For kids, just heading out to the backyard can be an exotic escape, and Playhouse designer Barbara Butler wants to encourage more outdoor play, by designing and building backyard structures that are beautiful to look at, and strong enough for the whole family to play with. While these playhouses are out of the price range of most of us, they are inspiring us to rethink how we can use our tiny outdoor space to make it a more imaginative place to play.
A close-up. Check out the mail slot - a fun way to encourage kids to write letters and play postman.
Below, the Cape Codder Deluxe. Sure, its about $36,000.00, but we all have a little change rolling around under the couch cushions, waiting to be put to good use.
Much more affordable is the Cozy Cabin, below, at $3,800.00. We love the cat on the front step, and the gingerbread detailing. We do wonder, though, about all of these houses, how dark they are inside when the door is closed.
Is your family more bloodthirsty? Barbara also designs very detailed forts. The configuration below is $24,000.00
So, a Barbara Butler Playhouse isn't in everybody's budget. They weren't even in Barbara's budget, at the beginning. She started as a custom deck builder, and was working on an outdoor space for singer/songwriter Bobby McFerrin when the sudden popularity of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" expanded the deck budget, and McFerrin's wife encouraged Barbara to get creative in building their outdoor space. These playhouses, with all of their creative details, like mail boxes, escape hatches, and safes, are the result.
What do you think? Is your yard, or deck, or play area in need of some imagination-inspiring props, like a playhouse?