Out on a Limb: Incredible Treehouses

From Vermont to Italy, these treehouses inject exotic style into any milieu.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of Green Line Architects. Photo by Brent Moss

Photo By: Image courtesy of Green Line Architects (www.greenlinearchitects.com). Photo by Steven A. Novy

Photo By: Image courtesy of Green Line Architects. Photo by Brent Moss

Photo By: Image courtesy of Steven A. Novy/Green Line Architects

Photo By: Image courtesy of Peter Atkinson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Peter Atkinson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rockefeller Partners. Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rockefeller Partners. Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rockefeller Partners. Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo By: Images courtesy of www.treehouses.org. Photo by Dana Jinkins

Photo By: Image courtesy of www.treehouses.org. Photo by Dana Jinkins

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefano La Rocca

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefano La Rocca

The Crystal River Treehouse

This Carbondale, Colorado treehouse was the first that Steven A. Novy, AIA, of Green Line Architects (www.greenlinearchitects.com), ever designed. A collaboration with builder and furniture craftsman David Rasmussen, this fun and frivolous feat was commissioned by Branden Cohen and Deva Shantay of True Nature Healing Arts. Called Crystal River, it features stilt-like log supports, framing made from reclaimed or blown-down timbers, and white pine and cedar siding.

High Design

The designers of the Crystal River treehouse redecorated these digs at a later date, calling on the expertise of Robyn Scott Interiors. Scott’s mix of modern and traditional furnishings, plus original art and patchwork rugs, gave the treehouse a whole new personality.

A Treehouse Getaway

Inside this one-of-a-kind tree house by Green Line Architects (www.greenlinearchitects.com), a wood stove and full-wall insulation keep things cozy even in Carbondale, Colorado’s chilliest temperatures. Round windows, a step ladder to a lookout ledge, and ample sleeping space make it a desirable place to retreat. Bean bags and a floor mattress speak to this benefit.

Arboreal Bar

Like the green chair in the main living room, the bar stools in the Crystal River treehouse were designed by builder David Rasmussen, as were the custom light fixtures and door. He and architect Steven A. Novy (www.greenlinearchitects.com) also crafted an oval window over the breakfast nook, which makes it a sunshiney place to begin the day. Decorative elements by interior designer Robyn Scott—like casual dishware, a horse drawing and graphic patchwork rug—give it pop.

A Treehouse Restaurant

On the edge of the North Sea in Northumberland, a county straddling the Scottish/English border, sits Alnwick Garden, a place billed as “the world’s most extraordinary contemporary garden.” Built into mature lime trees on the acreage and constructed of Canadian cedar, Scandinavian redwood and English and Scottish pine, an enormous on-site treehouse is also home to the aptly named Treehouse Restaurant.

A Rustic Restaurant On High

Perhaps the world’s most unique eatery, Alnwick Garden’s Treehouse Restaurant boasts magical interiors with such features as a log fire, trees growing through the floor, ruggedly crafted tables and chairs, built-in benches, twinkling lights and twisted art sculptures made from fallen branches.

California Dreaming

On an impressive estate in Brentwood Hills, with views of the surrounding landscape, Getty Center and downtown Los Angeles in the background, is this sleek and stunning treehouse by Rockefeller Partners Architects. A husband gave his wife the treehouse as a gift to recall her happy childhood—but with modern amenities befitting adult life. Though it’s small at 172 square feet, the hillside structure, perched atop a tree, is a sanctuary, studio, lounge, hangout space and work of art all in one.

Chic Tree

Inside Rockefeller Partners Architects’ Brentwood Hills treehouse, a water closet, daybed and display shelves make it especially inviting. Angled steel support columns recall tree trunks. And for all of its more contemporary touches—from the drop-pendant chandelier to the modern fireplace—an abundance of wood still makes the space feel like a classic. Floors are solid walnut; ceilings, eaves and decks are ipe wood; and floor-to-ceiling mahogany windows and doors showcase views to the canyon beyond.

Office in the Sky

The office nook of this Brentwood Hills treehouse features a modern desk chair and many meaningful trinkets. Rockefeller Partners Architects took an inspired interpretation of the treehouse concept when they conceived the design of the studio space, with elements that reference trees everywhere you look. Most importantly, ample windows invite the outdoors in. And isn’t that what every treehouse should do?

Camp Treehouse

In Warren, Vermont, The Treehouse Guys Chris “Ka-V” Haake and James “B’Fer” Roth take delight in fashioning whimsical structures. Often outfitted with features like bunk beds, shaggy carpets and tree-branch ladders, their treehouses are created for private camps, public parks, homeowners and even wheel chair-bound individuals. This one was fashioned for Sunrise Day Camp in Long Island.

Branching Out

Inside Long Island’s Sunrise Day Camp treehouse, created by Vermont firm The Treehouse Guys, reverence to nature is paid at every turn. Branches are incorporated into the rafters and window panes, a stool is made from a polished slice of a trunk, and a petrified-wood bench keeps company with a rocking chair. Many of the furnishings, in fact, are made by co-owner James “B’Fer” Roth himself (he owns a furniture company called Treeforms).

Casa in the Sky

In Rome, Italy, the recently disbanded La Casa Sull’albero headlined heaps of conceptual treehouse styles, from the very basic to full-on modern. Operating on a shared philosophy that “the trunk, its branches and its leaves decide what a house will look like, but it will certainly be much more comfortable than you imagine,” the architects created an incredible portfolio. We’re partial to this multi-tiered wonder by Stefano La Rocca, Roberto De Sanctis and Lucio Giecillo, completed last summer near Rome.

A Simple Plan

This aloft bedroom, designed by a trio of Rome-based architects in their former firm La Casa Sull’albero, proves that with treehouse interiors, simple is best. A clean-lined shelf over the bed provides a headboard-like focal point and extra storage. Wonderfully rumpled bed clothes, small wood furniture pieces and a turned-wood table lamp were all that were needed to bring this slant-roofed sleeping space to life.