Off your Tree!

Treehouses are no longer just for children to enjoy; in fact they have a colourful history –  in the past they were used as dwellings, hide-outs and for recreational purposes.  Your own childhood memories may well have involved spending time clambering up trees to find somewhere with enough space to spend time with your friends.  At a young age it more than likely wasn’t about comfort, it was about having somewhere where you discussed all manner of important issues and swapped secrets and stickers.  Today, while children still enjoy somewhere special to escape to, more and more adults are finding refuge in their own spectacular treehouse creations. For the avid gardener who enjoys maximising his or her outdoor space, a treehouse could be the next exciting challenge.  When the garden has reached absolute perfection and there’s no need for more planters, another set of luxury garden furniture or a pretty pagoda,  there is still a way to maximise on space! It is by building a treehouse to capture the imagination of friends and family.

Treehouse view
Treehouse view

It’s perfectly natural, believe it or, not for humans to dwell in treehouses. They have been home to our race for thousands of years, particularly in areas of Asia where people all those years ago felt it was more comfortable to live up high due to the threat of flood!  To get into the trees, people would use a system involving a pulley to lift them and their belongings into their homes.  In these very hot countries, treehouses provided plenty of shade from the burning sun too, so they were a wise option.  Of course, today, modern treehouses have winding staircases or sturdy ladders and are much easier to climb.

Treehouses were not just for living purposes. We know that Caligula had his very own treehouse built especially for recreation. It was situated in a Plane tree and had a platform rather than being built into the tree’s trunk.  Fast forward history and we know that during the Renaissance, the treehouse became  extremely fashionable amongst well-to-do Italians due to the popular book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili written by Francesco Colonna.  It featured a magnificent treehouse and this set a new trend.  A few thousand miles away in England, treehouses became all the rage during the late 1600’s and the Duke of Bedford had his own well-known treehouse built in his gardens in Woburn. The Countess of Warwick also had her own treehouse in Easton Lodge in Essex, built in 1902 and recently restored.  So if you’re thinking of building your own treehouse you are in great company.

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The treehouse in Easton Lodge

It’s not just homes enjoying the rising popularity of the humble treehouse.  If you don’t want to build your own you can still experience the magic of living in the trees. A treehouse makes a very romantic getaway and adds to the adventure of a holiday too!  More and more treehouse hotels are popping up around the world.  In the UK, couples (and families) can escape to The Treehouses at Chewton Glen, ideal if you want to celebrate something extra special and these cannot fail to impress.  Combining the point of difference of living in a tree with undeniable luxury they really are as close to heaven as you can get!  Placed in a secluded area of the forest, these are built on stilts with unsurpassable views of the Hampshire countryside if this doesn’t sway you to build your own then you really are a land dweller at heart!

The Treehouses at Chewton Glen
The Treehouses at Chewton Glen

Of course – if you love the idea of a treehouse but you’re looking for fun and frolics with the family then skip the romanticism of Chewton Glen and head down to Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood and enjoy the treehouses in Center Parcs. You’ll find a number of 2 storey treehouses featuring bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living area, more practical than luxurious but definitely a thrilling option.  This makes tree living something of an experience for children and adults alike.

A Center Parcs tree house in Sherwood Forest
A Center Parcs tree house in Sherwood Forest

Further afield, another picturesque setting for treehouses is the Discovery at Marigot Bay hotel in St Lucia.  With sumptuous Caribbean weather and white sandy beaches, accommodation is set high in the trees and overlooks the bay where sailing boats and yachts are moored, gently rocking on the water.  These treehouses offer opulent space where no luxury has been forgotten.

Marigot Bay hotel's treehouses in St Lucia
Marigot Bay hotel’s treehouses in St Lucia

So if you’ve now been tempted to build your own treehouse especially for adults, there are various companies that can help you with your chosen design.  It’s important to make sure the tree of choice is sturdy enough to take the build and you will need to consult an arborist to have the tree species evaluated.  The process begins with a consultation and site visit comprising of assessing the tree health, taking measurements and making basic sketches.  This process then follows with a design discussion, the construction and finally the maintenance of your new building.  Of course, a simple build or something for the children to enjoy can be undertaken by yourself (with a little help) and there are a number of kits that can be bought online which will do the job well enough.

 

If the size of your treehouse allows it – Bridgman furniture will give your new space a cozy and homey feeling. Both rattan and teak furniture would complement the wood of your new treehouse.

 

For more ideas on how to maximise your garden space why not visit Bridgman Garden Furniture where you will find something for your treehouse!

 

What would you use your treehouse for? As a bedroom, a tearoom or playroom for your kids? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or by commenting below!

 

Image credit

Featured image: Lush Home

Image 1: Cube Breaker

Image 2: Easton Lodge

Image 3: Blue Forest

Image 4: EPR Travel News

Image 5: Carrier

 

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