backyard design · kids

A Modern Playhouse Design


playhouse 10

This is the kids’ playhouse in our backyard.  It was the first major project Mr. B. took on after purchasing our 1920’s log bungalow.  Knowing how much kids enjoy having a space of their own, Mr. B. set to work on a playhouse before they were too old to enjoy it.




One of the drawbacks of having a playhouse is eventually the kids will out grow it.  It will either just sadly sit in the backyard reminding you your little ones are no longer little, or it will be removed from your property all together.  So, to solve that dilemma, Mr. B. decided to build a playhouse that could later be used for another purpose.  And if he was going to take the time to build something it might as well be amazing.

This playhouse has just about everything you might have in your house.  Here are just some of the amenities:

  • 8 x 12 finished replica of 1920’s Log Bungalow
  • Wired and insulated
  • complete with wanes coat
  • mock fireplace
  • walnut door
  • sleeping loft
  • secret compartment/door to hide treasures
  • T.V/DVD player  with Netflix
  • vintage 2 way telephone to call the main house

You must keep in mind this playhouse design is just your basic 8 x 10 storage shed.

playhouse 3


playhouse 2

To add a little extra pizzaz to the playhouse, he added a porch and dormer.


playhouse 4

Half dovetail jig. He cut the joint with a chain saw. The blocks bolted to the saw prevent it from cutting the jig and ride along the sides of the jig. It worked well but there were a LOT of these to cut!


playhouse 5

Here’s the jig for cutting the half dovetail joints.


playhouse 6

To make the playhouse aesthetically pleasing, he designed it to replicate our log home.  These are the log house joints.  He ended up using treated 2×4’s for the logs.


playhouse 7

Shake shingles were added.


playhouse 9

Insulating and wiring.                                   Stairs to the sleeping loft.


playhouse 15

Mr. B. used an exterior wood finish for the 2x4s.


playhouse 14

With logs (treated 2 x 4s) in place, it was time to chink (the stuff that fills the gaps between the logs) between the logs.


playhouse 11

This is what it looks like behind the chinking. (mortar between the logs)  This way you don’t waste as much mortar.


playhouse 12

The excess mortar needed to be wiped off the logs.  It ended up being a lot like grouting tile.  Mr. B. added a “grown up door” to the side of the playhouse.  This is another brilliant addition if you’re planning on using this structure for yourself when the kids outgrow it.

playhouse 18

Mr. B. built a mantle.  The black inside the fireplace is chalkboard paint.  A handrail was added to the staircase.



May I give you a tour?  Let’s start with the living room.

playhouse 19

This was the first year of play.


playhouse 21

Three years later the kids have added a lot more decor.  Mr. B. made a little couch for two. (or three if you squeeze together real tight!)

Grandma helped with the window treatments.  The custom artwork  gives the room some flare.

playhouse 22

There is now a t.v. in the corner for days when I kick them out of the main house.

playhouse 26

The kitchen area is big enough to hold their beloved fold up Dora table plus a few DIY chairs.

playhouse 23

The kids started out with their play kitchen in their kitchen area.

playhouse 25

Now they not only have a real kitchen (no running water) they also have a real wall phone that connects to the main house.  They like to order take out from the main house.  Thanks, Mr. B., for that clever addition!

Now when one looks out our back window they see a cute little cabin that compliments our log house.  Little do they know this fun creation was built for the kids to have an exciting place to play and a little sense of ownership.

As I finish writing this up, our oldest just went out to turn on the playhouse heater.  She’s making plans to bring out a thermos of hot chocolate along with their new blankets.  Tonight they will ring in the New Year in their little cabin in the woods.

playhouse 27




You can check out more DIY projects at:





4 thoughts on “A Modern Playhouse Design

  1. I LOVE this new blog ;0) I also think it would be great if Mr. B. would write out these plans to sell. I know several people who would love to build this, but are not able to design in their heads like he is!


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