The photos below show my latest ideas for a playhouse... or a teahouse... or actually a playhouse to eventually be turned into a teahouse. But first, this lovely spot in my yard is where it's going:
Yikes! It almost hurts me to post this picture but this is what my north patio has looked like all summer! We took down the nasty greenhouse last spring and this empty spot has been just sitting here growing weeds. But actually, that's OK, because I've been waffling back and forth on what exactly I want to put here. Now I've got the winter to finish planning and deciding, and my husband has promised that this project will be the top of his priority list next summer.
Originally I thought a "treehouse" would be fun, and I posted a picture of an inspiring playhouse previously. I wanted something that was fairly high to eliminate the imposing view of the side of my neighbour's house (only partially seen above.)
But now I'm leaning towards something lower down, that adults will actually be able to use when the kids aren't using it. I'm thinking longterm here - the kids won't need a playhouse forever!
And to save ourselves the work of trying to lay a patio in this spot to match the already existing patio (a big pain in the &^$%, believe me, we've done it before), we're thinking of building a pergola/house with a slightly raised deck for a base. I like the base of this one (below) for its openness and style:
Above photo from the LA Times.
I wouldn't go quite so Asian for the style of the rest of the structure though, as it wouldn't fit with my yard. So I kept looking for more inspiration...
Design tip: renovation and design options can be overwhelming so one way to figure out what you really want is to collect photos over a period of time of things that catch your eye, then figure out what are the key elements that the photos have in common that you liked. Here are the pergola photos I've collected this summer:
But let's be realistic here. I'm not going to have such a beautiful "adult space" for a few years still. I was thinking our structure could be used for the kids for a playhouse for a few years first. We could put temporary walls on it but an easier way would be to add curtains:
And finally, I'm leaning toward a covered roof (so more of a teahouse than a pergola) because our structure is going to be situated between two large spruce trees in my backyard (practically everything is between two large spruce trees in my yard, but I digress...) A solid roof will prevent everything underneath from getting covered with needles, cones and sap. But I'd like to keep it as open as possible to maximize light. The roof and curtains on this one (above) are perfect.
I should have been more diligent in keeping track but I believe all unlabelled photos above are from www.houzz.com.