For those of you that have been following Country Mummy for a while you will know that the site has a family friendly focus, but that I keep that focus very broad. On the site you will find travel posts, reviews posts, advertorials and a select few collaborations with businesses that I have sought out and asked if they would like to work with me.
Last year I had the best week working with Sarah from RUFD, photographing her amazing designs, running a competition for her and reviewing her products including this amazing mud kitchen which we have now moved to be in the same part of our garden as our new playhouse and safe to say when the weather is good we don’t see the girls in the house.
This year I approached Foresters Garden Buildings… whilst my husband was initially excited as he would have absolutely loved a new shed (hello middle age :)) I had something more exciting in mind.
Foresters Gardens buildings based in Taunton is a 3rd generation family business specialising in sheds, summerhouses and of particular interest to me, a range of fab playhouses.
I went to meet with Will and he showed me the 4 designs they already stocked… below you can see Danny’s Den, Jessie’s Den, Leah’s Lodge and the Tower.
Each had their own beautiful features making it unique, each beautifully designed & made. Whilst looking at all of them, I pointed out my favourite features and it didn’t take long before a Hybrid was created of the 4 already lovely designs - I would like to introduce you to the ever so sweet ‘Country Cottage’.
With the space of Jessie’s Den (the Country Cottage is 6ft x 6t wide with a 2ft veranda), the window boxes of Danny’s Den, the stable door of Leah’s Lodge and the decking of The Tower the Country Cottage incorporates of all of my favourite features. All of the playhouses and sheds from Forester’s Garden Buildings come pre-treated also, so if you didn’t want to paint it you certainly wouldn’t have to.
I impatiently waited for delivery, and where my husband’s interest was mildly piqued again was at the point I said that he did not need to build it, he just needed to lay a solid base. We both watched, gobsmacked as the team of two that came over had our Country Cottage up and looking lovely within less than two hours. Their efforts demonstrating their efficiency I turned into a 30 second time lapse video which you can see here.
I had been on Pinterest, and pinning for weeks by this stage and knew exactly how I wanted to decorate it, but with Penelope’s second birthday in 2 days’ time it was still a very busy couple of days.
Roy helped me put two coats of white on the exterior, but that’s where he handed over the reins. Initially inside, I was going to leave the floorboards unpainted as I thought it would look like a wooden floor. However, the ridiculous state I, and everywhere & everything else got into as I painted put an end to that idea. Painting everything inside did make it look even bigger though, and after two coats and a night to dry the bit I had been looking forward to the most could start the next day. The faffing.
Everything for the interior & the exterior had already arrived and now I just had to transfer it across.
The window shutters I searched everywhere for and eventually found them online at Tesco Direct here. The green paint was chosen purely because we had it left over from our gazebo last year but I love the colour against the white anyway.
The little artificial flowers in the window boxes I picked up at Homebargains around Easter time for £0.99p each, the bunny was from Homesense last year (definitely don’t think it’s meant to be a door stop but it does the job).
Two brooms were ordered in the end as the first one was bigger than me, and given it was meant to be a toy for Penny we now have two. Both were from Amazon.
The kitchen is about 5 years old and it’s the ELC Wooden Cottage Kitchen that you can still buy now for £149.99 at Argos. I gave it a very rushed facelift to match the colour scheme, and I will say, as a toy over the years it’s done us proud.
I went OTT with the prints inside. I’ll happily admit… I love a motivational quote :)
I didn't spend £7-£12 on each print… I went onto Pinterest, typed in quotes I knew I wanted, screen grabbed them on my phone and printed them out on A4/A5 paper (I made sure to avoid doing this from Etsy sellers or shops and stuck to blogs etc). I also had a few actual prints already that I had bought along the way. When you are inside the playhouse if you look really closely you can tell but as it cost a couple of £ for all of them I think that’s ok :)
The frames are from The Range or Ikea, I looked into the command picture hanging stripes, but again, for the amount I had a few tacks was a lot cheaper.
The little bench outside the playhouse was from Ikea, it was red originally and with another shoddy rushed paint job it is now white. This one was £29.99.
One of my favourite finds was the little miniature sofa and foot stool which fits in perfectly next to the kitchen. It was £57.99 from Amazon and it’s a plastic-y material so easy to clean. The table and chairs I have had since Bella was two and I have no idea where they are from now, but this one from Tesco Direct for £45.00 is sweet.
The vases hung from the ceiling, and in the kitchen are from Ikea, as are the flowers inside. The green wooden ladder behind the sofa holding the books is the ladder from our old playhouse that I rescued before Roy chucked it, but again you can get a nice one from Tesco Direct. The Home Sweet Home sign was only £1.95 from ebay that I quickly painted to match.
The storage box on the table and chairs is actually a sewing box but it was the right size to fit in a few colouring & activity books, some pens etc. and a pack of wet wipes. It was from Dunelm, but a while ago.
The green bag with a white heart on it stores a load more books and fits in nicely at the side of the sofa and was £4.99 from The Range.
The floral paper lanterns I bought from Amazon for £4.99. They look great but they were an absolute pain to put together. The bunting hanging outside the playhouse was also from amazon for £5.99, as was the fabric for the curtains, bunting and cushions inside which cost about £15.00.
The pegs on the door is from Ikea and the chalkboard and clipboard were £0.99 each from The Range.
I think that’s it, but I’ll just finish by saying that if you have been considering a buying a playhouse for your little ones you will not go wrong by ordering from Foresters Garden Buildings. If you are local you can go and have a look around at their lovely range, not just of playhouses but of summer houses and sheds too, and the very best thing has got to be their amazing service of delivery and putting it in place.
They manufacture all of their products on site, so if you are looking for something bespoke don’t be afraid to ask as their customer service is second to none and they will be happy to help. You can contact them on 01823 481 181.
If you are looking for a project over the May bank holidays the Country Cottage design is on sale for £549.00… and with Country Mummy you can save 5% by typing in "cm2018".