A fort or treehouse is usually our first foray into breaking away from the family home. It offers a sense of autonomy, privacy and tranquility, with the security of the mother ship at the ready, nearby.
A primal need is served when a magnificent treehouse is made for a child, or an adult. Today’s treehouses have gone full tilt boogie with the hard work of the number one treehouse designer and maker in the world, Pete Nelson.
What’s wonderful about his work is he sees the beauty in reclaimed items, wood and fixtures – repurposed with flair and mindful of the environment.
Monsters & Critics: Why do you think treehouses have challenged your creative side, versus home building?
Pete Nelson: Treehouse-building is creatively stimulating because it simultaneously offers creative limitations and expansive possibilities. There are so many variables to consider when building in the trees: tree species, branch layout, proximity to other trees, the list goes on. All of these elements limit and shape the treehouse platform design.
I always say that trees truly dictate the design — good treehouse design stems from being patient and really listening to the trees. But once you have a sturdy platform design, you can build whatever you imagine!
M&C: Why do people still find a solace or anxiety busting effect when they have a treehouse, when their perfectly fine house is usually nearby?
PN: There is something magical about being off the ground. The elevation of a treehouse gives you a whole new perspective, and being surrounded by nature helps you refocus and reconnect with what’s important. Treehouses tap into the child and adventurer within all of us…
PN: Sure. I think people have started to realize that you don’t actually need that much living space. Sometimes it is more overwhelming to have a large house than a small one: there is always something that needs to be cleaned or fixed, and in the end you collect unnecessary things to fill the space. I think it’s really peaceful to have a small space where you can curate each item that comes in. It seems like more thoughtful living.
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