When we moved into our new house this summer, I knew the room under the stairs would be the perfect spot for a little under stair playhouse / life-sized dollhouse for Charlotte. We moved on Charlotte’s actual 2nd birthday, and I set the goal to have the room transformation complete in time for her third birthday. I’m so pleased with how it turned out and we finished early.
This isn’t a tutorial because we definitely winged the whole thing, but hopefully the pictures help if you decide to do something similar. I always share pictures and tips in my Instagram stories too.
Here’s a look at the outside of the room before. As you can see, it’s a closet space built in under the stairs.
The room isn’t super large, but it’s the perfect size for her. I put Carter’s old crib mattress down there with a few of Charlotte’s toys. My dad made this rocking chair for my mom when they got married. Then they gave it to me for my classroom, so it’s been painted a few different colors now.
Charlotte requested pink, so pink it was! I decided to test Sherwin Williams Intimate White, Demure, and Rosebud. I thought for sure I wanted to go with a subtle shade of pink since it’s such a small room with only one light.
After putting the samples on the wall, Intimate White didn’t pull quite enough pink in this room. I was torn between Demure and Rosebud. Rosebud (on the far right) pulls a little more purple. Demure (middle) is a true/bubble gum pink. We decided to let Charlotte pick her favorite.
Charlotte picked Sherwin Williams Demure. I’m actually super pleased with it. Yes, it’s PINK but it isn’t abrasive and it’s perfect for our pink-loving little girl.
We also took the can light out and replaced it with the old flush mount from Charlotte’s bedroom at the old house. It’s the Pottery Barn Ruby Kids Flush Mount.
Tip: We had upgraded almost all of the lights in our first home after we built it. You don’t get a return on those when you sell, and chances are they’re too personalized for the new owners anyway (ex: in our case, Charlotte’s old room was going to a little boy instead). Before listing our house, we removed and replaced our lighting with more generic options.
While Ryan was working on a plan for the roof of the under stair playhouse makeover, I started to shop for the inside. I found these rainbow pictures at Hobby Lobby, which went perfectly with the sleeping bag Charlotte got for Christmas and a theme was born! 😉
On the outside, I wanted to give her a real doorbell and mailbox. We went with the number 3 in honor of this being part of her third birthday gift. Amazon affiliate links for: mailbox, number, bell. The kids have already had so much fun with this REAL, locking mailbox.
Under Stair Playhouse Roof
Now it’s time to really dig into what makes this under stair playhouse so special… the realistic roof! I wanted the door to look like a front door, complete with a roof and porch light. I grabbed an actual outdoor light from Lowe’s and we used card board to test the approximate size of the new roof.
Then Ryan gathered his tools to get to work.
I’m going to be honest, my eyes glaze over when Ryan talks geometry. This little triangle came in very handy.
Then he set the saw at the same angle and made his roof cuts.
Ryan always uses both glue and screws to hold everything together. He made a “lip” along the back edge, which is what he’ll used to attach the roof to the wall later.
Since we weren’t working off any plans, we did a whole lot of checking. Initially the roof hung over quite a bit on both edges, but I decided I liked the look of it flush with the walls better. So he had to cut everything again. Oops. I liked the way this size looked,
We were going to use actual shingles, but turns out those were hard to come by around here. Ryan opted to cut and paint his own. I picked Sherwin Williams Iron Ore.
More evidence of winging it. Once Ryan put the shingles on and held it up, I felt like something was missing. I just wasn’t get a nice definition up on the roofline to make the shingles effect really stand out.
So we did two things. First, we scooted the shingles out to give a little overhang.
Then we also painted the free edge Sherwin Williams Iron Ore too.
Everything takes at least three times as long with our helpers, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I realized I didn’t get a great picture of this step, but we had to cut a small notch out of the shingles on the left side because of the drop in the ceiling.
No turning back now! He attached both the roof and light to the wall.
From this angle coming down the stairs, you can really see the finished shingles.
This is the only picture Ryan took, but he took the inner parts out of the light and hot glued this wireless LED light with remote control (Amazon affiliate link) instead.
Under Stairs Playhouse Makeover Finished Results
The end result is love! Charlotte has already played in it so much. I love that it’s unique, but also still blends in with our decor.
The light actual works and puts out a nice little glow.
Charlotte loves turning her light off before bed.
No surprise here, but she loves It! Charlotte has asked everyone who visited if they want to see her NEW playroom.