This delightful recycled and recyclable home for the littlest people in your household is the Casa Cabana by Kids On Roof – and it’s our favourite cardboard house on the market. 

The fabulous design duo of Romy Boesveldt and Ilya Yashkin is responsible for this brilliant little person’s Casa Cabana, which comes either with elegantly simple decorative detailing of a cat, a tree, a rabbit, squirrely and ant (Deco) – or an ‘open-to-the-imagination’ Plain. Made of recycled paper, and fully biodegradable, the Casa has seven little windows, plus a bevy of spy holes so your munchkin can keep an eye on the action ‘outside’ – just in case they like to keep Mummy and Daddy in sight.

It’s not really surprising that Kids On Roof have a house in their playful repertoire: Ilya is, after all, a trained architect, while Romy is a stylist.

With all those blank walls, the Casa Cabana lends itself beautifully to a toddler’s obsession with drawing – so now you can let ’em go all Munch, Matisse or Pollock with their crayons, chalk, felt-tips and stamps without calling in the painters afterwards!

Another option we adore is to gather offcuts of wallpapers, fabrics, curtains or rugs and let your mini Martha Stewart put her (or his) personal stamp on the interiors. You just never know what lifelong passion you might set in motion!

Not only is this aesthetically the prettiest cardboard house out there, it is also an excellent structure that will last significantly longer than others on the market. We tested this model against three other brands and found that this one was both sturdier in the play environment (like the little pig’s house made of stone, it didn’t collapse once while all around it did!), it also had a lifespan at least four times longer than any of the others – in our testing, that was around two years of hardy play.

Perhaps we were a little ambitious when we opened the doors of two Casa Cabanas to a party of 12 toddlers. Nonetheless, they suffered only mild cosmetic wear-and-tear (that is until the adults came along and folded it the wrong way leaving creases where none belonged!).

Our final warning? We all know how difficult it is to agree on renovation details, so let it be known that every child should have a Casa of one’s own…

Designer Details Established in 2005 by Romy Boesveldt and Ilya Yashkin, Kidsonroof grew out of a wish to reconnect modern life with nature and offer an ecological approach to the art of playing. Ilya trained as an architectural designer (Marchi in Moscow and Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam) while Romy takes care of the conceptual development and styling. Together with their three kids (and their little friends) Kidsonroof has a permanent testlab for new ideas, and each year, they return to their little shed in the French mountains without electricity or running water to test out the meaning of living a truly simple life.