The Clubhouse Under the Stairs

August 23rd, 2011 § 36 comments

I told them that when I was little I had a clubhouse tucked under the basement stairs.  Not fancy, just a secret place with a miniature door and a mysterious wooden box that held classified codes and pencil nubs.  I have been a great many things, but when I was a secret agent, I was exceptional at it.

Yet we grow.  We move on.  And we forget.

But there is this part of me that is still so secret, and the other part is nothing like that.

One long summer, when the girls were crawling and falling, my SuperheroMan jackhammered our basement floor and hauled the concrete away in rusty metal pails.  With his dad.  And that winter we built a clubhouse tucked under the basement stairs.

Chalkboard letterShingled on the outside with a mail slot, outdoor light and window box, it now houses baskets of delicious wooden food, a tea set, guest books, date stamps, homemade wooden chalkboard postcards, pretend money, aprons and chefs’ hats, a desk call bell, and a few lonely spiders.


It is absolutely the best restaurant in our small town.

 

 

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§ 36 Responses to The Clubhouse Under the Stairs"

  • sarah says:

    This is the COOLEST thing EVER! I want to come over and spent many long hours exploring that clubhouse – totally awesome.

  • Beth Propper says:

    I am so looking forward to a book of your collected posts.

  • Nikole says:

    Brilliant! And so incredibly adorable. Nice work!

  • Kate says:

    I’m with Sarah– coolest thing ever! Absolutely fantastic!

  • Heather says:

    WAYYY Cool! I want one and I haven’t been a recognizable “kid” for ages!

  • Marcie says:

    Thank you all! So sorry my reply to your comments was delayed–we were out of town and then without power for several days following the hurricane. Back on track now. Thank you so much for your kind kind comments–I truly love hearing from everyone.

    • Robyn says:

      Hello,

      I was so impressed with your playhouse that I have my dad making one for my sons this week. Would you mind explaining more how you did the door? It looks like it isn’t a regular door knob but just pulls open. How did you keep it closed? Anything else you could tell me about the door would be very appreciated! Thanks and great work!

      • Marcie says:

        Robyn, great to hear you’re planning a similar project! We constructed the door out of 3/4 inch ply, cut out the window, hung it on 4 hinges, cut it in half and then rehung it. The knob is just a simple wooden knob–it doesn’t turn. There is no latch on the door–just swings open and closed easily. We put a wall-mounted light inside with a wall switch outside the door–this is used all the time, since it’s dark and scary in there without it.

        We put a wall-mounted outdoor light above the door. This looks cute, but as the kids have grown older, it has become a real head-bonker as they race into the clubhouse.

        Good luck with the project. Send photos if you’re able!

  • Michelle says:

    That is SO fantastic — it’s got to be one of the best playhouses ever.

  • Donaville says:

    Love! I secretly want one for me. Could always make one now and wait ’til my kiddos are old enough to enjoy it ;)

  • laura says:

    I love this! I’m going to convince my husband that we NEED to do this!

  • Caroline says:

    I think this might be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I used to play under the stairs at my parents’ old house, in a little luggage closet – I loved that space. This is even better!

  • Emily says:

    Oh this is so fun! Love the dutch door. One of my piano students has a playhouse just like this under her stairs.

  • Found your charming clubhouse through Pinterest and I had to come by to see the rest. How wonderful! Your kids are lucky and so are you! What an inspiring little spot.

    • Marcie says:

      So nice to connect coast to coast. Just took a peek at the impressive list of blogs you follow. Whoa! Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comments.

  • amy says:

    I adore this!! I pinned it as an idea I want to do in our basement – thanks for the inspiration!! PS…I saw this first on shelterness if you didn’t know already :)

  • Soulful Nest says:

    Dear Marcie,

    What an amazingly creative and LOVELY way to express yourself and create an AMAZING space for your children under the steps. I absolutely love everything about it!

    Siobhain Dobrovolny of SoulfulNest.com

  • David Sensenich says:

    Hurricane Irene and some insurance money have given us the opportunity to redo the basement. The contractor is starting today. Jeanine mentioned that we want to steal your idea. Brian was kind enough to direct me to the photos.

    btw, Love your website. Have not been on here in a while. It’s a treasure trove of great ideas.

  • Monica says:

    I love this! Makes me wish I were a kid again! I would LOVE to do this! Thank you for sharing.

  • Jennifer says:

    We are starting our new home in April and we are absolutely gonna do this for our little boy! This is awesome! Thanks

  • heather says:

    Where did you buy the door and outside material for this clubhouse? Thanks! Awesome idea!

    • Marcie says:

      We made the walls of our clubhouse out of 1/4 inch ply covered with 2 bundles of cedar shingles–bought at the lumberyard. We constructed the door out of 3/4 inch ply, cut out the window, hung it on 4 hinges, cut it in half and then rehung it. We put a wall-mounted light inside with a wall switch outside the door–this is used all the time, since it’s dark and scary in there without it.

      We put a wall-mounted outdoor light above the door. This looks cute, but as the kids have grown older and a bit taller, it has become a real head-bonker as they race into the clubhouse. I would omit the outdoor light. Thanks for your nice note!

  • Kelly N. (kmnoel) says:

    Hi Marcie! Thanks for sharing your wonderful idea! I’ve been looking for both under the stair storage and playhouse ideas – and I can say FOR SURE … that I like your playhouse the best so far! So super cute! I can even envision myself simply crawling in it to “get away” and read a book :)
    Thanks again!

  • Brenda Melahn says:

    Absolutely love this. I loved to play under the basement stairs when I was little, but my play house was sheets hung up by nails and rag rugs for carpet. I loved it and had forgotten about it until I read your post above. As soon as my son moves out of the basement, I’m going to see about changing under our stairs. Thanks so much!

  • […] I absolutely adore this. It’s a kid’s playhouse! […]

  • Mrs Morgan says:

    Hi I have seen this and simply fallen in love with it. My 3 year old wants one so I’m trying to convince the family to do it for us… Was it very expensive to create? x

    • Marcie says:

      Thanks! Not too expensive. We used scrap wood for the door, and used some interior paint we had on hand. We bought plywood ($25), a bundle of cedar shakes (less than $10), door hinges ($10 total) and a simple light socket ($25). I’d say, less than $100 for the whole project. Good luck in your convincing–and send photos if you’re able!

  • Cyndy says:

    I saw something like this on Facebook and went to the internet to see if I could find more examples. I ran across yours today. Just fabulous!!! I was about to decorate a room behind the stairs in our lower level into a “woman cave” for me (Dear Husband is now retired and I need a retreat from the TV noise upstairs! LOL). We have our 1 year old granddaughter here 3 days a week. I’m thinking that now I will be creating a “Grandma and Me” space for the 2 of us as the playhouse entrance will be from inside the “woman cave”. I can’t wait to get started on our “girls’ space”. Our understairs area does not seem very big though. Can you tell me the height and floor dimensions of your playhouse? I would really appreciate that!

    • Marcie says:

      Sounds great, Cyndy! Our small space measures 5 feet tall (at the tippy top). It is 6 feet at the floor and 3 feet wide. Good luck with the project. Let me know how it turns out!

  • My parents did this for me when I was a child. It was the best place ever. They found brick wallpaper and used that on the outside. It had a window, door, etc. Wish there was a way I could have done the same for my kids but our house doesn’t allow it.

  • Ruth Kessman says:

    Absolutely love this Under the Stairs Club House! We are finishing our basement now and I am definitely doing this. Thanks!
    p.s. I also liked the idea of using brick wallpaper that Creative Mama on a Dime mentioned.

  • Shannon says:

    I love the playhouse! You did an amazing job. I wanted to make one for my daughter, and was wondering how you did the window?

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