It's large enough to actually live in and bigger than some apartments.
Avery and Violet Boyd, ages 5 and 21 months, can’t get enough of the two-story playhouse their father built for them in the backyard of their home in Highland.
"It's definitely been a labor of love, all the way through,” said Adam Boyd, who owns a residential remodeling business, ATB Building. The playhouse, which he wrapped up working on in August, was a yearlong project that he designed and built from the ground up.
Avery and Violet Boyd, ages five and 21 months, can’t get enough of the two-story playhouse their father built for them in the backyard of their home in Highland, Michigan. (Wochit)
Boyd, 39, said he decided to invest his money into something his daughters could enjoy for years. In total, building the playhouse cost him $30,000 — but he’s not rich, he said, he just “wanted to do something special for the girls.”
“I got a little bit crazy, I guess,” Boyd said, laughing while standing outside the playhouse behind his home, which is in a secluded, wooden area out in the country.
After work and on weekends, he put hours into the playhouse. The idea began with a discarded green slide that Boyd found on the side of the road. It sat around the backyard for three years before he decided to build a structure around it.
“It started off as a modest playhouse and kept growing and evolving,” he explained.
But the vision isn’t complete. Next, Boyd plans to add a 100-to-150-foot zip line that will connect the upper level with a tree in the backyard.
“I’m really excited,” said Avery. Her favorite thing about the playhouse is the rock wall, she said, and her Barbie house, with five of her favorite Barbies. She has a pet guinea pig, Guinea, who likes to run around the playhouse with the family dog, Louie.
“Every morning, they come out here and read stories,” said Boyd.
His daughters spend all of their free time in the playhouse. Avery hosts tea parties there, and the girls eat dinner inside almost every night. Their mother, Jennifer, who works as a teacher, spent much of the summer in the playhouse with the girls, teaching them numbers and spelling — there’s a giant chalkboard wall that wraps around the upper level, so they can write and draw.
Adam Boyd poses for a portrait with his wife, Jennifer, and daughters, Violet, 21 mos., left, and Avery, 5, in the playhouse in Highland on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Boyd built the two-story playhouse. (Photo: Sean Work, Special to the Free Press)
“There are no electronic devices in the playhouse,” Boyd said. “It’s a place to play and be a kid.”
With lighting, ceiling fans, hanging baskets of mums and a table for tea parties (plus an authentic tea set from China), the playhouse is like a life-size dollhouse.
The walls are painted deep purple on the bottom half — Avery’s favorite color — and violet on the upper half, for Violet. Almost everything is made of cherry wood, modern yet rustic. Inside, the first level is a play kitchen, with loft ladders leading to the second level, where there’s a learning area with a couch and furry white rug decorating the floor.
The shingles on the playhouse mirror the shingles on the family home. Connected to the playhouse is the rock wall Avery loves, the original green slide that inspired the idea and a bridge, swing set, telescope and periscope.
Working on such an involved project proved to be a challenge at times. Jennifer was often taking care of the girls while their father put in hours outside, building and adding on to the playhouse. But now that it’s complete, the family agrees that it was well worth the effort.
“The benefit of (building the playhouse) was that Avery would come out here in her pajamas and help me,” Boyd said. “She would help me sand the crown molding and sand the tables. That was very, very rewarding. We spent a lot of daddy-daughter time together, and I also got to teach her what I do.”
Since posting photos of the playhouse that were taken by his sister, Rachel Goldsworthy, on his business’ Facebook page, Boyd has garnered worldwide media attention with stories being done as far away as Vietnam.
“It just exploded,” he said. No one expected the reaction, which has brought coverage on "The Today Show" and in People magazine.
Avery Boyd, 5, plays dress-up on the second floor of the playhouse at her home in Highland on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. (Photo: Sean Work, Special to the Free Press)
“It was never a publicity stunt,” Boyd explained. “It was something (nice) I wanted to do for my daughters.” But the phone calls started rolling in, and parents had questions: What was the process like, and could Boyd create a playhouse for their kids, too?
From there, Spoiled Rotten Homes was born — an outlet for Boyd to build similar playhouses for other families. “If I can help other people spend quality time with their families, that’s definitely a plus,” he said. “We spend all our time out here.”
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© 2017 Detroit Free Press