Glass of wine in hand and string lights twinkling, my husband and I are watching our boys enjoy the first of what I am sure to be many evenings spent playing in their new fort, built without fancy Pinterest plans but with tons of love by their father and I. As we reflected on the progress of our most recent project at #thedarlingtownhouse on Instagram yesterday, (follow me @bean_and_beau) despite it not yet being completed we received tons of kind compliments, which were so encouraging and have motivated us to keep trying our hand at new things. Our inspiration for the project spurred as a result of our recent move from the suburbs to the center of town (a topic worthy of it’s own post entirely). Real estate is of course ALL about location and we certainly downsized a bit to snag a brand new townhouse in a neighborhood we LOVE. That being said, our sweet sons lost a playroom in the transition so we decided to get creative with our outdoor space and DIY some BIG fun in our tiny yard. This of course wasn’t without it’s challenges!
When we moved in the builders had left the space as a gravel yard, which of course is not conducive to tot tumbles or puppy paws, so our first course of action was to lay a bed of cedar mulch for entire expanse of the backyard. Now it smells wonderful, our Labrador is comfortable and we have peace of mind that if one of the brothers decides to fall down, this will certainly soften the blow.
You can probably tell from the picture that our yard is a petite rectangle, so we utilized one of it’s smaller ends as an enclosure for our fort. We also had the challenge of having two entry points to the space at each end, so we’d inevitably be blocking access to one of the gates. I intuitively decided to build the structure at the end around our A/C unit so little curious fingers couldn’t have access, but in doing so I needed to create a removeable panel so that we’d have access to the unit easily if there were ever an issue, so I decided we should build the horizontal panel you see at the front and purchase climbing grips to create a rock wall out of it that we can all use to access the upper deck. Our intent for the upper deck is a family lounge area for enjoying outdoor movie nights come fall (when it’s significantly cooler), so clearly there’s much more to be done there (like a safety rail and comfy seating for starters)!
For now, we’re enjoying the fantastic lower fort space that’s completely cozy but still large enough for the four of us to play together on these sweet summer nights. More to come!