Dad Empties Dusty Basement, Then Adds Tiny Door To Transform It Into Adorable Cottage Playhouse

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

Robert Miller, 29, a dad from Canton, Georgia, was remodeling his family’s basement when an idea struck.

He wanted to create a one-of-a-kind cottage playhouse that his daughter, son, and unborn child could have years of fun in.

The dad used the cluttered storage space in the basement as the foundation and transformed it into a DIY-designed space for his kids and their friends.

“We wanted to transform a space that was just being used for junk into a place we can use for the kids for many years to come,” Robert tells LittleThings. “We are about to have our third baby, and my drum room was not getting the use it deserved and needed a proper play room off of the main level to have the mess out of sight and out of mind!”

For just about $400, and after four weeks of labor, the basement staircase now has a second life as a playhouse.

Robert uploaded photos to his Facebook and Imgur accounts documenting how he created such a magnificent space. “I love inspiring people to DIY,” Robert tells LittleThings.

Keep scrolling to see how this dad used his DIY skills to create the playhouse, and maybe you’ll get inspired to do it yourself!


Robert Miller is a dad of two (with another on the way).

He was remodeling his family’s basement when he decided to do something very special for his children and create a DIY cottage playhouse.

Robert did not build the playhouse alone, though. His 4-year-old daughter, Candace, helped him complete the four-week project.

“The best part of having her help was showing her the benefits of hard work and taking pride in what you accomplish with your own two hands,” Robert tells LittleThings. “I wanted her to be proud of it and know that her efforts turn into positive results.”

Robert started by outlining the cottage playhouse design on the wall and cutting a hole for the window and door.

“The wall here is covering the old under-stair area, which was just used for junk storage,” Robert writes on Imgur.

“Here, I’ve already punched out the door and window for the playhouse.”

To give it a real-life 3D look, Robert used wood to create a ‘roof.’

The DIY dad customized every inch of his children’s new playhouse.

“Handmade a door custom to fit the wall,” he explains.

In order to give the playhouse a cottage feel, Robert created his own shingles for the front of the playhouse.

Robert had originally wanted to use real cedar shingles for the front of the playhouse, but since they were too expensive, he got creative!

“I handmade 40-ish of them with a belt sander,” he explains. And after all of that was completed, it was time to paint.

“Our main house has vinyl siding, so I wanted this to look cottage-y,” Robert tells ABC News. “My daughter chose the door color.”

The family’s completed cottage playhouse has a bright turquoise door and just enough space inside for the little ones to store their toys and play with their friends.

“I kind of modeled it after a coastal-northeast-looking cottage with the shingles,” Robert tells ABC News.

He used a light brown stain on the wood shingles to give them a realistic look — and even put flowers in the window planter!

His daughter, son, and unborn baby will get years of use out of their special play area, which was custom-built just for them! The inside is also equipped with foam floors that mock real wood.

Robert says the entire project cost around $400 and took around four weeks to complete.

“If in five to six years it’s not usable, then so be it,” the dad says. “It’s making them happy now.”

The whole Miller family poses in front of their brand-new cottage playhouse: made by Robert with help from his 4-year-old daughter!

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