Joni Lay, Lay Baby Lay blog, Georgia, playhouse, cubby, garden, old garden shed transformed into a playhouse, DIY, play space, stage, dance recital, reading nook, kitchen

Joni recalls that her father built a playhouse from scratch for herself and her sister when they were young, so she knew what special memories of childhood they could create. Naturally, she enlisted her dad’s help for the latest project, turning the transformation into a three-generational effort. Joni wanted to give the playhouse a store front feel, but it was also important that the space was well ventilated due to the Southern heat. Elder daughter Vivi was already demonstrating a love of performing, so a little stage was built into the design too. “It’s part restaurant/theater/kitchen/whatever they decide to dream up,” writes Joni.

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After cleaning out the shed, the old cladding was removed, the tin roof was trimmed, and studs were repositioned to fit the new layout. Chip and Joni’s dad built a small deck-cum-stage, which was covered with composite decking to avoid splinters sticking into little dancing feet. After recladding the exterior, Joni’s dad suggested using flyscreen on the windows — a super simple solution to the ventilation issue. The exterior of the shed was painted a fresh, minty blue and then it was time for the detailing.

To enhance the sense of a performance space, two extra long shower curtains trimmed with yellow pom poms were installed across the front of the stage. The added bonus of the shower curtains is that they are weather resistant: no sad, soggy fabric drapes here. There’s also a chalkboard for random scribbling now and writing up menus or performance schedules later, and inside there is a play kitchenette. A hanging chair from IKEA creates a reading nook, and internal battens and hooks provide all the storage and display space that is needed for the moment. Add to all this child-sized doors, a solar-powered light, a nifty window barrier made of latticework, indoor/outdoor carpet, and plenty of Joni’s artwork, and you have one fresh, versatile and inviting playhouse that opens young imaginations to all sorts of possibilities.

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+ Lay Baby Lay

via Lay Baby Lay and Home Depot

Photos by Sara Harper and Joni Lay