Cubby Of One’s Own

When I was a kid, I always wanted an outdoor cubby house. Given where I lived, I can see that it would have been a haven for spiders and snakes, which is possibly why my parents never caved to my pleas for them to let me have one. Still, I really wanted that thing, and even tried cobbling one together out of wooden beams I found under the neighbour’s house (let’s just say nobody was too impressed, especially the neighbour). 

I was pretty envious of this girl Janine. She had this whole outdoor setup that was the hot ticket for weekend play dates. It was styled as a pretend milk bar, and had a pretend kitchen complete with a ‘burger’ made of stackable wooden discs, which I was convinced was the coolest thing in the world. In retrospect, the coolest thing about it was the raised deck built around it, and the fact that her mother had built by hand from re-purposed apple crates

I guess I’m reflecting on this in case there’s something in it for my upcoming kitchen and bathroom renovations. For Melbourne homes built in the 1980s, like mine, there’s minimal call to be sensitive to the era when overhauling rooms. People might have a different view on that twenty years from now, when we all realise the great design renaissance that was the 1980s, but for now most designers seem pretty happy to stamp over it. 

That said, what I have in mind is reasonably timeless. I want to create something reminiscent of that apple crate cubby house, but for grown ups. I mean, if I’m going to the trouble and expense of getting a bathroom and kitchen replacement, the least I can do for myself is fulfil my childhood dreams in the process. Now’s my chance to get that charmingly hand-tooled, light-filled aesthetic for myself, complete with the most important feature, which is the fact of it having been made specifically for me.