Best Tree Houses – Modern Tree Houses
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Three stylish and skyward destinations re-Invent the beloved classic

By Stephanie Georgopulos

 

I spent the peak years of my childhood living in Brooklyn, which means a few things: I shared a backyard with seven other families, I shared a swimming pool with an entire YMCA, and I never saw a tree house up close and personal until I was a teenager. The closest I got to one during those formative years was via my television screen. Despite the physical distance, I felt intimately familiar with them. Between Bart Simpson’s infamous home-away-from-home and The Treehouse computer game I played for hours on end, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much.

Until, of course, I was introduced to the modern iteration of the tree house. Sleek, contemporary and designed to turn heads, these innovative and aesthetic creations are the kind of eye candy that any Chevrolet Equinox driver—attuned to the crossover’s sleek, sophisticated style and chrome accents (not to mention its family-friendly functionality)—can appreciate.

Leaf House by O2 Treehouse

Ecological architects at O2 Treehouse explain the magic and mystery that surrounds the tree house perfectly: “It takes effort to get into a treehouse, but once you’re there, the feeling is simply different than in earth-bound dwellings—you’ve literally and figuratively been elevated to new heights.” Sounds kind of like falling in love, doesn’t it? Their eco-conscious ethos is reflected in their designs, specifically in Leaf House—the highest and lightest structure by O2 Treehouse to date. Made of aluminum and recycled plastic, Leaf House floats like a lantern in the sky, illuminating how effortless and beautiful it can be to co-exist with nature.

Melody by Free Spirit Spheres

Why give up your freedom when you’re done driving for the day? Extend the adventure of roadtripping in your Equinox with a skyward stay in a Free Spirit Sphere. These “tree hotels” merge tree house technology with sailboat construction to create a spherical structure wherein the walls, floor and ceiling are continuous. Inventor Tom Chudleigh calls this “uniwall construction.” I call it freakin’ cool. A stay in a sphere can awaken your creativity, unite you with the forest, or, at the very least, allow you to sleep among the stars as the breeze gently rocks your skybound accommodations. “Melody” is Free Spirit Sphere’s most recent creation—features include a skylight, a double bed and built-in speakers. Guests should bring their own sense of wonder.

Olympic Peninsula by TreeHouse Workshop

TreeHouse Workshop and its partner companies boast a beautiful portfolio of tree houses for kids of all ages, but none compare to their work in Olympic Peninsula, Washington—which is a bona fide tree mansion, if you will. This stunning Swiss chalet-styled tree house sleeps four people, features a cozy fireplace to warm up next to and even has running water—guests can hole up for a few hours or for a long weekend. Not impressed? Maybe you think you can do better. TreeHouse Workshop also hosts four-day, interactive training courses for anyone interested in building tree houses from scratch. Now there’s an adult way to justify your sudden interest in the arbor arts.

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Stephanie Georgopulos is an editor at Thought Catalog. Her work has been featured on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Awl, Gizmodo, The Next Web, Refinery 29 and elsewhere. Email her at Stephanie@thoughtcatalog.com and follow her on Twitter: @omgstephlol.