A Playhouse fit for even the most adventurous explorer
In 2013 Mr and Mrs Guest’s three grandchildren were aged two and a half, nearly one, and three months. To keep the troublesome trio occupied, as well as helping to develop their imaginations, they decided to build a playhouse in their garden.
“Encouraging children to play outside and be creative, as well as having fun is extremely important to us and we wanted to give our grandchildren somewhere they could do this. We thought a playhouse would be the perfect solution!” explains Olwen Guest.
Keeping the kids entertained was Mr and Mrs Guest’s priority and as such they required a playhouse that was more interesting than the standard “Wendy House”. They also wanted a house that complimented their garden and blended beautifully into the current layout. It also had to fit around their beloved 200 year oak tree!
“We knew that we would struggle to buy an “off the shelf” playhouse that fitted all of our requirements, so we started to look for companies that could help us bring our, and our grandchildren’s, dreams to life.”
It was at this point that the Guest’s approached The Playhouse Company. Based in Herefordshire, The Playhouse Company specialises in creating hand built wooden playhouses. It produces a range of beautiful classic playhouses and “Toddler” houses, as well as designing and building bespoke houses for those who want something a little bit special.
“After researching various companies and reading many reviews, we knew The Playhouse Company would be able to deliver in terms of quality and providing us with that “wow” factor. We had an initial chat with them about what we wanted in terms of size and design, which was followed by a site visit and a more detailed conversation,” continues Olwen.
Richard Frost, founder and designer of the company, took a few days to design a playhouse that fitted perfectly with the Guest’s wishes.
Richard Frost explains, “Mr and Mrs Guest wanted something unique and inspirational so the final design featured a playhouse which sat on top of a raised platform, giving the house a “veranda” and three sets of stairs providing access to the playhouse. We also incorporated a separate platform that included a slide and a swing seat. The whole design fit perfectly with their vision and also around their beautiful oak tree!”
The playhouse took just under three weeks to hand build in The Playhouse Company’s factory in Herefordshire and one day to install on site. It was finished with sadolin classic timber protection in Woodruff and Smokey Blue, and completed with a cedar shingle roof.
Olwen Guest continues, “The house was an instant hit with the grandchildren, encouraging them to get out into the garden in any weather, playing together and using their imaginations. It was this, and wanting to challenge them a little bit more, that inspired us to extend the playhouse.”
In 2014, Richard revisited the Guests and, working together, they designed a bespoke platform that ran along the existing border of the garden. The platform incorporated a tunnelled walkway, a rope bridge and various covered stages, everything an adventurous explorer could want. The extension also took three weeks to hand build and one day to install.
Olwen concludes, “From our initial enquiry to the final result, The Playhouse Company really understood what we were trying to achieve. They worked alongside us in the design stage to ensure everything was how we envisaged it, and the finished product is definitely beyond our expectations. We wanted that “wow” factor for both us and the children, and we have definitely got that!
“The final result is amazing and the grandchildren absolutely love it, which is the most important thing.”
Richard adds, “Bespoke playhouses are becoming more and more popular, as parents and grandparents look for something a little bit different. It is also about enticing children away from their television and computer consoles and getting them into the great outdoors, using their imaginations and creativity.”