45 Enchanting Playhouses
When it comes to miniature houses, make-believe trumps the rest. Find your dream playhouse in our gallery.
Photo By: Image courtesy of smartplayhouse.com.
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user treasuredheirlooms
Photo By: Image courtesy of Little Cottage Company
Photo By: Image courtesy of smartplayhouse.com.
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user lillybrink
Photo By: Image courtesy of Samuel Austin.
Photo By: Image courtesy of aplaceimagined.com
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user marcoscruzart
Photo By: Image courtesy of poshtots.com.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Gitane Royce/Modern Playhouse/Photography by Pamela Palma.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Wooden Wonders. www.wooden-wonders.com
Photo By: Image courtesy of Kathleen Bevers, Carolyn Braaksma and Heidi Spaly.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Rodwin Architecture.
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user nixie
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user nixie
Photo By: Image courtesy of Jean-Pierre Bressieux.
Photo By: Image courtesy of poshtots.com.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Modular Dwellings.
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user dennisjp369
Photo By: Image courtesy of Michelle W. Lee, Rosemary Fivian and George Russell.
Photo By: Image courtesy of smartplayhouse.com
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user beckykay9595
Photo By: Image courtesy of La Petite Maison
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user sulkygirl
Photo By: Image courtesy of Modern Cabana
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user sarah_o
Photo By: Image courtesy of Kids Crooked House.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Kevin Akey.
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user mommyoftwins
Photo By: Image courtesy of Bob Borson.
Photo By: Image courtesy of suzyqswfl18
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user SAS2010
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user demigarden
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user pam25
Photo By: Image courtesy of Daniels Wood Land
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user imjacobsmom
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user Mr. Yardman1
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user chicubergeek
Photo By: Image courtesy of Andy Creath/photography by Seth Frankel.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Barbara Butler.
Photo By: Image courtesy of RMS user Nolanschiffer
Paging Renzo Piano
Nurturing a budding architect or just looking for a modernist playhouse to suit your own contemporary home style? Look no further than this stunning European-designed Illinois. Visit smartplayhouse.com to check on the availability of this hard-to-find model.
This adorable playhouse used to be an old garden shed.
A Schoolhouse Play Structure
Nestled in Ohio’s Amish country, Little Cottage Co. sells amazing prebuilt playhouses and kits at very reasonable prices. At as low as $156 for the DIY 8'x8’ floor kit at cottagekits.com, the Stratford Schoolhouse encourages children to play and learn at once — it doesn’t get much more win-win than that!
A Hip Kyoto Playhouse
Perhaps some of the most extraordinary on our list, SmartPlayhouse structures are feats of minimalist modern design that give kids their own space or allow parents to reconnect with them in a new environment. We’re over the moon for this Kyoto design, which is perfect for homework, crafts, games and endless fun. Visit smartplayhouse.com for a quote.
Dreamy Play Cottage
Inside this Victorian-style playhouse is a bright playspace fit for any young girl's imagination. A ladder leads to a loft.
Steampunk Stomping Ground
Architect Samuel Austin took on a trendy architectural style with his Steampunk Gateway playhouse, part of a collaboration with Boulder, Colo.-based SoBo Homes. He calls it “a keyhole to the world behind the garden,” and it features gears, panels and studs formed by some of the coolest reclaimed materials around (wine corks — who knew?).
A Magical Place
Jackson, Miss.-based architect and emerging playhouse designer Holly Gomez creates whimsical playhouse plans — and a few pre-made structures — through APlaceImagined. The first of those high-quality, pre-made houses features curved walls, a tongue-and-groove ceiling and a storybook door, and sells for $4,200 at aplaceimagined.com.
Wooden stairs and a rope bridge lead to this adorable playhouse. RMSer marcoscruzart says that cedar shingles on the sides and roof help keep the bugs away.
Little Rascals Playhouse
PoshTots’ Lil’ Rascals clubhouse is perfect for rambunctious boys — especially those who like to say, “No grownups allowed!” Their secret hideaway comes complete with a sliding peephole, a lookout telescope and matching-color interior, for $4,799 at poshtots.com.
In Minnesota, Modern Playhouse manufactures plainspoken play places for pint-sized minimalists. San Francisco designer Gitane Royce started the company two years ago as the ultimate DIY project. Her designs — like the durable recycled-plastic Dacha, based on a Russian garden house — are creative hubs where little ones are free to get a little messy. From $1,450 at modern-playhouse.com.
A Cozy Hobbit House
Wooden Wonders’ hobbit holes turn backyards into whimsical wonderlands. The brand-new playhouse version Woodshire, produced in Unity, Maine, is an enclosed space ideal for summer sleepovers and imagination-filled play dates, from $2,390 at www.wooden-wonders.com.
An Eco-Friendly Playhouse
Another inventive creation from Boulder, Colo., is by Kathleen Bevers, Carolyn Braaksma and Heidi Spaly, who designed this eco-friendly playhouse as part of the Colorado Green Building Guild’s first-annual Playhouse Design Competition. It takes an artful approach to light, color and shapes, playing off the best qualities of each.
An Abstract Castle
Another design for the Colorado Green Building Guild’s playhouse competition really caught our eye. Rodwin Architecture and Skycastle Homes joined forces to create an abstract structure that appeals to kids’ love of climbing trees. Sustainably forested wood and a tire swing are two great features, while a shaded lookout landing lets kids scope out their surroundings.
The focal point of RMSer nixie's backyard is a castle that features a spiral staircase, a covered slide and a bridge that connects the two towers. Nixie says the swing under the bridge between the two towers is her 6-year-old's "favorite part of the yard." Inside there's a sandbox.
Home of the White Rabbit
RMSer nixie says her husband's "mad carpentry skills" are responsible for the special features in her yard. Here, at the White Rabbit's house in their Alice-in-Wonderland garden, the giant black feet are evidence of a possibly oversized inhabitant
Designed by Steve Appolloni, this contemporary-style playhouse features a bridge, pond and adjoining pergola.
In Boulder, Colo., Robert Ross’ firm, Fieldwork Architecture, focuses on custom outbuildings that fit the unique surroundings of backyards, farms, ranches and more. There’s lots to love about his mod playhouse design in bright, primary hues. Astroturf hideaway holes and a climbing wall make it even more fun for little ones.
A Victorian Mansion
PoshTots has great houses for girls. The Richmond, Va.-based company offers a pale yellow Victorian mansion with all the classic hallmarks — a porch, turrets, cedar-shingled gable, scrollwork details — with countless custom options available, from $23,400 at poshtots.com.
Here's a good solution for the small backyard: A mini treehouse tops a tool shed.
A Mod Modular Playhouse
Designer Edgar Blazona, of Berkeley, Calif.-based Modular Dwellings, designed this MD-20 True Modern indoor playhouse in the same spirit of his company’s grown-up-sized prefab abodes. With rounded edges for safety, eco-friendly materials, removable color panels and great visibility, it sells for $1,350 at truemodern.com.
The Movable Playhouse
RMSer dennisjp369 built this playhouse inside his garage to escape the New Mexico sun and to make sure he could take it apart and rebuild it — whether in the yard of his rental home or at the family's next home. "Amazingly, I only had to cut off one misplaced screw in order to drop the walls and move it out," he says. "The whole project took about two weeks working on a part-time basis. Now I've got a list of parents who would like me to help them build one for their kids in their backyards."
An Environmentally Sound Modern Playhouse
Architects Michelle W. Lee, Rosemary Fivian and George Russell came together to create this environmentally sound modern playhouse for local charities Growing Gardens and the Colorado Green Building Guild. The contrasting tones of reclaimed wood look beautiful, and the way the light casts shadows within it is striking.
A Mini Hipster Hive
Hard to think of a better way to get the youngsters anxious for cool design than this Hobbiken playhouse from SmartPlayhouse. Visit smartplayhouse.com for a quote.
Getting Ready for the Slopes
RMSer beckykay9595's father built her toddler son a ski chalet and her husband built the deck.
A Little House
Charleston, S.C.-based designer Michelle Pollak lends her gracious talents to La Petite Maison playhouses that are just as charming as they sound. The custom-built cottages, which can include little luxuries like air conditioning, indoor lighting, working kitchens, media rooms and pretty architectural details, start at $9,000, through lapetitemaison.com.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the adoption of her young daughter, RMSer sulkygirl designed this amazing tiki-hut playhouse. The playspace "combined her style, our style and our backyard," she says. "It was inspired by the amazing over-the-water bungalows in Bora Bora and Tahiti."
Cool Kiddie Cabana
The simple shed goes sleek at the hands of Modern Cabana, who created this cool Kiddo playhouse from translucent polygal, FSC-certified lumber and non-toxic finishes. Chalk paint on interior walls makes it fun for kids to get crafty inside, for $2,200 plus free shipping.
This adorable bungalow, built by RMSer sarah_o's husband for their kids, also features scaled-down landscaping; dwarf Alberta spruces anchor the corners.
A Charmingly Crooked House
Glen Halliday’s Portland, Maine-based company, Kids Crooked House, famously appeared on TLC’s Kate Plus 8. This fanciful deluxe design is his most popular, and is delivered as seven ready-to-assemble, handcrafted panels in any of 10 colors, starting at $2,149 at kidscrookedhouse.com.
A Progressive Playhouse
Kevin Akey, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based AZD Architects, creates homes that merge contemporary and traditional sensibilities in a modern world. He designed this progressive playhouse structure in the same spirit as his former personal home. What a marvelous miniature!
This playhouse started as a kit but was greatly enhanced. "We added our own deck, roof, floor, insulation, drywall, vents and decor and ran electric cables for the lighting. Yup and even a door bell!" says RMSer mommyoftwins.
A Japanese Farmhouse Play Structure
Architect Bob Borson is a passionate advocate for Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses charity raffle, which helps assign advocates to abused or neglected children. Borson’s 2010 creation for the contest was a slatted rural Japanese farmhouse that a homeowner in New Zealand later replicated — right down to the reed-grass interior and cedar-shake shingle roof!
Reliving the Memories
After a memorable vacation in a log cabin, RMSer suzyqswfl18's husband and their young grandson built a "mountain lodge" in their backyard.
Gorgeous garden beds and a wee porch set off the playhouse in RMSer SAS2010's yard.
The short door on the right leads to a two-story playhouse; on the other side of the structure, Mom and Dad can store their gardening equipment.
Family Living, Outdoors
This playhouse is part of the backyard hangout area. The view from the balcony affords a good view of the fire pit and a waterfall.
A Playhouse for Scallywags
In Paso Robles, Calif., Daniels Wood Land mimics the treehouse look with structures such as its “shipwrecked” deluxe Scallywag Sloop. Kids play like pirates atop the imaginative mini world, which has three entries (one through the trunk of a pretend tree), a trapdoor, a massive ship mast and multiple nautical-themed props. Visit danielswoodland.com for prices.
Adapting to the Times
"Built by Grandpa, this log cabin has been the perfect hangout for my son since kindergarten," says RMSer imjacobsmom. "It's held birthday parties, sleepovers, Monopoly nights, and now that he's a teen, movie and video-game marathons."
The enchanting path to the playhouse in RMSer Mr. Yardman1's backyard winds past colorful plantings.
Colorful Cottage Garden
The view from inside RMSer chicubergeek's playhouse includes a high-contrast collection of annuals and perennials.
An Earth-Friendly Playhouse
LEED AP architect Andy Creath and his firm, Green Roofs Colorado, collaborated on this earth-friendly playhouse as part of a Boulder-based fundraiser for Growing Gardens, which benefits the city’s community garden education center. The recycled-pallet structure has a sliding chalkboard door, botanical boxes and even a little porch.
Malibu Lighthouse Play Structure
Perhaps the nation’s premier playhouse builder, San Francisco-based Barbara Butler’s designs prove that the sky’s the limit for imagination. Her Malibu Lighthouse play structure, complete with a rope ladder, porthole windows and a lookout tower, invites hours upon hours of make-believe, for $59,890 at barbarabutler.com.
Just Like Home
With its Spanish roof tiles, flat roof and custom door, this amazing playhouse is a miniature version of the family home. An observation deck on the top provides a unique view of the yard; a suspension bridge and two slides add to the fun.
Colorful flowers and lots of steppingstones complete the space around Cate and Sarah's playhouse.
After the Playhouse
When the kids grow up, some playhouses take on a second life — and some have more than one. This charming playhouse was repurposed to its original state, a garden shed, when the child left for college. Design by Robin LaMonte