Sunday, September 21, 2014

Papa, Do You Want to Build a Playhouse?

My Dad had a dream. 

A dream of building his little girl a custom playhouse that she could spend her days in cooking pretend suppers, putting her baby dolls to sleep, setting her little table for tea, reading her favorite books and  coloring masterpieces to hang on the wall.

But my Dad was a carpenter and worked long hours. He worked weekends, holidays and night shifts. He took extra side jobs and projects. He did whatever he needed to do to provide for our family and with that responsibility came sacrifice. That sacrifice was never easy for him and sometimes he'd say, 

"Jenny…I wish I could have given you kids {fill in the blank} when you were younger."

What I have to remind my Dad ALL THE TIME is that him and my mom gave us three kids the most amazing childhood and we are all hard workers today because of the example they set for us. We didn't need fancy vacations, a million toys or even a custom playhouse to know that we were 3 of the luckiest kiddos in the world.

And we are STILL 3 of the luckiest kids in the world! Our parents may be retired now, but they never stopped taking care of us. It's been a hard job for them...and then I went and made it harder :)

Addison Lynn Davis was born on March 7, 2008 and on March 9, 2008, my dad purchased the blueprints for her playhouse. I am actually surprised he waited two whole days to buy them, and I am even more surprised that he had the patience to wait to build it until we were ready.

And this year, someone was VERY ready :)

Earlier this summer, we gave my Dad the go ahead to start building the playhouse. Within HOURS of that phone call, he was in our backyard on Uncle Adam's tractor with blueprints in hand.

And before we knew it, the playhouse started to take shape.

Our friends Joe and Greg and my Dad got the concrete done in an afternoon and then the next day, we left for a camping trip. I told my Dad to take the weekend off and we would pick back up when we got home. As usual...he didn't listen. 

This is what my Dad and Uncle Adam accomplished in ONE WEEKEND!!!

Like father, like son :)

When we got home from our trip and saw THIS…Addie almost died. Here she is sweeping her porch for the first time.

Once the house was up…my Dad was too excited to stop. So every free moment he had was spent in the backyard. And luckily, he had lots of helpers :)

I will never forget the day the my Dad and I took this picture. The windows were in, the siding was up, the shingles were on and the door was painted. It was looking like the playhouse we had dreamed about for so long. We both just stood in the yard and stared at it.

Once the outside was complete, it was time to tackle the inside (which truth be told…was the part I was looking forward to most!!)

I know drywall is my Dad and Eric's LEAST favorite project of all, but having that done meant my mom and I could start planning the decor!! 

First up was choosing a paint color. I let Addie decide what she wanted and her exact words were, 

"I want the walls to be yellow like sunshine."

And so…our walls became yellow like sunshine :) I had two awesome little helpers for this project and it was done in an afternoon.

Next up was flooring.

My Dad and I found this awesome tile that looks like wood, only it's twice as durable and a fraction of the price. I wanted something that I could easily sweep out and would hold up to crazy kiddies.

It turned out so beautiful…I may use this all over my house!!

The rest of the decorating process started with a rug. My Mom and Dad were out shopping one night and knowing that I wanted to go with colors that would suit a boy and girl…they looked for primary colored rugs. I had already been to Ikea, Target, Wal-Mart and searched countless websites online. I couldn't fathom the idea of putting a $400 rug in a playhouse, knowing that it would take a beating, so we kept looking. But that night, my Mom checked the clearance section at Home Goods just for the heck of it, and there it was. The PERFECT RUG!!!!!!!!

I know it seems silly to be so excited over a rug, but it tied everything in the playhouse together so perfectly. It was meant to be and the rest of the decor fell right into place.

One of the things I knew I wanted in the playhouse was a little reading nook. A place where the kids could curl up in comfy bean bags and browse their shelves for a favorite story. Space is limited in the playhouse, so I didn't want to take up too much room with a bookshelf. So, we opted for Ikea's picture frame shelves. I love how they display all the books and make them easy to see and find.

Another thing I knew the playhouse had to have was a table and "kitchen" area. Addie LOVES setting the table and preparing pretend meals. We brought Blake's little table up from our basement and it fit in the house perfectly. She had the place settings set in no time :)

My original plan for the playhouse was to just drag our plastic Step 2 kitchen out to the house for them to use. When I suggested that to my Dad, he said,

"You mean…you don't want me to build a custom kitchen set?"

Go big, or go home, right?

So that weekend my Dad got to designing the kitchen area. I told him some of the things I would like in it (like toy storage and bins for play food) and he drew it all out. I also asked if there was any way to make a coloring station or desk area. And this, my friends, is what he came up with :)

I mean…could it be more ADORABLE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the cuteness doesn't stop there. While my Dad was installing the kitchen, my mom stopped by to install the curtains that she made. Are you ready for this?

Could they be more perfect?!!

And you see that quilted floor pillow? Yep…she made that too.

When my Dad and I dreamed about this playhouse, we knew that it would be special.

But seeing the playhouse complete was beyond anything we had ever imagined!!!

Every little detail came together so perfectly.

Right down to the wreath on the front door.

So after 30 years of dreaming and 4 months of hard work, my Dad finally built his little girl a playhouse.

And it is nothing short of spectacular.

Eric and I would just like to thank everyone who helped make this dream playhouse come true.

To Greg: Thank you for doing all the heavy lifting and being my Dad's assistant.
To "Uncle" Joe: Thanks for driving the concrete buggy and doing it with such style and class.
To Uncle Kevin: Thank you for helping with the siding and being an extra set of hands when we needed it.
To Uncle Adam: Thank you for spending that whole weekend helping Dad get the frames and roof up, even though you are the busiest guy on the planet.
To my Mom: Thank you for being my interior decorator and the baby sitter when Dad and I needed to run errands and work in the house. We wouldn't have been finished with this house until next summer if it weren't for you. And let's not forget the rug! Love you so much, Mamacita.

And to Papa: Words cannot express how much I appreciate the things you do for us. This playhouse means more to me than you will ever know. The memories that Addie and Blake will make in there are priceless, and I hope that the process of building this house was as much fun for you as it was for me. What a special thing that you and I got to share. Love you so much, Daddy-O!!

To view the picture slideshow that my Dad made of the construction process, check it our HERE

The plans for this playhouse are from Better Homes & Gardens. You can find them HERE


  1. Ok .....That is the most PERFECT adorable playhouse I have ever seen! What an amazing family to come together and do that for your kiddos! Well done!!! xo

  2. I want one of those!! A mommy retreat!! It's absolutely gorgeous!! I hope your family creates many wonderful memories together there!!

  3. I had the greatest time ever building this house with you, Eric, Adam, Greg, Kevin, Joe and even mom (Jan) helped me too!!! The things we do for our kiddies and the grand kiddies, Are Priceless!!!!!!! Now, what's next???

    1. What an AWESOME job! You really have created something special for your granddaughter. I am truly inspired by this project. So much so that my father-in-law and I are going to attempt this. I have the plans and we are ready to get started! I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about some of the modifications you made.

      Again, amazing playhouse and thanks in advance!

  4. OMG! I want to live in the playhouse!!! Seriously Im so happy for Addie and Blake, what amazing memories they will have of the process and all the fun they will have in it. And Im happy for you too Jen because if I was you on those crazy I need 10 minutes to myself nights, I think a glass of win will fit perfectly on that table while you relax on a bean bag chair!!! GORGEOUS!!!

  5. I cried! What a beautiful house! Can you lease out your dad? ��

  6. I cried. What a beautiful work of love. Also, love the floor. I feel like I want to put it in my house... for real.

  7. This is absolutely adorable! This playhouse belongs in a magazine! Everything is perfect!! The kids are so lucky to have such a special place to spend their play time.

  8. Oh my GOODNESS! I am ready to move in myself!!! Adorable and perfect!

  9. Your playhouse turned out wonderfully. I purchased the same plans and stumbled on your blog- thank you for the many pictures, they have been a big help. So far I have the walls up:

    I'm a little nervous about the dormers, and I was wondering if you have any pictures of their construction, including how they secured them to the roof rafters? Or if your dad has some drawings/measurements or wouldn't mind emailing back and forth a bit that would be so helpful too. Thanks!

    1. Hi Austin! I don't have an email address attached to your comment, but if you can reply to this comment with it, I can have my Dad get in touch with you. He is ALWAYS happy to talk about the playhouse and share pictures :)


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