Monday, June 27, 2011

Dreams Happen... amazing playhouses

Two years ago, I accidentally deleted my photos of this event, so this time I ditched the kids with the babysitter so I could enjoy seeing the houses and taking some photos to share. Modern MC linked to this event today, which reminded me I should finally post these.

Dreams Happen is a biennial event benefiting Rebuilding Together Peninsula. The fundraiser teams up architects and builders to design some pretty amazing children’s playhouses. This year I was glad to see more modern designs. The playhouses were on display at the open air Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA for the month of May and then auctioned off at the fundraiser with opening bids of $5,000. The playhouses have sold for $13,000 - $71,000!

This year's highest bid was $60,000 for "Backyard Outpost" designed by Arcanum Architects and built by Behrens-Curry Homes. The event raised $500,000 for Rebuilding Together Peninsula, a national organization that organizes volunteers to help repair/restore homes for low-income, seniors and disabled homeowners.

There were some fun ideas this year including this "Science Lab" by Hayes Group Architects, Inc., S.E.A. Construction, Inc. and Cody|Brock, Inc. Plus the wild and colorful "Oblique House" by Barbara Butler Artist-Builder, Inc.

I loved "(f)" by Ana Williamson Architect, AIA and Mediterraneo Design. I know its designed for kids, but I can just picture kicking back with a summer drink on the roof under that umbrella.

My favorite was "GyMAZEium" by Peterson Architects and PlaceMakers, Inc. One side had a rope ladder and the other a fireman's pole, to drop down into the rooms, along with hidden exit doors. Both sides were connected by a crawl space under the stairs and slide that divide the rooms. I really liked the rope lighting on the roof panel connecting the two sides. I hope the kids that get this love it more than I do.

I was disappointed in the Dwell playhouse this year. I mean, its a box in a box with no lid. "The Dwell® little 'D'" by Davis Studio Architecture + Design and Dwell® Magazine has pretty cool white walls that fold up from the side walls to roof panels, but there is no roof over the black box so you can't leave anything in the "play" house that won't get ruined in the rain. I have a hard time picturing kids playing in it. Visions of sinister children of the corn'ish kids are all I can imagine lurking inside the black box. At the last event the Dwell playhouse was my favorite, so I guess I was hoping for something a little more playful this year.

I was completely blown away by "E-I-E-I-O" by Square Three Design Studios LLP and Benchmark Builders. I swear the designer must read, Modern MC has been dreaming of converting a barn into a modern home and well ta da! Complete with mini Eames Lounger and S Chairs and giant sock monkeys. The interior even looks like one of the kids rooms on Modern MC's blog! Too cute.

Now if only we can sway these architects even smaller. One can dream.

(top three images and last event's Dwell image are from Rebuilding Together Peninsula website, the others, well, I apologize for my lack of photography skills)

Brinca Dada's Dylan House on ebay

Just saw 5 of Brinca Dada's Dylan House on ebay: $149.99 with free shipping in the US. You can buy directly from Brinca Dada too,

For more information on the Dylan House please read all of the great posts on Call of the Small.

(all images from Brinca Dada's ebay listing)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Betsy McCall Dollhouse for sale in NY

Last year Melissa sent me pics of a renovated house that she found on Craigslist for $25, and thanks to all of you we found out it was made from the Betsy McCall Dollhouse No. 150W Do-it-yourself plans. Another reader, Laurie, has one she is looking to sell so if anyone is in the Long Island, NY area and interested in restoring a mid-century modern house, drop me a line and I'll send you her contact info.

Her doll house was built by her next door neighbor from the McCall's pattern when she was a kid. He made one for his daughter, too. Her's is a mirror image of the pattern (to make them different) except that the carport is still on the left. It's only partially finished. Much of the furniture is Petite Princess Fantasy furniture (and she found a few of the original boxes for those). The rest is assorted and Laurie doesn't recall where it's from. I particularly liked the little black rocking chair with flowers and the folding table and chairs in the kitchen. It's too big to ship, so local pick up only in Long Island in NY. Email me and I'll send you Laurie's contact info if you are interested in the house.