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Our cubby house — by Castle & Cubby

Last year, around this time, I met Kellie and Jonathan Stones at an event here in Byron. Kellie and Jonathan are the husband and wife team behind the family-run business, Castle & Cubby — they design and create the coolest, eco-friendly cubby houses, tree houses, mud kitchens, sand pits, garden boxes and outside furniture! How cool, right? They had a few cubby houses on display at the event, and my kids (actually, all the kids) spent the entire time playing in them.

Seeing the cubby houses brought back memories of my own childhood cubby house — my siblings and I would spend hours playing out in our little house, even sleeping out there with friends.  I immediately hinted to Michael that we’d have to get a cubby house for the backyard of our new house, and within 15 minutes of that discussion Kellie approached me about working together. I literally lept at the opportunity!

Five months later, once we finished our renovations, Kellie and Jonathan came over to discuss our cubby house. What struck me the most about the business of building cubby houses, is that there are so many factors to consider: what will it look like, how big should it be, where will it go, how can it accommodate different children of various ages, etc. When we spoke about where to put the cubby house, Jonathan made the point that the cubby house had to be in direct view of the kitchen window because children are more likely to play somewhere if they know they can be seen and if they can see you back. Isn’t that interesting?

Being the cubby house experts that they are, Kellie and Jonathan also explained that the house should be elevated, so that little children in the house could interact with bigger children outside of it.  They also explained that cafe-style windows and a Dutch door create an opportunity for much more interaction in child’s play. I love that these details are so well considered when designing the cubby houses. It’s that attention to detail that I admire so much about Kellie and Jonathan’s work and their wonderful creations.

I also love that Castle & Cubby design cubby houses of all styles.  We specifically asked for a cubby house that matched the style of our home, so that it would look like an extension of our house.  They used the same paint colour as our house for the outside, and used reclaimed wood for the window boxes and awnings, to give it an older, more traditional feel, similar to our home.

Inside the cubby house, they created a play kitchen and oven, as well as bench seating with built-in storage. Everything is honestly SO cute and well considered in terms of the use of interior space. I’m not joking when I say they are cubby house experts.

Kellie and Jonathan started Castle & Cubby around five years ago after building their first recycled apple crate cubby house for their son. After that first cubby house, they received feedback from friends and realised that others might also enjoy the sustainable nature of these play spaces. A little ad on eBay to make some extra cash turned into the first stages of Castle & Cubby just six months later. They have since worked so hard (in their own backyard!) to build their business into what it is now: a sustainable brand focusing on inspiring imagination and encouraging outdoor play in children across Australia (now with two workshops, in Melbourne and Byron Bay, and servicing ALL of Australia).

Not only are the cubby houses SO cool and so thought-out in terms of encouraging interactive play, they are also completely organic and sustainable. They only use untreated timbers and safe second-hand recycled timbers. They are passionate about organic play spaces, ensuring absolutely no chemicals will be leached into the ground or onto children’s hands.

Not only that, but they are also really passionate about educating families and children on the benefits of sustainable play, organic gardening and sustainability. After building our cubby house, they came back a few months later to build garden boxes so they could educate the children about organic planting. They asked Janene, a permaculture garden specialist, to come and talk to the kids about growing their own organic veggies and flowers. Now the kids are taking great responsibility in keeping these garden beds alive, which is wonderful!

Castle & Cubby came over a few weeks ago to take photos of our cubby house for their own website (you can see and read more here), and I thought I’d also share with you here because so many people have asked about our cubby house.  If you live in Australia, I definitely recommend reaching out to Kellie and Jonathan about a bespoke cubby house for your own backyard.

Courtney x

Castle & Cubby gifted us the cubby house, but we worked together over a period of months to design, build and construct it. This post has not been sponsored outside of the gifting.


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Comments (14)

Katja
May 17, 2019

HEllo, the Playhouses are stylisch and awesome. But to spend one thousand Dollar for a playhose? It’s far from reality for many Families


Simo
May 19, 2019

Hi,you didn’t check the prices properly…I think for this Cubby House including furniture and accessories you are looking at the end side of $4000! They are lovely but certainly out of reach price-wise!


Clare
May 17, 2019

It’s forgeohs. What lucky kids. Just wondering whether this was gifted by Castle and Cubby or whether the Adamos paid for it themselves. These run into thousands to buy, just wasn’t clear in the post. Thank you


Courtney in Australia
May 19, 2019

Hi Clare,
I’m so sorry — I should have been more clear about this in my post.
Castle & Cubby gifted us the cubby house, but we worked together to design, build and construct it.
The post has not been sponsored outside of the gifting.
Thanks for reading. x


Annie from Brimful
May 17, 2019

I’ll just stay in the cubby house if/when I come visit! 🤣❤️😜


Courtney in Australia
May 19, 2019

Haha, Annie! It’s got your name on it! 🙂 xx


lisa
May 17, 2019

this is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!!!


Rachel
May 18, 2019

Looks gorgeous & your kids must love it.

I’m a little confused though as to whether they gave it to you or whether you bought it? They sound a fantastic company but I am much prefer to know where there is any kind of commercial relationship. Even if that is “only” that the brand gave it to you in exchange for exposure. (I have no issues with that kind of post btw, I just prefer to know so I don’t have to guess).


Courtney in Australia
May 19, 2019

Hi Rachel,
I’m so sorry — I should have been more clear about this in my post. I will add this now.
Castle & Cubby gifted us the cubby house, but we worked together to design, build and construct it.
The post has not been sponsored outside of the gifting.
Thanks for reading. x


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Lisalou
May 18, 2019

Oh my goodness this is absolutely gorgeous – so magical and I can see how kids would love playing it …. well done for taking the plunge …. and has given me ideas to dicky up our own modest small playhouse – the detail inside is fab ….. and the vegetable boxes are a super idea especially for small gardens like ours


Kosima
May 19, 2019

I want to come over to play! May I? And do I have to bring my kids?

Seriously – I feel so inspired!


Carrie
May 21, 2019

Could you do another post recommending cheaper alternatives for those of us on a budget? Thanks! xx


Missy
May 21, 2019

Ok I’m dying to know how you keep all the spiders out?


Margot
June 19, 2019

But it is sponsorship…? They gifted you (gave you free of cost?) the cubbyhouse, you wrote about it – gave them exposure, on a very popular social media platform, therefore this is sponsorship? Either be a social media influencer, as they seem to be called these days, or be a mother to a family, don’t mix the too and tell the public its all about family and nothing to do with business. I realise you have to earn a living, but people just want honesty. I find it a very interesting modern day social media delimma.


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