The outdoor playhouse is a place for a child’s imagination to really roam free, so it only makes sense to tailor the playhouse to your child's personality and taste. Below are some ideas to get you started, but remember -- just like your child's imagination, the sky is the limit!
1. Make It Functional
Consider how the playhouse is going to be used. Do you have active children who like to run around, swing, and jump? Consider adding a swing set, monkey bars or a slide to the side of the playhouse. Add a second story to climb up to, or simply place the first story on up on stilts to simulate a tree house. Be sure that there is enough floor space inside, especially if you have children who like to play “kitchen” or "house," or who might want to have slumber parties inside.
2. Add Color and Dimension
The most basic way to personalize a playhouse is through painting or staining it. Color goes a long way to establishing mood and sparking imagination. For a “log cabin” style playhouse, simply putting a good stain both inside and out will maintain its rustic feel. However, a Victorian playhouse might benefit most from white sides and bright colored trim. Various patterns can change things drastically, such as brown, green, and black camouflage for a "fort."
3. Let Them Decorate
Your kids are the ones who will be inside, so let them choose the decor. Give them some wallpaper options or paint swatches for the the interior walls, and allow them choose a design scheme that speaks to them. Let them hang their own artwork and favorite posters on the walls. Paint a wall or two inside with chalkboard paint so the kids always have a ready canvas.
4. Furnish the Inside
No playhouse is complete without some sort of furnishings, and the options to furnish a playhouse have never been wider! There are entire stores dedicated to small-scale furniture such as chairs, tables, kitchen ware and utensils, and even kid-sized sinks. Put a toy box in the corner, some small curtains in that Victorian-style playhouse, or a hammock inside a "fort."
5. Add Some Plantlife
As a fun bonus to any playhouse, do a little landscaping to complete the picture. Window boxes with flowers do wonders for a “log cabin,” while small shrubs and a little white picket fence will simulate a quaint little house in suburbia. To top it off, let your kids put in a flowerbed or their own miniature vegetable garden in the playhouse’s “backyard.”
6. Name the House
Finally, nothing screams personalization more than placing your name on something -- and kids love claiming ownership by stamping their name on things. Simply paint ""Andy's House" over the door frame, or let your child come up with a creative name for their own house.
No matter what, let your children tell you what stirs their imaginations and help you in the decision making. The more choices they get to make, the more ownership they will feel and the more they will enjoy their playhouse.