These adorable backyard playhouses are making us feel like little kids again, and we're totally loving it. When can we move in?

By Claire Harmeyer
Updated: September 26, 2018

Dreamy outdoor playhouses are sweeping backyards everywhere. Whether a repurposed garden shed or a custom-designed multistory playhouse complete with electricity, these backyard mini dream homes are making us fall in love. We really wish playhouses like these existed when we were kids, but we'll just have to live vicariously through our own kiddos.

Build a Backyard Playhouse

Many homeowners are building playhouses that mirror the style of their homes, and we are on board with this pint-size architecture. 

"When we walk outside and see the playhouse, it looks like it fits with the rest of our home decor," says Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer of Espresso and Cream. The playhouse aesthetic mirrors the paint colors, woodwork, and design elements found in their home.

Madison tackled the playhouse project with help from her husband and mother, who wanted to create something memorable for her granddaughters. "It's amazing to know that this playhouse will always be something that their grandma built for them." Above the front window, a sign reads "Mimi loves me" in Dutch, symbolizing the family's heritage and the person who dreamt up the playhouse for the girls. Personal touches like these make the playhouse feel like a seamless extension of their home.

To make the playhouse blend in with the rest of the yard, Madison chose simple landscape elements like inexpensive edging, natural wood chips, and hardy plants that will bounce back from little feet stepping on them.

And while the majority of the fun in the playhouse happens in the summer, the structure serves a purpose during the chilly Iowa winters storing outdoor cushions and patio decor. Once the girls outgrow the playhouse, Madison has plans to transition it into a backyard office—it has electricity after all!

Related: Check out the cutest backyard playhouses you can build yourself.

Customize a Playset

If you have one of the classic cedar and green playsets in your backyard, customize it with exterior-grade paint or stain to match your home. Chris and Julia Marcum from Chris Loves Julia painted their swing set the same colors as their home's exterior—greige siding, white trim, and dark gray roof. The plastic telescope even got a little gold spray paint makeover!

Related: See how to paint your exterior like a pro.

Fixer Upper Plastic Playhouse Kit

Beth from 1111 Light Lane transformed a playhouse kit into a mini modern cottage worthy of its own TV show. Twinkle lights make the outdoor space a charming fairy escape for her two daughters. She even decorates it by season. Right now, it’s all fall at the playhouse with a welcome mat, faux mums, and pumpkins!

Related: Make a pumpkin welcome mat.

The Ultimate A-Frame Playhouse

A-frame playhouse? Yes, please! Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess re-created this classic midcentury design on a kid-size scale. Opening the soft peach-pink door reveals a tiny kitchen set for fixing up imaginary food.

Related: Here's how to paint every surface.

Plastic Playhouse Update

A $50 resale playhouse find led Kirsty from List It Planner to this super cute “Lemonade Café.” With a chalkboard menu, a bucket to stash sandals at the door, and plenty of sunny yellow accents, it’s just the right backyard spot for this West Coast family.

Related: Make your own chalkboard paint.

Minimalist Playhouse

Michelle Cannon Smith’s backyard proves that kid spaces can suit adult tastes, too. The blogger behind Iron and Twine gave this playhouse a clean, minimalist look. She wanted to create a blank slate for kid imaginations to dream up anything. Since she started with a white backdrop, the playhouse can easily be adapted as her kids get older. Their yard also features a beautiful coordinating white greenhouse that’s adult-size!

Related: See our favorite backyard greenhouses.

A McMansion Playhouse

The architectural firm Grossman Design Build has created several custom playhouses, but we think this jaw-dropping swing set and tiny house combo is our favorite. Rock climbing wall? Check. Den hangout area? Check. Screened-in, in-ground sandbox? Genius.

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