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Check out the latest in cute cubbies
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.