WATCH: For the child that has everything, a R540K playhouse
Parenting / 23 May 2019, 08:30am / COLIN FERNANDEZ
London - It might not be the kind of downsizing you had in mind.
But complete with a clay tile roof, floral wallpaper and even an (imitation) Aga, this £30 000 (about R545 000) playhouse is at least a way to keep the children happy.
The little cottage, which has captured the imagination of children and adults alike at the Chelsea Flower Show, is the creation of designer Nadine Charlton.
It is Charlton’s second showing at Chelsea after she founded her bespoke playhouse company Wallgarden four years ago.
The glorious cottage, which is 10ft (about 10m) tall at its peak, is designed to look like those typical of her hometown in Stockbridge, Hampshire.
It features 300-year-old tiles sourced from a reclamation yard, a tiny beehive, and wallpaper by upmarket designer Sanderson.
Inspired by the treehouse her father built during her childhood, Charlton, 40, decided to create a playhouse for her daughter Rose’s first birthday.
She hoped the gift would be something for Rose, four, who is pictured enjoying herself in her mother’s latest creation, to "treasure and keep for ever. I wanted to be able to add to it over the years for it to grow with her and be fun all year round," she said.
She uses local tradespeople to build the houses to customers’ specifications – and as small, temporary structures, the good news is they do not need planning permission.
The Hampshire cottage, which follows last year’s Georgian townhouse, has drawn large crowds at the flower show. Charlton said: "I’ve been mobbed, the reaction has been amazing.
"The houses are all based on customers’ houses or buildings that are relevant to them, or things that are meaningful."
She added it is important to make houses just big enough for adults to go in to allow them to play with the children. But the grown-ups at Chelsea are also well catered for. Also on show is a £200 000 treehouse billed as "the ultimate adult hideaway to rediscover your inner-child".
The treehouse, by company Blue Forest, boasts two spiral staircases, a lounge, a fully functioning kitchen and cosy reading nook.