Young or old, who doesn’t love a treehouse?
When you’re young, they offer a space of your own to getaway with your mates, and a tiny taste of adventure as you brave an inevitably rickety homemade ladder to clamber up inside.
Desirable “must-haves” might include ropes, a lookout deck and more than likely a secret password, to truly make the place your own.
As an adult, you can have all that and more. So much more. From your classic built-in-the-tree designs, to some extraordinary feats of engineering and architecture, here are some of our favourite luxury treehouses to make your inner child squeal with delight.
Pinecone Treehouse, USA
This fully glazed pinecone treehouse is about as far from your traditional kids’ design as it’s possible to be.
Designed and built by O2Treehouse, and suspended high in a Californian redwood forest, it offers the ultimate experience with nature.
The 9.4 square-metre geodesic structure has 64 diamond-shaped windows, and a ladder so long it’s likely to take your breath away – especially if you’re scared of heights. But with the outlook that offers, surely it’s worth it.
“When in a tree everything in the world is right; a calmness comes that brings with it creativity, imagination and play,” said O2Treehouse founder Dustin Feider.
Fairytale Treehouse, South Africa
Who could imagine a brief for a cabin-like one-bedroom hideaway on this tree-rich site in Cape Town would lead to the creation of this three-storey beauty?
Designed by Malan Vorster, the building barely touches the ground, with steel “trunks” piercing the floors and ceilings, just as they would in a traditional treehouse.
It’s complex architecture is based on a square, with each side divided into modules that determine the diameter of a circle on each side of the square, creating a pin-wheel layout.
In reality, the result is an open and spacious fairytale hideaway that, thanks to the walls being glazed on three sides, is flooded with natural light and has space for a patio, dining alcove, and even a plant room. Bliss.
Origin Treehouse, France
Dreaming of getting away from it all? Sitting 10m up a giant oak tree in a small forest in France, the Origin Treehouse is a hotel room with a difference.
Inspired by a bird’s nest, architect Marco Lavit used interlocking wooden slats to create the octagonal space which wraps around a 100-year-old oak tree.
The interior is light and bright, with huge windows and customised furniture.
To get inside, you have to climb to a platform on a tree that’s 30m away to be able to access the walkway that takes you into the heart of the nest. But this isn’t any old platform – this one has a heated spa and lounging area.
The Inhabit Treehouse, USA
This picture perfect treehouse cabin in Woodstock, NY, is the ultimate woodland escape.
Designed by Antony Gibbon Design and fully wrapped in timber, the cantilevered cabin makes the most of its outlook over the lake and to the mountains beyond, through floor to ceiling glazing in the open plan living area.
It’s not hard to imagine firing up the woodburner and cosying up in style while you sit back, relax and watch nature do its thing.
If you’re after a more immersive experience, there are balconies either side of the living area and a large terrace underneath that leads to the lake and a hot tub.
Part ship, part treehouse, USA
Nestled among 60-metre-tall cedar trees just outside Seattle, this is no ordinary treehouse.
The impressive five-storey home, with three bedrooms and four bathrooms, was built using reclaimed wood and, in a nod to the local maritime industry, salvaged ship parts.
Porthole windows feature on the ground floor, alongside salvaged wood beams from a 100-year-old fir tree in the living area.
Former owner Jason McLennan, the designer and environmentalist who worked on Leonardo Dicaprio’s eco-friendly resort in Belize, described it as “nature’s paradise”.
“Everything is nestled in the trees, so the trees are intact and the ecosystem is intact,” he said. “You feel like you’re in a special place when you’re there.”