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How to build a TREE HOUSE and then GET LAZY in it

It is a gorgeous~ gorgeous ~gorgeous day today.

So gorgeous, in fact, I am going to practice the art of getting lazy.  With a book.   And apple pie.

Ok, I wish I had the apple pie, but I am too lazy today.  For those of you who truly want an apple pie recipe that will knock your socks off…..and dead easy to make….well, stay tuned because I am posting that one soon too.  I live for apple pie.

Today is TREE HOUSE DAY.  I wish I could make it a national holiday.  Until then, I want to be able to help others create the space for themselves too.

There is an art to be able to build something and then throw yourself at it ….or in it…or to take the time to SLIDE DOWN IT ….

Reclaimed slide from old school playground

To create a space that is warm, and fun, and inviting…

To enjoy a space…for the young and old at heart…

Almost every nook and cranny is made from reclaimed, recycled, reused goods…..

Even if some of my neighbours don’t know that I stole some old windows from their yard heap. P.S. Hello Brian. Yes, this is one of your windows.  I thought it would be best to commit the sin first and ask for forgiveness later.  I will repay you with apple pie.  Deal ?

Of course, this is a “HOW TO” BUILD A TREE HOUSE , so without further adieu, here is how we did it.

 First, steal old windows from your neighbours. Jokes, Brian, I couldn’t resist.  Second, build on what you have.  We had some old tin roofing.  Wow, that came in handy.  Not for roofing, but for some of the walls.  We lined every wall with screening, so we didn’t have any critters flying around and buzzing our ears at night.  We need our sleep around here.

I know it probably sounds easy to just say “build on what you have”, but really it is not THAT huge of a task.  Tree houses are meant to made from old left over things.  That is what makes them….




Can you hear the excitement in my voice ?!!! I am screaming.  I love this stuff !!

 There are heaps of things out there folks….old windows, doors, decking….things that most people are dying to get rid of.  Take if off their hands and save it from a land fill site.

 Those old ratty things are like…..


Next, we used reclaimed wood for the counter tops, walls and flooring.  These counter tops were made from old trees that had to be cut from a friend’s property.

 I love the funky, uneven bark edging.  I can also say, publicly, that I did not steal this wood counter treasure trove.  I asked for that one.  Bet you are happy to hear that.  Or, you are glad you have never invited me to your house.  Hide the good stuff.   I might take it.

When we couldn’t steal a window, we made them.  Every window is installed differently, just for kicks.  This one rolls up with a rope and a pulley.  Others slide from side to side and some just do a normal hinge.  We had to do something normal.

We then added a swing into the mix.  Just good old rope and a left over piece of wood.  Voila ! Magic.

There are benefits to starting a tree fort.  Especially if you have friends.  Good friends.  Like the ones who just happen to  have funky things hanging around their house.  Like an old sink.  Truth be told, I owe a really nice pie recipe in exchange for this sink.  Better yet, when I am not feeling so lazy, I will bake a pie for my friend that I stole this sink from too.  It would appear that I owe a lot of apple pies at this point, huh ?

It wasn’t always a snap to figure things out.  We are still on our learning curve.  Trying to figure out our tree house washroom next.  Have any ideas ? Share with sugar bear.

We had a few mishaps along the way, and went through a few of these….

And it was messy and crazy to install the electrical.  Most of the mess was me duking it out with my bro the electrician.  Ok, there was no duking. I just wanted to say something rotten about him, because he is my brother.

It is not all fancy dancy.  Definitely chose low tech where possible…

In the spirit of true confessions, that is the only low tech install that we truly did.  A nail.

After all, I can’t help myself.  It is not a COMPLETELY  low tech~no tech tree house.  A space, wherever it may be, should feel warm and welcoming to all.  AND, I still need a place for my laptop and twitter fun.

….and…..not everything is WELCOME.  There are some exceptions…like critters!! This one is a Chatty Cathy.  I am learning to live with Mother Nature.  I was out of practice.  I lived in Paris for the past two years.  No complaints tho, it is not all bad.  As long as miss Chatty Cathy keeps it down a bit.

The second exception is my flowers… They are sadly neglected.  I need time to get lazy and maybe bake a pie.

Maybe, just maybe some day…..I may be able to enter our treehouse into this category…..See The World’s Top Treehouse Resorts.  Food for thought.  Until then….join me in my quest of laziness and share some of your best apple pie recipes with me.  After all, I have a few to bake.  Shall we compare recipes ?

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lynne-I think this is one of the most perfect examples of up-cycling I’ve ever seen! What a wonderful spot. My hubs is from Ont. and we used to spend many a weekend on Georgian Bay. I miss it terribly-are you near there? We 1st connected as I was starting Twitter and you were starting to blog. Your blog is great and you should be proud of this wonderful spot.
    Keep in touch

    September 30, 2011
  2. A perfect spot to kick back and enjoy! Hope it’s an apple tree you’re in, as you need to bake a lot of pies! I’ll help if you let me slide down the slide!
    xo Cathy

    September 12, 2011
  3. Catherine Doherty #

    Why is the chatty chipmunk named Cathy? Just kidding. I LOVE it. It has changed drastically since I saw it last. You are amazing. It looks gorgeous.

    September 12, 2011
  4. holy #^@%^#($@!!!! Enough room at the bar for the champagne, ice wine, chocolate, bread and cheese! ;)

    What a gorgeous tree house… simply gorgeous!

    September 12, 2011
  5. Absolutely beautiful! I’m in awe! I could spend the summer there quite happily!

    September 12, 2011
  6. Wowza! That is just something else. I’ve always wanted a tree house when I was a little girl, but one for adults!?! This is fantastic!!

    September 12, 2011
  7. Wow this is inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I want to visit. I make a really wonderful house guest… ;)

    September 12, 2011
  8. So beautiful, Lynne! I could definitely find peace and serenity in that place. What an amazing job you guys have done. Enjoy some apple pie and here is the apple pie recipe I make every year for Thanksgiving would love to see your recipe too : )

    September 12, 2011

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