Modern tree houses: live the high life” – Christopher Middleton – The Daily Telegraph

Modern tree houses are just as popular with adults as they are with children.

Once upon a time, tree houses were only for children. Now, though, all that has changed…

Paul Cameron, of Treehouse Life agrees. “Tree houses start off as being a nice idea for the children,” he says. “But not far in the background, there is usually an adventurous dad who likes climbing trees, or a mum who likes having friends around for a glass of chilled chardonnay and is looking to create a nice venue.”

I’m just finishing a tree house project where the clients have specifically requested a sundowners’ deck, for evening drinks.”

View of family deck platform alongside river and attached to kids play-house Treehouse.
Treehouse and ‘suppers-deck‘ overlooking the River Avon

So while the modern tree house comes fitted with traditional rope ladders and child-friendly clamber nets, it will also sport a discreet veranda or two, for grown-up get-togethers and the obligatory view-admiring.

Tree houses are increasingly in vogue, their growing popularity due in part to our increased interest in environmental issues, particularly sustainable living. Considerable research has been conducted into safer building practices and nowadays better technology is available to builders. One feature that can often make tree houses more adult-friendly as well as fun for children is the fixed external staircase, an addition that Rosemary Attenborough from Kent added to hers. “Originally, I imagined the only way up to the tree house would be by climbing a dangling stepladder,” says Rosemary, who had a tree house built for her seven grandchildren in her garden near Sevenoaks. “I’m very pleased that our builder suggested we install fixed stairs, so that the adults could get up there, too.

Television producer Ian Hopkins went one further at The Lodge, his hideaway country house in Argyll. He built a £60,000 loch-side tree house, in which he hosts groups of paying guests. “We use it for poker evenings, dinner parties and weddings,” he says. “From the veranda, you can look out across the water; in the daytime, you might see dolphins, and at night, the heavens are alight with stars.” Perched high in the branches of an old Scots pine, Ian’s tree house has a rather Swiss Family Robinson look to it, but these days, arboreal abodes come in all shapes and sizes.

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