Before And After: The Sweetest Small Indoor Playhouse!

August 14, 2017

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This project is sponsored by World Market. 

Last month, we introduced you to a new project we were working with World Market on–an indoor playhouse–and are so excited to share how it all turned out today! We found the perfect space to makeover, a small 5×9 room in our friends’, Preston and Corine’s, basement. They had been wanting to turn the small space into a playroom for their kids eventually, and were happy to turn over the design reigns to us. This is where we started:

And this is how it looks now!:

It’s the sweetest space and is already getting a ton of love from the little ones. While we won’t go into all the building details (since it was already a room to start with), I made a gif that shows the transformation of the outside of the room that we made to look like an actual little house. The icing on top was the shaker siding they had leftover from their own home–so it’s a nice detail that everything kind of goes together.

We took a lot of inspiration from these images we shared when we first started the project and thankfully Preston took lead on a lot of the building and DIY aspects of the playroom since we’ve had our hands full with a new little baby. Inside, we hung this fun peel and stick wallpaper before building the loft play area.

It wasn’t a tall space to begin with (the ceilings are under 8′ down here) but the loft area adds another layer of imagination and allows additional play underneath, too. It’s like the room was made larger because we designed vertically, too–a great tip for small spaces.

Hanging Baskets | Chalkboard | Embroidered Kids Drawing | Wallpaper 

We added a chalkboard underneath the loft and a couple wall baskets that are currently holding a roaring pez collection and figurines, but are perfect for all sorts of toys. Their son routinely takes them off the wall and carries them up to the “fort” to play, so I love that they have a nice handle on them.

Sofa | Rug | Striped Pillow | Tassel Pillow | Fringed Toy Tote | Animal Bust | Giraffe Art

We also wanted to make sure there was a space to sit in here–for kids to lounge and read or parents to read to them, or to just sit and hang out. This small sofa (available in 3 colors) was the perfect fit! It’s just under 5′ wide and I love the playful pop of color it brings.

One of the last details we added were simple window boxes to the outside, filled with faux succulents that can’t be killed by even the most curious little fingers. Ha!

I know not everyone has a whole room they can dedicate to play, but I hope the transformation of this tiny 5×9 space inspires you! I have seen similar transformations in under stair closets, even (something we have been eyeing ours for). And if there’s one thing this project has taught me, it’s that kids love little little spaces. Their imaginations don’t need entire floors or excessive square footage–just a small area to be a kid in.

Special thanks to World Market for sponsoring this project. We were able to outfit this entire room with products from them and their small spaces collection on a budget!


Loveseat | Chindi Area Rugs | Rhino Animal Bust | Springbok Animal Bust | Striped Lumbar Pillow | Fringed Pillow | Chalkboard | Toy Guitar | Wall Baskets | Faux Succulents here here and here | Fringed Tote Basket | Giraffe Print | Peel and Stick Wallpaper | Embroidered Kids Drawing 


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What do you think?

  1. Veronica Hurtado says:

    Hi! Love this! We have a very similar space. Would I be able to purchase the plans from you? I would love to have my husband build this for our kids! ♥️

  2. Heidi says:

    What paint colors did you use on the exterior? So cute!

  3. Johanna says:

    This is so gorgeous! We have a 8×6 closet we are planning on creating a playhouse in! Would you be able to tell me how high the loft is and the inside dimensions? I am hoping to do the same!

  4. Meg Van Schaik says:

    Wondering if you could give a rough estimate on how much this playroom nook cost to create (not including the furniture and decor)

  5. Shuchi says:

    Hi! How many panels of the wallpaper did you need for this space?

  6. Brittany says:

    I absolutely love every single thing about this space and I wish it was in my house!

  7. Traci says:

    You guys did an amazing job and why do I love Preston lol! His personality comes through on the podcast. You three rock together. Happy you guys could makeover a space for his littles.

  8. Nancy Sherman says:

    Awesome – I’d love a space under the stairs for myself too – with a mini fridge to hold the wine :)

  9. Stacy says:

    Very cute, I love the loft space!

  10. Mollie says:

    I can’t get over how much I love this space! I don’t have my own children yet, but little me would have been totally starry eyed over this. My own little house, school, apartment, whatever. I’d have been thrilled and would have spent many hours in that space!

  11. Jamey says:

    I love this space and everything you do. I was just thinking I would love to see you design a little boy’s room. I have two boys and would probably copy your whole design. Just a thought incase you have a lucky neighbor whose boys bedroom you could makeover.

  12. Caitlin says:

    this is BANANAS good! I love it.. i have a tiny nook under the stairs and want to make it a little play area – such good inspo.

  13. Nicole says:

    Beautiful! What did you use for the shingles? Definitely will be doing something similar under my stairs. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  14. Every last little detail was (not surprisingly) beautifully thought out. I want to play here!

  15. Ellen says:

    Where did the hooks for the baskets under the loft come from, World Market??
    The space is amazing!

  16. denese says:

    how perfectly adorable! I love the wallpaper and embroidered kid art. I can totally see this working with a twin sized “sleeper chair” for tiny tot sleeping!

  17. Bethany says:

    Love this! The wallpaper will last for years as they grow!

  18. Christine says:

    This is perfection. Would you mind sharing the paint color and brand?

  19. Jessica - says:

    YAY! It looks amazing and so happy for Preston and family – a nice reward for all the hard podcast work he does.

  20. Karen says:

    I love the shingles and windows. IMO… this has so much potential, but it’s not what I’d consider the playhouse of any child’s dreams. I looks more like a miniaturized adult space. Where is the color, the toys, the costumes, the fantasy inspiring items that stir imaginative play?

    • Alex says:

      Oh gosh, I think this looks like a super fun space to play! I love how colorful that sofa is against the black and white around the room, and know lots of kids that would play I Spy with that wallpaper for a loooong time. I work at a children’s museum where we have a very similar room (it’s a miniature bedroom) and it gets tons of traffic for not really having anything too far out of the ordinary that most already have in their homes. I think it’s definitely the “littleness” that appeals to kids. :) Looks like there’s a whole basket of soft toys; I imagine that could be replaced with a basket of puppets or costumes or whatever happens to fit the kids whose home this is as their interests shift!

      I like all the layering and textures – so cozy! :)

  21. Lu says:

    How fun! Is the peel and stick wallpaper easy to remove?

  22. Shelley says:

    The details are so good here! I mean the window boxes with the faux succulents…beyond adorable!

  23. abby says:

    so cute!!! great job!

  24. Oh my goodness I bet their kids love this space! And the sofa is genius! There is a play house at my condo that is tiny and my son says “come in my whittle house” and it’s just so small! So pretty much I’m jealous of the adorable sofa ;). Also, is it strange that I feel like I kind of know Preston from the podcast?! Can’t wait to hear about this on the podcast!

  25. Patricia says:

    I’d want this and I’m a grown up! Still a kid at heart. I’d add a tiny kitchen and pots and pans … and a wall of dress up costumes.

  26. Ronna says:

    What is the shake siding? Vinyl? Source?

  27. Jessica says:

    This is amazing, i love it! I may have to make something like this for my own kids!

  28. Tanya says:

    That Is SO Well Done !!! All the wonderful little details add up to PERFECTION !!! Good job, guys!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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