Modern Play Yard for Phoebe

By Camille Styles

Modern Kids Backyard | Camille Styles

During the warmer months (75% of the year here in Austin), our lives pretty much revolve around our backyard swimming pool. We spend the weekends in it, eat dinner around it, and hang out next to it while we’re grilling. While I’d never complain about having a backyard that’s almost completely pool and patio, ever since Phoebe’s been walking, I’ve been longing for a grassy childproofed area where she can run around without me having a panic attack over the prospect of her falling in the pool. So, a few weeks ago, we began Operation Side Yard.

There’s a stretch of land between our house and the neighbor’s that was previously untouched, and I always knew in the back of my mind that with a little (okay, a lot) of elbow grease we could make it into an awesome area for Phoebe to play, as well as a spot where we could hang out with friends and a bottle of wine while the kids played. So far, we’ve cleared the land, laid down grass and gravel, brought in some big terra cotta pots, and Adam and his dad have spent the last three weekends building a wood deck. (We are a family that loves a good landscaping project, let me tell ya!) I can’t wait to show you guys photos of the finished products in a few weeks, but for now, I’m deep in the process of choosing a table and chairs, as well as a category that I’ve never before dipped my toe into: outdoor play furniture! A cursory look through some of the bigger retailers’ offerings left me a bit depressed over the aesthetics of most outdoor playhouses and sandboxes. But when I dove a bit deeper and started polling some of my design-loving friends with kids, I discovered that there are actually some really cool modern options out there. These are some of the items I’m currently thinking about, and I’d love to hear any of your sources for cool swings, playhouses, sandboxes and outdoor toys that I should add to my list. Stay tuned to see how it all comes together next month!

  1. Round & Round Outdoor Swing
  2. Croquet Set
  3. Square Sandbox
  4. Ginormous Teepee
  5. Lemonade Playset table & chairs
  6. Dramm Colorstorm Premium Orange Rubber Hose
  7. Loki Playhouse
  8. Kids Adirondack Chair