Bumblebee Cottage: Creating a beautiful playhouse for the kids

A few months ago, we began the process of flipping a small house. Or well, that’s what it feels like! In reality our family purchased a playhouse and we have been updating and customizing it to create a cottage for the cousins (our children and our niece).

Especially since COVID, we have been looking for fun things that the kids can do at home. My Mom and I had been on the lookout for a few months, when one day I came across a playhouse for sale online. The family it belonged to had outgrown it and they were looking to sell the playhouse and put a hot tub in its place!

I believe the gentleman we bought it from said the playhouse was a RONA kit from years ago. He had raised it to add storage underneath and include a slide for his kids.

The playhouse when we purchased it.

My Dad, husband, brother and I spent 5 hours at this gentleman’s house one Saturday dismantling the playhouse. We had to rent a UHaul van to move it to my parents’ house! I’m not all that adept with construction and tools, so my job was to take photos and ensure that the pieces of the house stayed together and were labeled clearly – whatever I could do to help make it easier for us to put things back together. I was pretty intimidated with the moving process, but it actually went quite smoothly. Helps to have a few engineers in the family!

Dismantling the roof
In two pieces! Now to get it over the fence and into the uHaul…

As we started to put the playhouse back together in my parents’ backyard, we decided this was the perfect time to make a few enhancements! My brother added a trap door as it was one of the things he loved most about our childhood playhouse. Instead of the ladder, my Dad, husband and brother added a climbing wall that we had picked up for free a few years ago and never used. Then my Mom & I started to prime!

Climbing wall added, and playhouse primed
The roof is back on!

My brother also added another window, on the back wall, to let in some extra light. Instead of the walls down below, we decided to leave the “downstairs” open, and put down some turf/artificial grass. It created quite a cozy space underneath! The dog took an immediate liking to this shady spot.

My Mom and I were in charge of interior design, with the help of my eldest daughter. My Mom bought 3 cute little bumblebees (seen in the photo above) and my Dad hung them on the wall. The playhouse became known as Bumblebee Cottage. My godmother had given us a large homemade chalkboard years ago, so we installed this at the front of the playhouse. The cousins have already been having a wonderful time writing and drawing on the board.

To decorate the inside of the cottage, we found a $10 plastic (second hand) IKEA table online, and moved in the chairs my Mom had purchased awhile back. We left a chair on the patio for the kids to sit outside and enjoy the sunset!! We brought over some colouring books and felts to keep in the cottage. We asked my brother if he could make some small shelves for the inside. He did an amazing job, and the shelves are perfect for the colouring books, felts, and reading books for the girls. You can see the new window in the photos below as well!

With the renovations complete, my Mom and I returned to painting the outside of the cottage. We wanted to have it finished before the Fall weather turned cold and rainy. We painted all of the trim white, and the main house boards turquoise. I absolutely love how it turned out.

The newly renovated Bumblebee Cottage looks incredible. The girls play in it all the time, and had an absolute blast with the “waterslide” in the summer! Next summer my Mom and I plan to tackle painting the inside of the cottage!

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