Playhouses and treehouses are the stuff that a child’s dreams are made of, and now one couple is producing the most spectacular treehouses, playhouses, and even doghouses imaginable. According to The Futon Critic, Tyson and Audrey Leavitt and their elaborate and unique creations will be featured on a new TLC series, Playhouse Masters.
The Alberta, Canada couple started out building a play set for a local home and garden show, which garnered quite a bit of attention. The following year, Tyson and Audrey built a Rapunzel play set and after receiving even more attention, Tyson Leavitt decided to sell his landscape company in order to build playhouses full time. According to The Deseret News, the Leavitt’s new company definitely filled an overlooked niche, and “Charmed Playhouses” came into being after several months of hard work.
“My landscape business was really draining on me because I was working from sunup to sundown, and I wasn’t able to spend time with my kids and my family,” Tyson Leavitt said. “I wasn’t able to use it as a creative outlet because I was limited to what could really be built in this neighborhood, which is a small city of 90,000. I noticed that in yards there wasn’t a place for kids to go out and have their own space.”
The structures are exquisitely produced and very unique because each one is made with hand-crafted, solid wood. These are the ultimate in playhouses, with homes starting at $7,500. The price doesn’t seem to be a deterrent because business is booming for Tyson and Audrey as orders come in from all over the world.
Each piece, such as the princess castles produced for a Chinese theme park, are customized and built to provide the utmost in luxury. All the play sets feature special details such as slides, stonework, working lights, and even hot tubs. According to an Instagram post by Tyson and Audrey Leavitt, one of their most recent customers was NBA MVP Steph Curry and family, who was interested in a custom cottage.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Deseret News noted that Tyson and Audrey have gained a greater appreciation for their church callings, their family life, and their faith during their unique journey as they build playhouses and star in their very own series on TLC. Tyson and Audrey quickly realized that there was a need for balance between their business and their service to the church.
“There was a drive and a confidence behind us making the change — it felt right,” Tyson said. “When I got called into the stake high council, I had a blessing from the stake president that gave me some direction and confidence to go ahead with my business. He said I would find more time in my business and more success as I served in my calling. It really came true. It was a testament to us because at the time I felt like it was such a heavy calling and I didn’t know how I was going to be able to handle it. It just showed us that if you just put your faith in the Lord, he will take your life in a way you wouldn’t expect.”
According to The Huffington Post, while Tyson Leavitt designs the homes for a team of architects to build, Audrey decorates the interiors. All the houses are play tested by Tyson and Audrey’s three children, Emmett (7), Miles (6), and Lydia (4). Since filming the show, the Leavitt children have had a bit of a transitional period as they adjust to their new norm of being part of a TV show with their parents.
“As much as they try, I don’t think our kids can comprehend the magnitude of what is happening,” Audrey Leavitt said. “They are certainly having fun getting to make a TV show with mom and dad. I don’t think that they will understand what that means until the show comes out and they get to watch it.”
With three children at home, Audrey Leavitt’s greatest challenge was her own transition from stay-at-home mom to working mom. Tyson and Audrey Leavitt now employ a nanny to stay at home with the kids when they must travel.
“It has been a really hard transition for all of us for me to go from stay-at-home mom to working mom. The challenges of feeling like we’re still making the right decisions as far as putting our kids and us on TV — that has been a big challenge for me,” Audrey said.
Although Tyson and Audrey Leavitt don’t know what the future holds, they are positive that this is the right path for them and their children.
“From the outside, our business is really fun, and it is,” Tyson remarked. “But we both feel like there’s a bigger purpose to this other than just building these big fun tree houses. I don’t know what the bigger picture is for this, but it does bring families closer together.”
What do you think about this new series? Did you ever want a playhouse or treehouse as kid? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. Playhouse Masters premieres on August 23 at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.
[Image via TLC]