When we built our house almost ten years ago, we did not finish the basement. Over time, piece by piece we have slowly finished up different rooms. Today I am going to share our under the stairs playhouse, or Kids Castle.
This is our modified floor plan of the basement. Central, under the stairs is where our castle is. The blue line is the pop out that we added to make the space larger than the builder intended. It doesn’t stick out very much into the room, just barely further than the mechanical room. We added two windows to the front for natural light and a rounded door in the center. If you look close, you can see we also added an interior window between the stair wall and the back side of the castle. The yellow box shows where the trap door is and the red line shows where the rock wall ladder is. The area next to the stairs is a two story section with seating and carpet on the second floor. The area where the stairs is slopes down from a high ceiling to a short one.
Let’s take a look at the photos to help tell the story. Here is the front of the castle. I kept it really clean with a deep Artichoke paint, to match the walls in the rest of the space. The trip is all crisp and squared off with a white high gloss paint.
With all of the wainscoting in the room, I felt that the castle being solid Artichoke was enough of a statement. I love cute faux painted kids spaces as much as anyone else, but I didn’t want it in my “grown up” theater and entertaining basement. Now that my kids range from preschooler to middle school, the fresh feel of the castle make it enjoyable for all ages, boys and girls.
When you walk in through the small rounded doorway there is a light switch on the right. If you walk toward the back of the space you pass this fun Pirate map I purchased a few years ago at Pottery Barn Kids. Our Castle has been a great place to store all of those big awkward toys that only our little one plays with. Back where the sloping celing ends is a small bookcase that holds all of the Little People. Off to the left is some removable wallpaper that I bough and stuck to the wall. I cut around the interior window. It’s a great place to dump dinosaurs and make believe.
The window has turned out to be the perfect “Bank Teller” window, Drive through window, or shelf for snacks and toys.
So, wondering where how the second story comes into play here? Look in the photo below. Can you see the space between the white trim of the top of the castle and the actual ceiling? That has become the ultimate viewing spot for toddlers to teens when we are showing a movie.
When you enter the castle and head to the left, this is what you see:
It is an indoor rock climbing ladder that my husband and I built (link to the post at the bottom of this page). Kids and teens love climbing the rock wall and lounging in the upstairs of the castle.
While it doesn’t look like much space, and honestly it isn’t that big, we regularly find 3 kids up here together. It is always the first place to be “Called” as in “I Call the Castle!” From the other side you can see the hole that goes back down to the main floor. We are in the process of building a trap door to cover it, but the kids like it the way it is right now. Someone usually throws a Pottery Barn Kids “Anywhere Chair” over the hole while they chillax up there.
So there you have our kids playhouse under the stairs! What do you think? Too plain? Would your tweens and teens still hang out in a playhouse? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!
To learn how to make the rock wall ladder, click the image below: