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A Writer’s Take On the Ultimate Creative Space: The Tree House

Tree House Design by BAUMRAUM Architecture

Tree Djuren by BAUMRAUM Architecture

The older I get, the more minimalist and earthy my taste in décor gets. No longer do I dream of living in an old Victorian with banister bookcases lining the parlor, pirouetting staircases, and a cupola adorned roof. As far as my home goes, what I lust after is conceptually airy, minimally adorned—surrounded by and constructed from the elements of our environment.

Tree Houses. Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

Tree Houses. Fairy Tale Castles in the Air – TASCHEN

While spending the morning at Boston’s MFA I spotted a familiar book in the museum’s gift shop I’d once flipped through in college, Phillip Jodidio’s Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. The tree house is one part idyllic childhood dream, one part survivalist reality. Using an existing tree in your yard to create a retreat, a living space, or an office is ideal when your intent is use what you have instead of burning through our planet’s finite resources. Many of the tree houses I looked at, both in Jodidio’s book and in my research use reclaimed, recycled, or at the very least, sustainable materials, something we can all feel good about.  Aside from being perfect, “off the grid” spaces, tree houses offer designs that are as functional as they are fun. Here are several cool things happening in the realm of tree house design.

riverview_play_area_treehouse

Spaces

Whether you have the cash or are simply day dreaming about the possibilities of  one day inhabiting a tree house (as I am), check out 02 Treehouse (a  design firm that specializes in designing and building tree houses—they’ve got some cool buildings under their portfolio).

O2 Treehouse - Gennaker

Gennaker Tree House from O2 Treehouse that incorporated and reused a sailboat sail.

Although not technically a tree houses designer Scott Newkirk’ 300 square foot cabin in Yulan, NY has the aesthetic I hold dear: simple, rustic, and sustainable.  Check out the cool profile on Newkirk’s one-of-akind weekend retreat home here.  One of my favorite parts of this profile was the iconic George Nelson platform bench adorning the guest cottage, a staple for any mid-century lover.

Hotels

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Marriott or the Motel 6, check out these two tree house resorts in Oregon and Guatemala. Takilma, Oregon’s Treehouse resort boasts almost a dozen distinct dwellings to treelax (sorry, I just couldn’t resist).

Out n' About Tree House Treesort

Out n’ About Tree House Treesort

And then there’s Guatemala’s eco-friendly Earth Lodge, located about 20 minutes from the picturesque city of Antigua. The Earth Lodge is a rural mountain resort and avocado farm with a smattering of rustic cabañas and a tree house where one can stay. The tree house comes with its own hammock and a stunning view of the volcano, and what’s more owners Drew and Brianna give back to the community in a big way.

A Little More Daydreaming…

Stunning Wooden Tree House Design by BAUMRAUM Architecture

Stunning Wooden Tree House Design by BAUMRAUM Architecture

Tree House Design by BAUMRAUM Architecture

For Tree House naps. Design by BAUMRAUM Architecture

Free Spirit Spheres

Free Spirit Spheres in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada featured in Pete Nelson’s book, “New Treehouses of the World” – Chicago Tribune

Trillium Treehouse: Fall City, Washington

Trillium Treehouse: Fall City, Washington featured in Pete Nelson’s book, “New Treehouses of the World” – Chicago Tribune

Beach Rock Treehouse: Okinawa, Japan

Beach Rock Treehouse: Okinawa, Japan designed by Japanese builder Kobayahsi Takashi, as featured in Pete Nelson’s book, “New Treehouses of the World” – Chicago Tribune

Since it’s midwinter for most of us it just means you have plenty of time to plan and design your or your kids small little retreat from the world. Enjoy – Claudia

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