Wel­come to the club:

Check out the lat­est in cute cub­bies

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS - For more in­for­ma­tion go on­line to: Cas­tle & Cubby, castle­and­cubby.com.au

In the great Aus­tralian backyard, gar­den sheds and Hills hoists are out and out­door kitchens, ex­pen­sive land­scap­ing, stu­dios and decks are in. And now the kids are get­ting in on the act.

When it comes to backyard cub­by­houses, it seems the sky’s the limit for some fam­i­lies as par­ents by­pass the ba­sic plas­tic mod­els and fork out thou­sands of dol­lars for the ul­ti­mate chil­dren’s play space.

Be­sides the nu­mer­ous styles avail­able, fun add-ons give them a per­sonal touch, and new com­pa­nies are en­ter­ing the mar­ket with their own twists and vari­a­tions on the tra­di­tional cub­by­house.

Cas­tle & Cubby has been op­er­at­ing for four years and last year owner Jonathan Stones quit his car­pen­try job to fo­cus full time on the busi­ness.

The com­pany’s cub­bies are a favourite with stars, with a grow­ing list of clients that in­cludes pop­star and X Fac­tor Aus­tralia judge Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte, au­thor and colum­nist Zoe Fos­ter-Blake (wife of radio per­son­al­ity Hamish Blake), host of TV’s The Project Car­rie Bick­more and for­mer Home and Away star and radio per­son­al­ity Kate Ritchie.

Jonathan’s wife Kel­lie Macpher­son says their cub­bies tend to be open, rather than a tra­di­tional “cottage” style and that en­cour­ages chil­dren to role play in­side and out when us­ing them.

With de­signs such as the pop­u­lar Farm­ers Mar­ket, pic­tured right, for ex­am­ple, chil­dren might as­sume the role of buyer or seller.

“Kids like mim­ick­ing the adult world so they tend to want to turn the cubby into a cafe or a milk bar, even if it doesn’t look like one,” she says.

“If they have a sand­pit nearby they’re al­ways mak­ing mud pies but then one per­son will take it into the cubby and sell it out the win­dow – we re­ally en­cour­age that.”

Also pop­u­lar are cub­bies made from nat­u­ral tim­ber.

“Price point may be a fac­tor but at the same time I think peo­ple re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that rus­tic or­ganic and re­cy­cled look,” Kel­lie says.

Pop­u­lar ac­ces­sories in­clude dif­fer­ent styles of doors through to awnings, bunting and planter boxes.

Cas­tle & Cubby is Mel­bourne-based but in­ter­state de­liv­ery can be ar­ranged.

A typ­i­cal out­lay for one of its cub­by­houses is $1500, which in­cludes ac­ces­sories.

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