Treehouse Inspiration for Your Summer DIY

If you're lucky enough to live in a home where there is timber with sturdy branches, then you’ve probably heard your kids ask, “Can I have a tree house?” Maybe you’ve even dreamed of having one yourself!

Since the olden days, treehouses have held a special captivation – from the pages of books such as Tarzan, The Swiss Family Robinson, and Peter Pan, and movies like The Goonies – but it’s not all pure fantasy. The indigenous people of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia lived up in the forests all the time. They came and went inside large thatched baskets that were raised and lowered along the tree’s trunks. Franciscan and Hindu monks balanced on branches for meditation purposes, and in the mid-19th century, a Paris suburb called Le Plessis-Robinson was famed far and wide for its elaborate treehouse restaurants, where chic city folk would flock for roast chicken and chilled champagne.

But mostly, treehouse dining is associated with milk and cookies. If you’re handy, you can build a simple one yourself (make sure it’s up to code!) or there are prefab kits for arboreal dwellings of all shapes and sizes that claim to be easy-peasy to slap together. Then again, you might want to do something special and unique, in which case you’ll have to hire a contractor.

Whether you’re truly scheming, or only dreaming, we came up with a cool collection of treehouses that run the gamut from classical Japanese-inspired architecture to rustic boards and buckets.

Old Fashioned

This is a great space for channeling everyone’s inner Huckleberry Finn – the unfinished slats with the bark on, the uneven stairway, and the rusty-looking old pail all bring to mind a simpler time. Of course everything here is shipshape from the reinforced, flush nails on the steps to the soft sisal rope tied with double knots and secured to a pulley. (Image via Primitive Survivors)

Ultra Mod

This chic, sleek perch won’t keep anyone dry during a rainstorm, but on summer days the thinly-spaced stats offers shade and “windows” all at once. Note the mechanical drawbridge and roof hatch, bug screens, and simple rope and pulley system for delivery of refreshments. More house than tree, this ultra-mod hangout is firmly reinforced into the ground.


Here’s room with a view – and a picture window and a porch! Small but sturdy (note that it’s not built into the tree), this classic chamber is the perfect playhouse for one or two kids.


Built onto the base of a huge, round stump, this treehouse looks like something Frodo Baggins would love to live in. The live plants that festoon the exterior are lovely, but if you’re worried about winged pests (not that they aren’t already living outside) a fake floral arrangement will look just as lovely. Add touches of pink and purple to add to the old-style fairytale feel of a pretty palace.

If that’s just all too much, you and your family can still have the treehouse experience at a niche bed-and-breakfast, such as the Out’n’About Treehouse Resort (or the “treesort” as they call it) in Oregon, adjacent to Siskiyou National Forest.  The individually designed treehouses come in a variety shapes, sizes, and heights (up to 35 feet!) and are accessed by ladders, stairs, or swinging bridges. Some have full bathrooms and/or kitchenettes, and those that don’t are near public facilities.  

Drooling over these treehouses as much as we are? Which style do you and your kids love the most? Share photos of your own treehouse with us!

Tags : home   garden   treehouse   

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