Style and Design
A delightful little wooden playhouse finished in painted timber which can be used either inside or out, TP's Stable Cottage features a lightweight open design simply finished in an attractive colour scheme. There's a stable style door - hence the name - and a pretty little open framed window. Once properly assembled the playhouse is suitable for use by children from 18 months upwards.
The playhouse is manufactured in FSC approved interlocking European pine staple mounted to an internal frame. The roof is of similar construction with a waterproofing strip along the ridge to reduce water ingress.
The playhouse measures 99 cm wide by 92 cm deep. Height at the roof ridge is 1.37cm.
Stable Cottage is supplied already painted.
The playhouse is delivered in prefabricated panels for very straightforward diy assembly. You can download a copy of the instructions here to see exactly what's involved before you order.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Stable Cottage is essentially an improved version of TP's Forest Play Den which is no longer available. We like the simple construction which makes it perfect for very young children and its lightweight nature makes it easily portable so it can be used indoors and taken outside on a fine day. We think this is what it's best suited to.. While sections of the playhouse are pre-painted, we doubt whether this will stand up to exposure to the elements for very long and we'd recommend you apply a further finish if you plan to locate the playhouse permanently outdoors. To maintain the existing colouring and to stop the wood becoming weather beaten the application of a further finish of clear lacquer in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions would, we think, be advisable.
There's no floor it's true but we don't see this as a drawback given the nature of the structure. In general a floor isn't essential for indoor use and if the cottage is sited outdoors water would simply gather on a floor due to the open style of the construction.
Bear in mind that the lightweight structure means the playhouse is suitable only for younger children - the manufacturer specifies a maximum user weight of 50 kg - but we think this is self evident from the cottage's style and construction. The playhouse is certainly an improvement on its predecessor which lacked the window framing and the coloured finish and we're sure it would prove a great success with the 18 month plus age group at which it's aimed.
Assembly is very straightforward - you can see just how simple it is by downloading the instructions via this link. You won't need many tools - just a screwdriver and a pair of scissors to cut the roofing strip. And a paintbrush if you're applying a final finish. You should steer clear of a power screwdriver in this case. Although it would reduce the elbow grease required to screw the frames together it's likely it would be too powerful for the lightweight construction and over tightening of the screws could cause splits and splinters or other damage to the woodwork. With the Stable Cottage you'll just have to expend the extra energy.
We don't see an safety issues arising provided the cottage is properly assembled and positioned. When putting it together however please do remember to check the panels over for splinters or any rough edges. Wood is a natural material and it's quite common for these to occur, no matter how stringent the manufacturing process. Be sure to remove splinters and smooth off any rough edges at the time of assembly. And remember to check the building over for damage on a regular basis as well.
The Stable Cottage is certainly very nicely priced and provided what you're looking for is an entry level, lightweight playhouse for a younger child - preferably for indoor and occasional outdoor use it should fit the bill perfectly. We're not convinced about its suitability for permanent outdoor us though. If you do plan to site it outside you should make sure it's well secured to prevent it being blown around and damaged in strong winds. Maybe Stable Cottage doesn't quite have the style and class of,say, the TP Bramble Cottage - but then again it's less than half the price. We see its real rival as Evermeadow House which comes within a similar budget and specification. On balance we think Evermeadow House just about has the edge with the full door and glazed windows affording a greater degree of weatherproofing for outdoor use - but then again it's unpainted and isn't half as cute! Three and a half stars for Stable Cottage from us.