Seven Homes That Are Actually Just Children’s Playsets But I Need to Live In For My Wellbeing, Now

Do you ever see a photo that you want to live in? That’s the reaction I have every time a Sylvanian family playset comes across my Tumblr dashboard.





Oh, to be a little bunny making apple fritters in my comically oversized frying pan! I envy this animal’s entirely staged life. I bet she got all of those ingredients at a local farmer’s market, too, the bitch. I could just crawl on her perfectly-paneled wood floors and weep.


It’s definitely the intersection of nostalgia, sweetness and exceptional lighting that makes the idea of living inside of a child’s playset feel as appealing to me as it does. But it’s a feeling that’s persistent in the hectic back-and-forth hellscape my daily life tends to be. I still maintain that the worst loss from New York City’s Toys R Us closure was their life-size Barbie mansion, which is now either demolished, has its parts repurposed elsewhere or will languish in storage. I spend an inappropriate amount of time in Walmart’s toy aisle when all I really need is, like, max strength NyQuil and a gallon of milk, or something. Garage shopping with me is a veritable nightmare because I will buy every vaguely plastic figurine that makes winky eyes at me. Point is, I love toys, I love playsets, and I would sacrifice my entire life to live comfortably within one.





Please walk with me through some of my favorite playsets that I’ve seen, and build a fantasy about your possible life there with me. Trust me—it’s cleansing.


1) This Easter-ready Home



Stay with me here. The colors of this home are eye-catching, right? So eye-catching, you have to take advantage of its potential for advertisement. By Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, your house becomes a local breakfast nook for locals, where you and your wife dish out plate after plate of your homemade pancakes, crafted under a secret recipe that will only be passed down to your children (when you decide to have them, that is) and five chickens (that’s where you get the eggs from, you see). By weekdays, you’re working as a freelance writer in the upstairs attic that you have converted into the perfect workzone—a place where you’re relaxed, but focused. Your wife runs a successful baking business and keeps getting contacted by those tacky reality-TV companies to be a participant. She’s a little annoyed by Cupcake Wars’ offer, which says that if she throws the competition, they’ll give her a five-hundred-dollar bonus and a chance to compete again, but she accepts, because, y’know, a breakfast nook has expenses, even in a small town. Ends can be a little hard to make meet because of the commission-based nature of both of your jobs, but the age-old adage is true—at least you have each other.


2) This Polly Pocket Bowling Alley



This is where you met your wife, although she’ll argue that you two technically met in front of the bowling alley, on the curb where you ate concrete trying to run to her before she got into her car after she left her purse inside. You still have the slightly chipped tooth to prove it. Sometimes you like to go here. She always has to feign a tripping motion over each curb you walk over to reach the entrance because of course she does.


3) This living room set-up



Imagine returning here after a long day of work—a job that you truly enjoy, but one that involves a lot of hard decisions on your end. It’s nice to be looked up to, but the constant dark cloud of potential failure looms in the corner of your mind. Speaking of dark clouds, as you began to commute home, the heavens opened up—and guess who didn’t bring an umbrella? Regardless of the challenges this day has thrown you, the day is over, and you’ve just remembered something important. The new tea you just ordered off of Amazon should be delivered today. Lo and behold, there’s a package on your stoop, miraculously dry, when you pull off your boots and shake out the little droplets that have chosen to reside in your hair. It doesn’t take long to pull your favorite kettle from the kitchen cabinet, which you rescued from super-clearance at the local Goodwill, and get some water boiling. While you wait, you idley thumb through some books on your shelf, not really absorbing their contents but grateful for their familiarity and tactile stimulation. A whistle finally rises from your kitchen, you hack open the Amazon box rather ungraciously and prepare yourself a mug of tea, a mug from your kettle’s matching set. You settle onto the couch, and for the first time all day, take a deep breath.


4) Pretty much any My Little Pony playset



Listen, I’m not a furry, but if God descended from heaven, and She told me that She could instantly transfer my soul into that of a My Little Pony where I could live out my days in Ponyville in peace and (relative) harmony, I wouldn’t exactly say no.


5) This Shopkins Peach Locket


This hideaway is not nearly as detailed as the sets that came before it, but this little nook would be the perfect summer home. Imagine coming home from the beach and toweling off in the foyer, stepping a careful toe into the house after you’re certain you’ve removed every grain of sand from your body. The carpeting is pink plush and frequently vacuumed, so you have no qualms about collapsing into the ground, tired but satisfied from your swim. While you were outside you would have never dreamed of burying yourself in faux fur, but it’s pleasantly cool inside thanks to your overhead fan, which flicks back and forth so quickly it looks still. When you have the energy to, you’ll pull yourself off of the floor and onto your couch, and maybe turn on Hulu for a cartoon-binge. But for now, you’re comfortable where you are. And that’s a nice, rare feeling.


6) The Original Barbie Dream House



Mattel used to be a lot less averse to using extra plastic, and in my fantasy universe, I’m a lot less averse to excess. I want to be a benevolent Jay Gatsby with no need of a Daisy, throwing parties simply because I think it’ll be fun. Maybe I’ll come to find that my need to host is born out of a deep-seated hole in my heart to give and hope to receive, and decide to auction off the place in exchange for using the resulting cash to buy a farm where the fruits of my efforts will always be rewarded in one way or another. Or maybe I’ll continue to dwell in the above, watching below, sipping my vodka cranberry and riding the high of the party well into the morning hours. One thing is for sure—I’m closing the pool well before Autumn.


7) This quaint neighborhood



This is the definition of a neighborhood where you can leave the doors unlocked. Where droves of children wander by your home each morning off to another adventure, getting into as much trouble as is expected of people their age but never in any danger. It’s all of the good parts of the past that your parents like to reminisce about, except there’s no more basic social and structural inequality. You are old now. Your bones weigh heavily in your skin, and one day, you know you will not be able to get up again. But you have done all that you could have over the course of your lifetime. You are happy. You settle onto your front porch with a cup of tea that is sweet and hot and fragrant. Your house is the biggest on the street. Sometimes the neighbors come over for potlucks, or offer to rake your front lawn for you in the Autumn months. You let your eyes travel to the distance where the beach sits just below the dip of the earth’s curvature. Maybe you’ll take a walk out there later, if you’re feeling up to it. That’s the nice thing, though—you no longer feel obligated to be up to much of anything if you don’t want to be. You sip your tea. Life is good.


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