...because home doesn't happen overnight.

clubhouse exterior 1

I’m fixing up the clubhouse my dad built for my siblings and me over twenty years ago. Fortunately, it’s structurally sound so it just needs some TLC and a few fun additions to bring it to life. My kids like visiting the clubhouse as-is but I know it could be improved after so many years of neglect / unuse. After talking with my boys, we all agree that it should function as a “hangout” – a place to unplug, relax, read, picnic, take in the views and maybe even spend the night. Here’s what we came up with…

 

clubhouse

 

1 – Benjamin Moore Super White To create a clean slate, we’re going to paint the interior white. (And, yes, the boys are going to help paint!)

clubhouse interior 3

I do like how the clubhouse has aged over time so I think we’re going to leave the “ceiling” (the underside of the roof) unpainted to retain a weathered look. I’d like to frame the views through the windows so we may leave the window frames au natural, too.

2 – Hazelwood folding bed The boys want a place to sit / sleep so we’re bringing in a pair of metal folding beds to flank the window seen above. Carrying and lifting full-size furniture up to the clubhouse isn’t really an option. I think we should be able to hoist these up over the porch with the help of a rope and pulley. I’ll remove them and store them elsewhere (probably in my dad’s barn) during colder months.

3 – EKBY wall shelf To keep as much floor space clear as possible we’re forgoing any tables. Instead, we’ll hang a single shelf under the window in between the two folding beds. The clubhouse isn’t wired for electricity so a pair of solar-powered table lamps will provide artificial light.

4 – mosquito net canopy The mosquito situation in Ohio is verrrrry pesky (i.e., itchy) in summertime. Bugs aren’t that bad during the day but when the sun sets, watch out. The clubhouse doesn’t have windows or a door to close at night so we’ll hang a net canopy over each folding bed to prevent bug bites.

5 – army blanket I keep picturing the clubhouse as a camping or army bunk so army drab seems fitting.

6 – hanging hammock chair There used to be a pair of swings hanging from the clubhouse. One remains but the chains are rusted and the seat is cracked. We’ll remove it and hang a pair of hammock chairs instead. The boys are so excited about these!

7 – black & white pillow Totally unnecessary but I like pillows. I’m not spending any money on throw pillows for a clubhouse so I’ll just borrow two of these from the boys’ bedroom.

8 – SailorBags soft cooler Layne wants a mini-fridge for the clubhouse (the kid lives to eat) but I reminded him that there is no electric. So he said we should get a generator. (Like I said, he lives to eat.) I got him a cooler. #roughingit

I have a few other surprises in store for the clubhouse but if I told you then they wouldn’t be surprises. I’d really like to paint or stain the exterior, too, but I need to discuss that with my dad. (He’s the one who would have to look at it everyday). In the meantime, the boys and I will work on getting the interior cleaned up, painted and sleepover-ready. We’re working with Wayfair on this project and are super happy that they are just as excited about the clubhouse as we are. The kids and I will be away for a few weeks in June visiting family so, hopefully, the reveal will go live late June or early July. I’m really grateful for being able to share the clubhouse and this experience with my kids and you. I hope it inspires you in some way!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

20 Comments

23.May.2014

what a fun project! It’d be cool to snap some closeups of the graffiti, if it has sentimental value–maybe you frame the pics and hang them in the clubhouse? Or, leave those parts unpainted and create a frame around them as if they are pictures?

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

I totally like this idea for the graffiti ’cause I was thinking it’d be a shame to cover it up with the white paint. But this would be a fun solution. Even if it doesn’t have much sentimental value, if I was your kids I’d love seeing it (and adding to it)…. something about thinking, “wow my mom/aunt/uncle was my age once and this was their cool place and now it’s mine!”

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

Such great ideas! I would like to honor some of the graffiti and encourage more – that’s one of the surprises!

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23.May.2014

Cool clubhouse and fun ideas! I love the US Army feel to it and can’t wait to see the final pics.

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23.May.2014

I’d really love to see windows and a door installed in the clubhouse. Maybe you could find some second hand ones that would work? Or maybe you could see if Lowes or Home Depot want to sponsor you on the project! Otherwise it appears mice proof and then you would be able to leave the beds in all year. Making a spontaneous Christmas sleeping in the club house possible.
I’m not sure about the floor plan, but by adding a dresser (if there is room) would allow for additional blanket storage (then you could even put the blankets and pillows away after use. I guess totes under the beds would work too.

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

We haven’t had a mouse in the clubhouse in all its 20+ years! I think it’s too high off the ground? We have had the occasional bird and wasps but that’s it.

The clubhouse had windows once but they rusted out. Maybe adding windows and / or a door could be a future project?

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

With no food source and no bedding material it makes since that no mouse would venture up. But with an added cooler, possible wrapper left in an open trash can and bedding material, I could see where mice might be intrigued to lodge there in the future. The cooler was the main reason I thought about mice.

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replied on May 24th, 2014

Ooooh, good thinking. That probably is why we’ve never seen mice. The cooler will only be in the clubhouse when the kids pack a lunch and take it up to eat. I’ll let them know the cooler is to come down with them when they leave…along with any trash. I’ll have the beds “made” for the reveal but I’ll probably only make them up for sleepovers and keep the bedding in a bag at my dad’s house when not in use. Thanks for mentioning the mice thing…I wouldn’t have thought of it since it hasn’t been an issue before!

23.May.2014

affiliate links disclosure?

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

Like I mentioned, I am working with Wayfair for this project HOWEVER there are no affiliate links within this post.

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23.May.2014

What a fun project! It must make your Dad proud to see the clubhouse still going strong all these years, and now being enjoyed by the next generation. Just curious….are you concerned that the white paint is going to get gross looking seeing that it’s partially exposed to the elements? That was my first thought….

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

Nah…it’s a clubhouse so I don’t expect it to stay pristine. We just want to lighten it up. We can always repaint in the future if necessary.

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23.May.2014

Probably a silly question – are you considering putting screens in the window sills? Or would that be more likely to trap bugs in than keep them out? I’m from Utah, mosquitos aren’t too bad here unless you’re in the mountains.

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replied on May 23rd, 2014

If anything, my dad might put in new windows in the future (the old ones rusted out) but we won’t be putting in screens now.

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23.May.2014

I am so excited for this!

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23.May.2014

Oh, I live the naturally aged walls like they are. It truely looks like a fort. My son’s fort has natural wood walls, except for one wall, which has three fun sections — dry erase board, chalkboard, and a section of galvanized metal where artwork hangs with magnets. Even with the dry erase and chalkboards, writing still ends up on the walls. I don’t mind, as long as it’s the inside walls. My husband used deck coating with Elastomerik on the floor. He thru in texture (sand), so it’s nonslip… no splinters. Forts are fun! My son wishes his was on stilts like yours. I’m very excited to see the end result with the surprises!

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24.May.2014

*Squeal!* I can totally see it. It is going to be amazing. And hammock chairs are the best! I like the open windows for the sticking out of telescopes or whatnot, but I think hand built functional (colorful?!) interior shutters could be cool in case of a sudden storm or to somewhat protect your work in the winter.

Btw, do you know how many trips I had to make to ikea trying for that pillow cover? Four. Four twenty-five minute drives for one pillow cover. Geesh. But finally success and it’s currently one of my favorite things in the house.

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I love this! We found an old army cot that collapses and folds up at a yard sale for $10. It’s my pride and joy and I’ve always wanted to outfit it with a green army blanket like that!

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I love the army blankets idea! Can’t wait to see the reveal.

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25.May.2014

HOW FUN!

I’m hoping someday that when our girls are older that my husband will build them a play house in our backyard!

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