Sunday, January 2, 2011

Peek Inside... Fern and Elliott's Cubby!

Hello and welcome to 2011! I hope you all had an awesome Christmas and New Year with your friends and family... I think I did, only I feel like I blinked and missed it! What is it about the month of December that no matter how organised you are, it disappears before you have a chance to say "Rudolf!" leaving nothing but a trail of wrapping paper, stale minced tarts, 2 excess kilos and a neon Santa dangling from your roof? Still, I can't tell you how much fun I had and to what level of fever pitch we had Fern in during the leadup to the big day... we do have a slight problem on our hands as Fern's $5 Santa from Woolworths that was endearing before Christmas is now yet to be extricated from within her grubby paws, meaning it still travels with her to bed... the shops... the park... friends houses... and everywhere in between. Santa is now a bit on the nose and could do with a turn about the washing machine, but I am way too afraid of my daughter to suggest it to her. Um, is it too early to buy her an Easter Bunny?

I would talk to you about my personal New Year's resolutions, but I hung my head in a cloud of defeat hours into 2011, when I swore (there goes resolution #1), finished a bottle of lemonade (there goes not drinking fizzy drinks) and ate a packet of musk sticks (um, I am guessing they count as junk food?)

More achievable are my goals for my blog this year, which I will share with you later in the week......

... but for now, without further ado and ticking my "do what you say you are going to do" resolution, I invite you to come play in Fern and Elliott's little cubby house! I've had so much fun decorating it over the last few weeks. It has no real theme but is a delightful mish-mash of stuff designed to inspire, stimulate and delight! Here it is from the outside:

I chose a summery, bright colour palette for the outside - pink, turquoise, grey and yellow. The woodwork on the cubby is painted Woodland Grey (to match our house), with a turquoise door and railings. The deck is stained in Jarrah, and I painted the window and door frames gloss white (still to be completed!) To add the yellow and pink in, I added a basket of hanging pink potted colour plus some gorgeous climbers that will eventually grow to scale the outside wall of the cubby house on a wire framework. I also added some clip-on turquoise and pink fabric butterflies from the Christmas Bed Bath and Table range onto a little bird house from Bunnings, and spray-painted a Jamie Durie birdie mobile in bright yellow. The little children's deck-chair is from Early Learning Centre.

But enough about the outside... let's get inside, already!

 Like I said, the inside is a bit of a mish-mash... I tried very hard to put a few boyish elements into it, rather than make it overly girly despite the fact that Elliott is not going to care too much for another 12 months or so! Here, you can see some little canvases I got from Typo  (E for Elliott and F for Fern!) with some little dinosaur figurines on one side, and a tea set on the other.

Behind the door, I added a little wooden coat rack (sprayed yellow) to hang a mini broom and mop (you wouldn't believe how popular these are with the kids -- again sourced from ELC) along with other bits and pieces. You can see two blue frames from Ikea which will hold a pic of each of the kids, once I get around to getting any printed out!

I painted the inside of the cubby with some leftover Dulux Whisper White. We then bought a couple of large pieces of plywood and nailed them into two corners, painting one with chalkboard paint and using the other as an art board. My next project is to make a little "MY FRIENDS" section, pegging up pictures of Fern and Elli's friends playing in the cubby! At the moment, I've just pegged a couple of drawings and some pics of the kids. I got the rail and plastic hanging containers from Ikea. These are so useful and cute to boot!

My cubby scrabble artwork was created on a whim when I discovered a vintage Scrabble set I forgot I owned! It seemed appropriate... the little canvas is the first ever painting Fern did. And the "bird with a french fry" print is from Etsy.

Here is Fern's little Ikea kitchen. I'm considering making a little blackboarded 'menu' sign to hang above. ?

I told you I made a special effort to include Elli, well here is my attempt! Its painted with chalkboard paint and decorated with chalk (duh) with our entire Matchbox car collection... I hope to add to it, eventually!

... and what cubby house would be complete without curtains?! My mother-in-law whipped these up for us on Boxing Day (thank goodness for bleak weather!) and I think they are so sweet! I got the curtain rails for $2 each, can you believe you can buy $2 curtain rails?!

I've used some of those rubber puzzle mats you can get everywhere as wall hangings as you can see above... Fern is already hosting little tea parties at her table, and there are about 1400 rogue rice bubbles everywhere from her eating breakfast in her cubby.

Of course, everyone knows cubbies like these are filling the fantasies of the parents as much as the children, and we are no exception! Dan and I adore our cubby house, we spend much time in there after Fern goes to bed just tinkering about, and what you cannot see in the above pictures is the solar lighting Dan installed inside and out. I was skeptical (um, overkill much?), but honestly you cannot imagine how cute it is looking up into the garden at night to see the light shining through the cubby curtains! We write little messages and draw pictures on the blackboard, and I'm constantly dreaming up ideas to make Fern and Elli's special little space a place they will love. 

And of course, the good times, the memories, are all in front of us. And the cubby will evolve as the kids do. We can't wait! To good times - hurrah!


  1. Happy New year Nicole, sounds like you had a great Xmas...that cubby is the cutest house ever i want one,love all the things you added my favorite has to be the scrabble board and that Jamie Durie mobile {great color}..i'm sure you will have great memories for the young and old..ENJOY:) xx

  2. Wow what a fab cubby! Any kid would love it! I love all the little touches you have made. Love, love, love it xx

  3. Hi Nicole! What an absolutely fabulous cubby!! I love it all...the touches of yellow and all of the personal touches you have put inside have made it such a special place for your littlies. they are very lucky indeed (and as cute as can be, may I add)!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your very sweet comment. It made my day. Happy New Year to you and wishing your family a 2011 filled with all things wonderful ~ Tina xx

  4. OMG Nicole....can I move into this cubby? lol. It's amazing!!!
    You've done an AWESOME job & your kids will have soooooo many great, adventurous, imaginative times in there!!!
    I love every little detail you've included!!
    Happy New Year!

  5. Nicole it's perfect!! I always wanted a cubby house as a kid and I'd love to have fun decorating one for Grace. We have been talking a bit recently about getting one for Grace eventually - I know she would love pottering about in there as I'm sure Fern does but for now I'm going to try and whip up a little teepee instead. I love all the details you've put thought into from the cute deckchair to the inside artwork and the way you've used all the available space. Fern and Elliott are lucky to have a mummy and daddy who put so much effort into making such an amazing play house (love the sound of the solar lighting!!). That last picture is so adorable!! x

  6. I love it, you did such an awesome job.

  7. How creative and wonderful :) You have some lucky babies, Miss.

  8. How absolutely extraordinary, Nicole! Just brilliant. And how love-filled it is, you clever parents. I'm showing this one to Mr PB for inspiration! J x

  9. I think I want to live there!! It's super cute - love love love it!

  10. That's my dream house, right there. It's the nicest cubby I think I've ever seen. They will adore it for years. Thanks for sharing!!! Happy new year, Nicole. x

  11. THAT LOOKS AMAZING!! You have really done a great job. Have a great new year!!! ruby belle xx

  12. Happy New Year.

    Your little kids are so lucky to have parents like you guys that have gone to so much effort to create a wonderful play area for years to come. You have done a fantastic job and will be all the talk between all the little kids that get to come over for plays and enjoy your creation.

    We could add to your collection of matchbox cars as we have too many to count (Probably fill the whole cubby with ours). Elliots collection will grow as he does.

  13. Nicole, you put me to shame. Mine is now a pathetic excuse of a play house! Though it is winter here. Come spring and i promise to do some thing nice with the inside! Thanks for the inspiration. You are fab!

  14. wow just gorgeous, I have just found your blog and am now a happy follower, I also have a blog so please visit sometime and maybe you too can follow me and i'll send inspiration your way. Have a great week.

  15. That is just awesome! You have done a marvellous job!!! I wish that was my cubby house :)

  16. Love it! We built a cubby for the boys for Christmas (surprise from santa!) and now we have to decorate so I have taken lots of tips from you!

  17. Gorgeous! Looks so big and roomy!

  18. how adorable is it!!! it actually looks huge on the inside! i just took pics of mine to post (am resizing now - ugh) and it was soooo hard to get good pics but it looks big enough in the images - go figure!

    Love it all - def have to get a little broom set as they love to use mine!

  19. Amazing cubby house!

    You did a great job, the kids will spend hours in there for years to come.

  20. Wow! Nicole, this is amazing!!! I love it, and I'll bet the kids do too. You have some really great ideas - I love the way you've pulled it all together. The front porch is so cool, love the deck chair. Lucky, lucky Fern and Elliott!

  21. Every new year I just remind myself to always take care of myself. P.s the little ones look like they are having a ton of fun.



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