Why it worked
Start with a theme
Kim and Michelle had a brief to meet, set by homeowners Mel & Dave to “Make a shipwreck island for the boys.” At the heart of their design was the old boat Michelle sourced online – this formed an anchor(!) to their scheme and was the hero item in the space – both in terms of design and to work around spatially.
Use what you have
The existing tree was also an integral part of the design of the play area, with a raised decking platform being constructed around it to form an island, with rope and plank ladders rising to meet it and a slide coming back down to a soft sandy base - perfect for digging and more creative play. Bugs and birds placed by Michelle ‘climbing’ up its trunk encourage nature study.
Let imagination rule
Whilst there are plenty of cues for the boys to play in this shipwreck with the addition of pirate-themed props such as the ship wheel and binoculars, more ideas for play will flow from this setting and homeowner Mel was impressed with the potential for the space to grow and change with the children.
Make it safe
The boat was semi-restored so had a basic structure and Kim and Michelle installed it recessed into the ground for stability, then took steps to line the inside with soft fall matting. Finally they sanded the timberwork to avoid sharp edges and splinters.
See the whole backyard reveal here.
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