Style and Design
A lovely compact wooden playhouse which combines some crazy lines with a bright cheerful colour scheme and some great features, this spruce model is suitable for - and sure to delight - younger children. There's an offbeat front door, opening side windows, a pretty feature chimney, delightful apex roof to add further character and it's all nicely rounded off with some further feature styled faux-windows to the front and skylights in the roof. It comes supplied with its own floor too.
The playhouse is constructed throughout in natural spruce pine.
The dimensions overall are 4'x3'6'' (120 x 102cm). The height at the apex of the roof is 5'1'' (154cm).
The playhouse is finished in attractive red, white and grey stain.
Your eco friendly spruce playhouse is delivered flat packed in two packages ready for easy home assembly. See the full instructions here (opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
We see this model as something of a novelty. For the price you get a lovely, quirky feature which is ideal for, and will instantly delight, very young children. It's very similar to the Whacky Ranch and Crooked Cottage which you'll find quite widely available - but at the time of review it was noticeably cheaper than both. There are plenty windows both in the walls and roof which should make sure the interior is bright and cheerful.
For your money you get a fairly lightweight wooden structure which comes supplied with floor included - a bonus as this is often an expensive optional extra in similar models. We like the outward appearance of the design which is certainly attractive both in terms of colour and unusual features like the asymmetrical door and windows and the eyecatching chimney feature. It should be easy to put together too. Other than the chimney which will take a little assembly, the playhouse is supplied in pre-formed, pre-stained panels which simply screw together in minutes rather than hours. You can get a preview of the instructions here (opens in a new window) so you know exactly what's involved before you order.
And you shouldn't have any concerns with safety either. The windows are glazed in virtually unbreakable perspex and there are finger gaps around the doors and windows to reduce the risk of injury to tiny digits. We'd suggest that before you put your eco friendly playhouse together you check the panels over carefully to see that there are no rough edges or small splinters which have escaped the manufacturing process. As wood is a natural material, blemishes can occur from time to time no matter how rigorous the maker's quality control process and you should keep a piece of sandpaper handy to deal with any you find. This is a characteristic of all wooden buildings - especially budget models like these - and we don't really see it as a major issue.
The wood comes largely pre-stained in the attractive finish you see in the illustrations but note that for reasons best known to the manufacturer, no finish has been applied to the roof. To avoid these timbers very quickly becoming worn and weathered you will have to apply a finish of varnish or paint to the roof at the time of construction - we'd suggest you do this before you actually put the building together to make sure nothing is missed. Be aware too that the finishes will weather over time and will need to be maintained as necessary if the playhouse is kept permanently outdoors (it would be compact enough to use as an indoor playhouse if you have the room). Again, this is something which goes with the territory when it comes to outdoor wooden buildings. You should also note that as it isn't finished in felt, the roof is unlikely to be fully weatherproof even after a varnish/stain has been applied.
All in all this eco-friendly spruce playhouse is a nice attractive design which (subject to finishing the roof) will give you an easily assembled instantly useable wooden playhouse in a pretty colour scheme with some fairytale features - and all at a value for money price. So far so good. On the negative side, the playhouse's lightweight construction is likely to suffer over the years and the quirky nature of the design means that the play area inside, particularly the headroom can be restricted. This needn't necessarily be a concern given that the playhouse is clearly designed for younger children and it's well suited to this age group. If you're looking for something a little more durable in a similar style by all means have a look at the Axi Alice but be aware that it's in a completely different price range. The Airwave Adventure is a similarly designed, larger alternative with an open construction.
Customer satisfaction with the eco playhouse is mixed - largely positive when it comes to style, appearance and ease of assembly - a little more negative in relation to durability and size. Essentially it's a nice little playhouse, suitable for younger children with no real safety issues and which should do the job well in the shorter term. Pricewise it compares very well with its immediate rivals the Whacky Ranch and Crooked Cottage and taking everything into account, if the style appeals to you we see the Eco Friendly Spruce Playhouse as a decent buy. We've given it 4 wooden playhouse stars. And why is it "eco friendly"? Well, as far as we can make out, only because it's made of wood. That's maybe stretching things a little but when it does eventually come to disposal we can't argue that it's an improvement on plastic.