns hanging there or even bird houses. Imagine the possibilities!

Hyperion Construction did a great job building the house. I have to admit, it was very difficult to hand over the design (and control), but they exceeded my expectations. I'm pulling together some interior shots that I'll post soon.

This playhouse was raffled off to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity. The family that won the house is from Jacksonville Florida, so this house has some traveling to do before it reaches it home.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Simple details


This is a great example of taking a standard shaped playhouse and adding details that make it unique. The woodwork around the front entry adds character and interest. This playhouse was built by Minnesota Southeast Technical College for the Once Upon a Playhouse Raffle. All proceeds raised will benefit Family Service Rochester's work addressing family violence. Check out their site to see the other houses and learn more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bathing Beauties


While this is not technically a playhouse, it is still one of my all time favorites. Who could look at this and not be inspired? This beach hut, also known as Jabba, is designed by i-am associates. Jabba along with several others were designed as part of a competition to re-think the traditional beach hut. They are all located on the Lincolnshire coast in the UK. To see the others and read more about the competition take a look at the Bathing Beauties site.

I'm fascinated with this hut in particular, because it challenges our imagination. Children draw without self imposed limitations, but at some point in our life we develop endless list of creative road blocks. Someone could have easily said, "You can't build that." Instead, they took an idea and turned it into a beauty.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Habitat Hideaways

This is the first of my many sketches to actually be built! It has been an exciting process, and I am looking forward to many more. This whimsical playhouse features a operable window wall where children can watch butterflies fluttering among the hanging flower baskets. The baskets can be replaced with lanterns in the evening to light the garden. This design was done for Habitat for Humanity. Three other playhouses will be auctioned off, and this one will be raffled May 16th. I'll have pictures of all four houses up soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The historical Gingerbread Playhouse


The Gingerbread Playhouse was built in 1890 in Memphis Tennessee. It is now being uses to host children's birthday parties. What a great place for a tea party! For more information (including plans) on this historical playhouse and others visit Victoriana.

More interiors from Project Playhouse


Just a few more interiors from HomeAid's Project Playhouse.

Extreme Interiors from Project Playhouse

All a child needs is a cardboard box and an imagination, but these extreme playhouses go above and beyond for a great cause. HomeAid is a leading national non-profit provider of housing for today's homeless. The Project Playhouse fundraiser has become an annual event where designer houses are auctioned to raise money to support HomeAid. Their Project Playhouse site has countless images that are sure to inspire. Whether you are building a modest retreat or going all out, it's worth your time to browse through these images.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Table and chairs fit for a hobbit

This table and chair set by Wisteria is perfect for a hobbit style playhouse or a rustic cabin. They are made with adults in mind, but would work just fine for older children.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Storybook Playhouses at Dallas Arboretum

Fourteen playhouses based on children's story books are currently on display at the Dallas Arboretum. Above are four of my favorites. From top to bottom they are inspired by Teremok, Peter Pan, The Bamboo Cutter's Daughter, and James and the Giant Peach. These images along with the other ten houses can be found on flickr. Just click here. You can also hear a story about all fourteen houses here.

Playhouses designed by architects for an exhibit tend to be much different than those found in a backyard. Abstract and even sculptural, they are intended to be interacted with visually as well as physically. They are not the personal hideaway where a child can spend lazy summers daydreaming. These exciting structures encourage exploration and can be just as much fun for adults as they are for children.

Friday, May 1, 2009

SKETCH: The whisper of an idea.

After much thought I have decided to start this blog off with a thumbnail sketch from about five years ago. It started out as an idea that found its way onto paper. Over time it has evolved into a more developed sketch and will eventually transform into a tangible place.