Kmart playhouse hack: Mum creates a kiddie tattoo parlour in the back yard –

Posted in Tattoo Shop on Dec 03, 2019

When web designer ShayStarrenburg decided to upcyclea Kmartplayhouse fro her son, she wanted to get creative.

Instead of another cafe, shop or miniature villa, she and builder husband John decided tocreateatattoo parlour complete with coffee machine, monogrammed cups and temporary tattoos for son Hudson, 1, to give his customers.

"Neither of ushave tattoos! It was just something that was a bit cool, a bit different.


The Starrenburgs upcycled their son Hudson's Kmart playhouse into a miniature tattoo parlour.

"We painted it and assembled it and we added on all the signs. John cut the plywood for the signage and I made all thevinylto on on those. We tried to cram it all into a weekend."

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It's the shortest renovation job the couple have done since they moved into their 1950s house in 2013.

Barring a few smaller jobs left to do, it's taken them five years of weekends and holidaysto turn their 1950s home into a bright,airy, modern abode.

The work included removing walls and reconfiguringseparate kitchenand dining rooms into a bright, airy, modern living area.

"We had two winters after we moved in withouta ceiling at all because we were too excited to rip all the walls out. So that was a bit cold.

"We just did it as we had the budget to do it, but we don't really have any regrets because we've had so much time to think everything through and do it all ourselves."

The main project they completed first was removing three walls from the living room and dining area to open out the kitchen and living space.

"Then we added on a deck to wrap right around two sides of the house and swapped out two windows for doors. That was the main focus, getting that done.


There's enve a miniature coffee machine for custoimer waiting for new ink.

"Then we got pregnantand we thought we'd better hurry up and get the rest of the house finished. That's when John took a couple of weeks off work, stripped everything out, insulated everything, and relinedit allbefore Hudson came along."

After that it was decorating, when Shay's creative talents could really shine.

One of the most unique features of the home is a black and white mosaic tile designin the entrance way thatwelcomes visitors with a cheery "good day"as theywalk in. It was"a bit of work" cutting up the tile sheets to makethem fit.


Shay and John Starrenburg wanted to do something a little different for their son, Hudson, who's 1.

"John was talking to a tiler about what I had planned and he was like 'it's good that you're doing it yourself,if someoneasked me to do it I wouldn't'.

"I planned it all up in photoshop, laid it all out and glued it down. Then whenHudson was a couple of months old I got super motivated and decided togrout it while Johnwas at work. That was super hard - the grout was setting and I had a screaming baby and John got a flurry of phone calls, but we got it all done"

Sharrenburg, who runsweb design and photography business Idyllic from home, wouldn't change a thing about the time it took to complete the renovation.

"It was very dated the house, but overall in a good condition which suited us as we wanted to put our stamp on everything.

"When we first started the work I sillilythought 'oh yeah, this will be done in a year'.I think if somebody had told meright then it'd be five years,and we've still got a few things to tick off out list yet, I might have changed my mind. But I guess the best thing was having all that time to think. Our plans changed three or four times and it meant we ended up with plans that really, really suited us.

"Looking back that,there's nothing we would have changed,even if we had more money. So it was good to have time to think and make those really conscious decisions, rather than choosing what was really on trend."


Shay and John Starrenburg with Hudson when he was a little baby, at their renovated 1950s home in new Plymouth.


Web designer and photographer Shay Starrenburg works from home on her business Idyllic.


The kitchen is built from Mitre 10 shells, but John Starrenburg cut the doors himself, so they could easily be painted over if they decided to change the kitchen decor.


The home has great views of Mt Taranaki from theliving room.


The couple removed several walls to create a open plan living/dining area that opens onto a wrap around veranda.


The renovation took the couple about five years to complete.

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Kmart playhouse hack: Mum creates a kiddie tattoo parlour in the back yard -

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