Tree House Dreams

This post is by regular contributor Catherine Oehlman aka SquiggleMum.

My dream home is a tree house.  Yes, a tree house!  Forget about giving me a home among the gumtrees… I want a home IN the gumtrees.  I want to reach out and touch the leaves, watch the birds, and feel the breeze blowing through our home.  Here are some inspiring images I’ve collated over on one of my Pinterest boards:

(for original sources of each image please visit my “Tree Homes” Pinterest Board)

Of course, a tree house isn’t particularly practical.   Even if I got the groceries delivered, getting them inside the house could be problematic (especially on rainy days).  Taking the rubbish out would be a pain.  And house maintenance could be a real drama!

Aside from that, my dreams are not the only dreams to consider.  My husband’s dream home would have lots of glass and timber, great views, and all the mod cons. He loves high ceilings, open spaces and strong lines.  There are two children in our home as well.  They love secret hiding spots, and areas that accommodate creative mess, plus they need space to run, jump, climb, explore, and just be kids.

Perhaps one day we’ll have the budget to indulge in whatever whimsy our hearts desire.  Imagine a gorgeous designer tree house, with stunning views through huge glass windows out to our kids’ literal “jungle gym” of rope-vine swings and trees to climb.  Ooh, and my hubby and I could have separate tree huts as office space, connected by Ewok-style suspended walkways and….

But rather than wasting time dreaming about the impossible, I am instead working to make our current home dreamy.  Here are five ways I have injected “tree house touches” into our place:

  • Colour: the colour scheme in our home is nature inspired, with neutral tones, chocolate brown, and a few hits of lime green.
  • Materials: we have polished wooden floor boards, exposed rafters on the high ceilings, and timber handrails on our glass balustrading.  Much of our furniture is also made from Australian timber.
  • Natural decor: I like using natural elements in unexpected ways. My son has a branch on his ceiling above his bed, and there are branches in my study as well.  I love feathers and display some of my favourites in small glass bottles and jars. I often use seedpods, sticks and pebbles when decorating too.
  • Bird theme: my love for birds is evident in our house, though I try not to be too overt about it!  Bird inspired wall decals, artwork, ceramic feathers and birdcages feature throughout. There are five birdbaths around our home which also entice our feathered friends to visit.
  • Outdoors: I open the house to the outdoors as much as possible, and also try to bring the outside in.  We are slowly but surely transforming our backyard into a beautiful, natural space.  We have a dry creek bed, bridges, climbing trees, rope ladder, dirt kitchen, secret spaces, sand pit, and more.

I really do love the house we live in.  Four years ago we bought it because it had features that appealed to us both, it was in a green area we liked, and importantly – it was under our budget!  We saw past the red enamel bath and basin (eek!) and decrepit chipboard kitchen and found a house full of potential.

It’s still a work in progress.  There are unfinished parts, sections of garden we are yet to tackle, bits that need repainting and things that need replacing.  But when I look at the list above, I can see that is a lot closer to our dream home than I give it credit for.  My husband has high ceilings, glass and timber.  The kids have limitless play opportunities outside.  And although it is firmly planted on the ground, I have certainly incorporated a tree house vibe!  It might not be our dream home, but it sure is a great home.

What kind of home do you dream of? And how could you incorporate elements of that into the home you are currently living in?

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  1. LOVE this post! You and I have something in common– I daydream on a regular basis about houses in the trees. Mine are usually extensions of our house– a deck that leads right into a tree next to our house, with little reading nooks and bookshelves all over the place. Or a city of trees for my kids where there is a series of tree spaces that connect to one another (from tree to tree)– little sturdy bridges connecting them, and slides and ropes that they can slide down.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who dreams about living in trees! :-) Love your boards too– I just started following you.

  2. wow those tree house pictures are amazing!!!

  3. Those houses are amazing! I have a friend who has built a backyard platform and put seating etc up there, so that she can have tea among the trees and also watch the great lightning shows we get in the wet season in the NT.

  4. Very inspiring Cath. I want to build a ‘tree like nature filled home’ at the farm one day. Plus lots of outdoor living. Love your natural decor touch.

  5. I used to love the pictures in my storybook version of the Swiss Family Robinson. How I would have loved a tree house overlooking the beach :)

  6. Well, you could settle for a wee treehouse in the backyard for the kids and visit them there often! There are actually many resorts that have treehouse lodging. That may satisfy your dream…

  7. i want a treehouse now! ;]

  8. I’d love a treehouse too. I blame The Swiss Family Robinson for making it look so appealing.

  9. Thank you for a wonderful post! We have a backyard full of trees, so we started building a tree house for our son. So far it’s more of a tree platform on one tree and another platform between two other trees. At some point the second platform will have a roof and walls and be connected to the first one by way of a rope bridge. As for the dream home… My main requirement is that it should have some unexpected and fun things in it, like a slide in addition to regular old stairs.

  10. Thanks for the lovely images.
    A resounding memory from my early childhood, living on a farm, is our tree house (it was just a simple platform with a ladder) next to a Mulberry Bush. We’d have afternoon tea in the tree house and sing “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush” whilst holding hands around the tree. Creating similar memories for my children, whether it’s part of our own garden or during a family holiday, is on my mental to-do list. Building the family home in a tree? Why not aim high?! :-)

  11. I do live in a treehouse (OK, we’re actually on a slope so the back of the house is on the ground), but it doesn’t look like these… but if I ever decide to rebuild, woah! And yes, hauling the groceries up from the car in the rain sucks. But living in a forest is amazing… and we have a wonderful view… and the birdlife! Best of all, it wasn’t at all expensive (maybe because it’s so darn small). But it’s wonderful and I love it, even when I am hauling 6 bags of groceries up the stairs.

  12. I love tree houses too and also have a tree house board on pinterest. Just started following yours. Thanks! They are beautiful.

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