The Waltons Playhouse Challenge: Woodland Hideaway


I’ve been really excited to take part in a bloggers project recently, organised by Waltons – suppliers of a range of garden sheds, summer houses and playhouses.

Waltons very kindly supplied me and four fellow bloggers with a brand new 6’ 5 x 5’ 6 Walton’s Honeypot Honeysuckle Playhouse to paint and style it any way we chose, spending no more than £50 of our own budget on it – the idea being to keep it as thrifty as possible, making use of things we already had.

The kit arrived and my youngest two boys were really excited to watch and help their dad build the playhouse.

playhouse 1

Playhouse 2

It was my husband’s idea to add the decking – it kind of made a little front porch.  That was the most expensive item, it was £16 for the deck boards, but money well spent I think!


Especially as I was saving by already having some paint in the shed – I’d bought the Cuprinol tin ages ago as it was such a bargain and I knew it would come in handy one day!  The little tester pot was a free sample at a blog event.


So we got busy with the paint – the main colour is called Muted Clay and its a nice, soft stone shade.

Painted playhouse

The main challenge for me was keeping the playhouse boyish.  It’s a very sweet style, so I deliberately left off the embellishments provided which were a flower shape to go round the circle in the door and some window trims that would normally go inside to give a cottage effect.  Keeping the boyish theme in mind, I wanted to introduce a camouflage pattern, but not cover the whole house in it as I think that would have been too much.  We weren’t after an army base look, more of a ‘woodland hideout’ where the boys could be explorers, adventurers or even spies on secret missions.  This playhouse is directly outside our kitchen so I wanted to keep it mostly neutral, and so the idea came to add just a camouflage edge to the window frames and decorative trim.

You could draw out a camouflage pattern or use a template, but I decided to just go for it free-hand, figuring I could paint over it if it went a bit wrong!  I started with the neutral shades of stone and green first and painted some wiggly cloud shapes.


Next I took a finer brush and a dark navy-black paint (again, a paint I already had).  I took a bit more time and care with this part!

That darker colour definitely helped make the pattern look less like clouds and more like a camouflage print.


I then peeled off the protective film from inside and out of the windows and cut up an old pair of cargo trousers that became blinds which we could tie up with ribbon when the boys didn’t want their play den too dark – but when they’re hiding out, the blinds can easily be lowered.  They are just stuck to the window frame with velcro strips.  A couple of hooks were added for hanging up essentials such as backpacks and a basket for torches, sunglasses, walkie talkies etc.  We bought a couple of push in battery lights which were about £4 again from B&M – one for outside the playhouse and one for the inside.

collage inside

I painted one of the panels inside with blackboard paint so they could draw maps and plan out their imaginery adventure routes and we added a sleeping bag for when they need a rest from all their exploring!


We also added a handy little storage box from B&M bargains which is also a seat.  It was only £4.99 and they can pop more toys and accessories inside to keep the house tidy.


So here’s the finished playhouse – it’s a Woodland Hideaway/Den I guess you would call it!

Woodland Hideout

A picnic blanket and basket were essentials for snacks!  And the post box we already had, I thought it was a cute way to leave notes and clues for each other to follow.

woodland hideout2

woodland hideout

Our total spend for finishing the project was £25, so I’m happy with that.  I hope you like what we did with our playhouse, it has been really great fun coming up with our design!  Thanks to Waltons for the opportunity to do something so creative and rewarding.

woodland den



Is Clutter Keeping You Awake?


If clutter in your bedroom is preventing you from relaxing and dropping off to sleep, today’s guest post suggest how an Ottoman bed could help solve the problem: 

Studies have shown that if your bedroom is cluttered or untidy, this can affect your sleep. A room in disarray isn’t calm, which then impacts on you. Mumbo jumbo? Try walking into a tidy, uncluttered room and see how you feel. Then go into your bedroom.  If you notice a difference, it’s time to act.

Hide That Clutter

Few homes ever seem to have enough storage space.  Lofts and cupboards quickly fill up.  As bedrooms aren’t normally on show, they can often become the dumping ground for things that have nowhere else to go: the ironing you haven’t got round to yet (I know something about that); several years’ worth of Gardener’s World magazines, or maybe it’s the children’s toys. Sometimes you can’t even see the bed, let alone any surface or floor. A simple, yet effective way of adding storage space, while at the same time de-cluttering and bringing some sense of serenity back to your sleep nest, is to invest in an ottoman storage bed.

These beds come in a range of sizes and look every bit as stylish as other beds but with a big advantage – hidden storage. These clever beds aren’t just for blankets and linens either. They offer the ideal space for any item that needs tidying away. They have a big advantage over divans with drawers, as they have a greater capacity, plus you can hide away larger items, such as a guitar or ironing board. Access is simple too, as the top of the bed lifts up, so you can see everything at a glance. The better ottoman beds use gas mechanisms, such as those sold by Bedz R Us, to enable the top to lift and go down easily and safely. No muscles required and having a gas mechanism means the top won’t slam down onto fingers.

Ottoman beds are especially useful for children’s rooms. Whether they’re teenagers with textbooks or toddlers with toys, there are never enough places to put things, are there? With one of these beds, the next time you tell them to tidy their room, they might not complain (as much). An added bonus is that if your little one is scared of monsters hiding under the bed, they won’t be able to, with an ottoman bed.

What Is That?

We all know this scenario when looking under the bed: dust bunnies the size of a football; dirty socks that could anaesthetise an army; or antibiotics growing on a month-old sandwich.  With an ottoman storage bed, these will be yesterday’s problems.

A bedroom should always promote sound sleep.  Keeping it tidy and de-cluttered with an ottoman storage bed will go a long way to achieve this.

ottoman bed

Guest post