Summerwood Lifestyle Posts

4 Backyard Sleepover Ideas You Will Not Lose Sleep Over

san-cristobal-custom-backyard-studio-summerwood (1)It’s starting to warm up and it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming Spring and Summer activities. And parents know best that kids need an outlet and also a reason to get outside. With 43% of adults believing kids are not ready to play outside without supervision until age 14, the pressure to oversee your children’s every activity has escalated to new heights over the last decade. Letting kids venture out on their own once in awhile, however, is crucial to their development. Organizing a backyard sleepover is a great way to give children a sense of freedom and independence without staying up all night worrying. The way you organize a sleepover and the arrangement you setup can directly support your readiness to allow your kids the freedom they crave while also giving you peace of mind. Here are four awesome sleeping arrangement options for backyard sleepovers:

Under the Stars

There is nothing like rolling out a sleeping bag and hopping in to sleep directly under the stars. Your kids will love watching for shooting stars and following the lightning bug trails as they dart across the dark sky. Since you will need to turn off all exterior lights for the best view of the night sky, make sure to give your kids their own flashlights to use as needed. In case of light rain, let your kids know they are free to retreat under the garden trellis to stay dry or simply come back inside the house and try the sleepover another night. As you develop trust in your child’s ability to make safe, smart decisions, do not feel bad about peeking out the window occasionally to verify their safety.

Bunkie Playhouseglen-echo-custom-backyard-studio-summerwood (1)

A Bunkie playhouse gives kids a chance to foster their independence in style. The Bunkie structure mimics the appearance and atmosphere of a home while remaining distinctly separate from the household. If you are not quite ready to let go of the reins, you can rest assured knowing the Bunkie doors and windows feature secure locks. The single room structure has enough room for board games, truth or dare, snack sessions and sleeping bags for everyone in attendance. Have your kids lend a hand in finding and hanging decorative elements to make the space feel like their very own.

Trampoline Tent

You can transform your kids’ trampoline into a raised tent with a purpose built cover. Look for tent covers that feature plastic skylight inserts in the ceiling for a clear view of the stars. The zip door can remain open until all of the kids are ready to cease playing in the yard and pile into the tent to rest. The trampoline keeps kids comfortable without additional padding, while the enclosure keeps everyone feeling safe and secure. Before you leave them to their own devices, remind kids to be mindful of the springs and refrain from jumping inside the tent.


Secure Gazebocustom-backyard-studio-interio-summerwood-2

If you prefer a multi-purpose structure over a dedicated sleepover Bunkie, choose an enclosed gazebo instead. Custom gazebos dramatically dress up your property’s appearance and provide a place for everyone to spend time together. The gazebo offers the same promise of comfort and safety for your kids and their friends sleeping overnight in the backyard. When not in use, you can invite your own friends and family over to play cards or enjoy a meal underneath the protective, gorgeous gazebo structure.

Setting Up Your Home For Backyard Sleepovers

Take your children’s backyard sleepovers to new heights with Summerwood’s high quality pre-fab outdoor designs. A garden trellis, gazebo or playhouse bunk will not only provide kids with a safe place to sleep, they will also accentuate the look and feel of your property. You may end up adoring your structures so much that you search for a reason to enjoy your own backyard activities, such as garden parties and friendly cookouts.

Contact Summerwood today to select and order the structures you want for your property. The team will assist you in designing the perfect pre-fabricated kit for the solution of your choice. You can either construct the structure yourself using the supplied directions or receive help finding a qualified contractor to handle the task—and we’ll help you all along the way.

The Top Reason to Attend the 2016 Spring Cottage Life Show + FREE Ticket Opportunity!


It’s that time of year again; Spring has begun to show itself slowly and with the changing seasons Summerwood gears up for cottage season! As Canadians we know to embrace whatever good weather might come our way and to enjoy every possible second that we can in the great outdoors. Read on to learn about the top reason you should attend the 2016 Spring Cottage Life Show, where we’ll be featuring our incredibly popular Glen Echo “Permit-Free” Ultimate Cottage Bunkie, and how you can get your hands on free tickets to the Spring Cottage Life Show.


What You Need to Know About the 2016 Spring Cottage Life Show

If you’ve previously attended the Spring Cottage Life Show you might know a little about the amazing little 3-day show that exhibitors and consumers both love for its fun, laid-back “cottage” atmosphere and great mix of eclectic exhibitors. The Main Stage, Model Cottage, and Dock Party (yes, really!) are a few of the neat features that visitors enjoy every year at this show and part of the reason many families make attending this Show an annual tradition. The 2016 Cottage Show is being held at the International Centre at 6900 Airport Rd in Mississauga and features free parking for all visitors (more parking has been added for the 2016 show). All of the information you need, including ticketing information and directions, can be found here.


The #1 Reason to Attend the 2016 Spring Cottage Life Show

prefab cabin bunkie cottage show

Our show-stopping Glen Echo “Permit-Free” Bunkie, featuring expansive “bigger than you think” loft space and oodles of natural light.

You may have seen our Glen Echo design at a previous Cottage Show where we always have one of the busiest and most active booth spaces at the show. As a company we love showcasing this incredibly cool product and conversing with our fellow cottage-goers and explaining how this building, or perhaps one of our other prefab cabin designs, is the perfect solution to your cottage storage or sleeping overflow problem.


Come join the crowd! Our booth is a real highlight of the Spring Cottage Life Show. This year you’ll find us at Booth # 932 in Hall 2.

Why would I want a “permit-free” cottage Bunkie?

As families grow and the need for extra storage and sleeping space increases, you may find yourself looking into potential opportunities for adding space at your cottage or vacation property. The Glen Echo bunkie was designed with you in mind and is the perfect solution for adding beautiful and functional sleeping or storage space in a short time frame. We have DIY and fully installed options available, so regardless of your building and design skills a Bunkie like this is well within your reach. Perhaps the best selling feature of this building is that it can be built without a building permit in many jurisdictions across Canada and the United States; a real benefit given the often lengthy, complicated, and potentially restrictive permitting process in place with many building departments. (*Note: you should always consult your local building department to verify local rules prior to construction*)


The Glen Echo bunkie, built from a DIY kit by our client in Ontario, Canada. It’s the perfect tiny house!

The Glen Echo is designed in a 10′ x 10′ size to clock in at 100 square feet and as a result of its small footprint is typically classified as an “accessory storage structure” under many municipal bylaws, which generally means a building permit application isn’t required when building this unit. The building features a steep roof pitch and “dormers” to open up the ceiling space and create headroom in the loft. The 3′ of roof overhang on the front side of the building, typically not counted as square footage by building departments, adds close to 130 square feet of usable loft space. To learn more please download the building schematics now to learn all about this exciting design and its very handy features. Are you a more visual person? Take a 3D tour now!

loft space cottage life bunkie

Add a mattress or extra large sleeping bag to create the ultimate loft space that kids and adults love!

Come See Us at the Spring Cottage Life Show

You’ll find the Summerwood booth located at Booth #932 in Hall 2 of the International Centre. We’ll have a gorgeous Glen Echo Cottage Bunkie on display where you can take in the space for yourself, ask us questions, and learn about the endless customization possibilities with all Summerwood buildings. We love hearing from our customers – past, present, and future – so please be sure to say hello!

Check out our Bunkie and climb the super cool drop-down ladder. Kids love it!

Check out our Bunkie and climb the super cool drop-down ladder. Kids love it!

Looking for free tickets to the 2016 Spring Cottage Life Show?

We have a limited quantity of complimentary tickets held exclusively for VIP Summerwood customers, please Contact Us for more details and availability.

Going Modern at the 2016 Toronto National Home Show

Spring is on the way!

Well, it may not feel that way outside just yet, but as the Toronto National Home Show approaches we get a little excited about the prospect of flowers, sunshine, and of course designing custom structures for our customers. We keep pretty busy through the winter, fine-tuning our designs and queuing up production space, but once the snow melts the building can begin!

prefab storage sheds modern

Come see a replica of this beautiful Urban Studio at Booth #1419 at the National Home Show (March 11-20) at the Enercare Centre in Toronto!

What is the Toronto National Home Show?

The Toronto National Home Show is an annual event being held from March 11-20, 2016, at the Enercare Centre (formerly Direct Energy Centre/National Trade Centre) located at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. The show is based around home/backyard design and features exhibitors from all around the world. If you’re looking for home ideas, inspiration, or just want to see a bunch of really neat things then this is the show for you. If you’re a gardening enthusiast then you’ll love all the great things on display at Canada Blooms, a flower and garden festival just in time for Spring! The Home Show features guest speakers, events for kids, shopping, alcohol samples – there’s something to do for everyone in your family. In 2015 the Home Show drew over 174,000 visitors over its 10-day run, an impressive feat in today’s digital world!

summerwood show booth

2016 won’t be our first Home Show, we’ve been exhibiting in this Show for close to 20 years! Click the photo to learn more about last year’s booth.

Drawing Inspiration From Our Clients

At Summerwood we’re fortunate to work with customers who use our products in unique, exciting, and sometimes even inspiring ways. It’s not uncommon for a group of staff in our design office to all be ogling over newly received photos of our buildings being constructed and used all over the world. Our display unit at the National Home Show for 2016 is directly inspired by one of our customers hailing from New York state.

modern shed backyard office

Is it a shed or an office? Blur the line with an Urban Studio!

So what is Summerwood showing at the National Home Show?

Glad you asked! We thought we would give you a sneak peek of what we have up our sleeves for our upcoming spring show where we showcase some of our most popular buildings. This year at the Toronto National Home Show we’re showcasing our modern Urban Studio, which has quickly become one of our most popular and best-selling modern building kit designs. Featuring an ever-so-slight “flat” roof and environmentally sustainable and responsible rubber roofing, our Urban Studio is a hit in so many different ways. Whether being used as a functional storage space, a glamorous pool cabana, a spacious backyard office, or as an extra living or entertaining space, the Urban Studio will more than exceed your expectations.

custom modern shed kit

The inspiration behind our 2016 National Home Show booth!

We received so much positive feedback on this design from our customers that we had to build our own to showcase to the world. While the photo above is a 7′ x 12′ size, we opted to showcase an 8′ x 12′ at the Home Show to show just a bit more space. Remember – anyone can customize our designs, not just us! The coolest thing about our products is the virtually endless customization available; we will build exactly what you’re looking for and tailor our designs to be functional and beautiful in your yard.

bicycle shed modern storage building

While it could easily be a backyard office, here our Urban Studio functions as a killer bicycle storage building!

Come See Us at the 2016 National Home Show

You’ll find Summerwood at the National Home Show in booth #1419 in the Outdoor Living area. You can find complete Show Information, including directions and ticket information here. Stop by and say hello, check out our building, grab a brochure, and learn a little more about who we are and how we can help solve that pesky storage dilemma of yours! You can purchase tickets online and save $3 off the regular price for doing so.

Want to come to the Show for free?

We have a limited number of complimentary Show tickets reserved for our customers. Contact Us today to inquire about availability, note that these tickets are available on a first-come first-serve basis. We can be reached using any of the following:

In-Person: 735 Progress Avenue, Toronto, M1H 2W7

By Phone: (800) 663-5042, (416) 498-9379

By Email: [email protected]

Stay tuned! We’ll soon be posting about our booth at the Spring Cottage Life Show where we annually profile our incredibly popular permit-free cottage bunkie, our Glen Echo. We also have free tickets for our customers and blog readers!

Hummingbird: Custom Home Studio

Happy New Year everyone!

With a new year come new goals, dreams and pursuits. Well, for those of you with aspirations of working from home, starting your own business, or setting up a backyard home office, it may be easier than you think. That’s where we draw our inspiration from a California-based couple who did just that.


These customers have turned their Palmerston into a beautiful cottage that doubles as a small (for now) home business. Named in honor of a hummingbird that hung around during the construction process, the “Hummingbird Cottage” is something we at Summerwood absolutely adore. Can you guess what kind of family business this couple has started right in their very own backyard?

summerwood products custom backyard studio interior

summerwood backyard home office kit

summerwood products home studio kit setup

Commuting to your own backyard is a dream for many of us. Customizing a home office ensures that you design a home studio that works for you and your office or business. This California-based customer had this to say, “The place has worked out great. I had a great time building the custom building kit and my wife absolutely loves it. In fact, it’s become the home of her new business, ‘Hummingbird Kids Designs.’ She makes the most beautiful kid’s clothes and now she finally has a place of her own to do it.”

summerwood products prefab backyard studio kit

For some of more custom home studio inspiration, check out this blog post “An Office Away from the Office”.

You can also visit our website for more information about the Palmerston Home Studio.

And as always, feel free to contact us:
Check out our website:
Email us: [email protected]
Call us toll-free: 1 866 519-4634

Stay inspired!

A She-Shed for the Ladies

Move over Man-Caves, it’s time for a She-Shed!

Copper Creek Summerwood Garden Shed, Backyard Garden She-Shed

We’ve done our fair share of man-cave buildings over the years, but lately the ladies are stealing the spotlight with the new she-shed trend, and why not!? The ladies need a space to relax and unwind too! We’re happy to share some of the projects we’ve done with the design-diva in mind!

garden shed, summerwood products copper creek shed, backyard shed

Kathy’s She-Shed Jewelry Store.

Kathy Taylor of Cedarburg, Wisconsin runs a successful business called Kamaria Fine Jewelry. Where does she run her business out of? From her 96 square foot Copper Creek Summerwood building! Kathy’s Copper Creek building functions as not only her she-shed, but as the home of her highly successful jewelry and interior design business. We strongly recommend checking out her work by following her on Twitter @KamariaJewelry. You’ll be glad you did!

she-shed inteior, backyard she-shed jewelry store

Interior of Kathy’s She-Shed Jewelry Store: Kamaria Fine Jewelry

interior of she-shed jewelry store, summerwood products copper creek backyard garden shed

Click here for more information about Kathy’s Copper Creek she-shed on our website.

Greetings from Grenada!


Summerwood was recently approached to work in close contact with Mike Jordan of CocoNet Ltd which specializes in design management and is based in Grenada, a small group of islands in the Caribbean. Mike was tasked with designing and erecting multiple buildings on the island of St. George for various uses as shops, residences, and tour offices.

To fit the bill, Mike purchased several 18′ x 20′ Canmore and Mountain Brook buildings. The final pictures tell a true tale of how beautiful the land is and how our structures and the climate complement each other so well. The various colours the buildings have been painted are a homage to the colour schemes used in the area; while definitely not colorus we see every day, we certainly love them in this setting.

Mike Jordan is now the official retailer of Summerwood Products in the Caribbean region and is continually erecting our structures throughout Grenada. Stay tuned for more great pictures and new stories coming from Grenada as this new partnership continues to develop and flourish.

Photos Courtesy of: Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, Grenada  grenadagenada4 grenada2 grenada3 grenada5