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13 Tips for Creating a Playhouse Your Child Will Love
Country Living
July 22, 2014
Madison Alcedo

HILLSIDE HAMLET:

Location: Hillsborough, CA

Barbara's tip: "If you have a hill in your backyard, try working with it instead of avoiding it. On this Hillside Hamlet, the slide mirrors the slope of the hill and provides much more interest."

FORT SANTA BARBARA:

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Barbara's tip"I like to design 'loops of play' that keep kids running around. It also helps to avoid dead-ends in the design."

CASTLE COLORFUL:

Location: Atherton, CA

Barbara's tip: "Add a variety of ways to get up and down from the upper levels. Keep the exits easy with a ramp, or add an innovative element like a rock climbing wall."

FORT AUTUMN TREE PERCH:

Location: Shaker Heights, OH

Barbara's tip: "Redwood is my favorite building material for all of our tree forts. It's strong, stands up to the weather, and takes color beautifully."

CASTLELAND:

Location: Atherton, CA

Barbara's tip: "A roof not only provides protection from rain and sun, but it also defines the upper play space better. I've found that as kids get older, they want a place to hang out that is higher off the ground." 

ESCALDAE TREE FORT:

Location: Woodside, CA

Barbara's tip: "Firepoles are great for a quick escape, and they don’t take up as much room as a slide. We used stainless steel pipe to make ours."

NAPA VALLEY TWIN CHALETS:

Location: Napa Valley, CA

Barbara's Tip: "This playhouse was built like a real house, complete with electricity, plumbing, and real glass windows and doors."

BLUEBIRD TREEHOUSE:

Location: Larchmont, NY

Barbara's tip: "Including a zipline adds an extra element to a treehouse—and makes it even more exciting."fort

FORT MEDITERRANEAN:

Location: Los Altos, CA

Barbara's tip: "Kids love playhouses with doors and shutters that they can open and close a million times. We use sturdy hinges and leave a half-inch gap around the openings so little ones' fingers don't get pinched."

KIDS RULE TREEHOUSE:

Location: Los Gatos, CA

Barbara's tip: "When designing a treehouse, I prefer to not have the tree limbs go through the roof because it makes harder to waterproof. So when starting a project, I look for space for the roof first."

TROPICAL TREEHOUSE:

Location: Saratoga, FL

Barbara's tip: "The space under a big deck is great for hanging monkey bars."

MALIBUE LIGHTHOUSE:

Location:  Malibu, CA

Barbara's tip: "Carving and staining the lumber adds an extra level of charm that appeals to kids and parents alike."

BRIGHT PLAYHOUSE:

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Barbara's Tip: "Bright colors always appeal to kids, plus they make the treehouse stand out brightly against foliage."

 For Media & Publicity Inquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jessica Reda
Sarah Hall Productions, Inc.
145 Hudson Street, Suite 404
New York, NY 10013
Email: jessica at shpny.com
Phone: (212) 597-9200
Fax: (212) 529-3171
Suzanne Butler
Barbara Butler Artist-Builder, Inc.
325 South Maple Avenue, #37
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Email: suzanne@barbarabutler.com
Phone: (415) 864-6840
Fax: (212) 529-3171