Faraway Treehouse sits on the edge of deciduous woodland with panoramic views across the landscape. The building was designed as flexible, niche holiday accommodation, and its theatrical interior, with its chandeliers and antique chic features, is the perfect backdrop for a couple on a romantic retreat. Look a little harder and you will find discreet platform beds and a nursery nook providing the opportunity for a family treehouse adventure .
The approach to the treehouse is along a magical, meandering path through the woods, with the first tantalising glimpse of the outlines of the three curved roofs becoming visible up amongst the trees. Sitting up on its tree-like steel supports, the treehouse fits neatly between the woodland's mature trees.
The external form of the treehouse is based around a fairytale-like concept , and composed of three little 'houses ', each with its own distinctive cladding or orientation. Horizontal waney edge Larch boards, cedar shingles and vertical Siberian Larch boards clad the 'houses' and the linking sections between the three curved roofs. Internally the treehouse opens up, with each space clearly defined by its fixtures, and, of course, with a separate bathroom. At the rear of the treehouse sits its very own nest...
Designed to be installed with minimal disturbance to the woodland habitat, the treehouse was constructed off site. The platform's structure was assembled on site, and is anchored to screw piles set carefully into the woodland floor, avoiding the need for digging or concrete foundations. Prefabricated in the ECHO workshop, the building was delivered in sections which were designed to be lifted, assembled and bolted onto the platform.
The treehouse is designed to be almost entirely off grid, with four 250w solar panels providing renewable energy to power a 12v system running the lights and fridge. The small hob and instant water heater run off bottled gas, and a composting toilet has been installed. An efficient 5kw wood burning stove heats the space, and walls floor and roof are all super insulated with thick sheep wool and double glazed for year round use.
At the top of the stair, the stable door entrance opens into the living space., and the distinctive Faraway interior continues the woodland theme inside. The farm's own vintage kitchen unit with Belfast sink was refurbished and has been incorporated into the space . Remodelled, it has a small two ring gas hob and an integrated fridge. A duck egg blue enamelled wood burner sits on a slate hearth against on the opposite wall , between two floor to ceiling picture windows; visitors can sit on the settee and enjoy both the view and a flickering stove. Upcycled antique decorative features, including display shelves , patterned panels , and ceramic mosaic have been handcrafted by the owner; and her reclaimed, woodland themed chandelier has been converted to use the off grid, 12v system. A set of three minimal blown glass light fittings above the worktop provide task lighting, and compliment the quirky chandelier.
To one side of the living space the double bedroom's feature bed incorporates branch details to continue the treehouse theme ; a discreet upper bed platform above forms a canopy over the the double bed, creating a tiny 'treehouse' above with its own little circular window onto the woods, mirroring the window on the opposite wall with its view onto the fields beyond. The platform is accessible by a feature Shaker style, ash ladder fixed to the side A full height picture window offers a view from the double bed and the platform over the pond, and a painted wooden shutter to the side opens to let the sounds and smells of the woodland in to the bedroom. A contemporary chandelier sparkles in the bedroom's vaulted ceiling. Tucked behind the bed head is a separate little space, quiet but connected to the main bedroom , which can be used as a restful little nursery.
At the opposite end of the house is the bathroom with its roll top, freestanding bath which sits under a ribbon window running the full length of the room, just at the right height for contemplating the woodland from a hot bath. A vintage, console table , refurbished to take a counter top basin with wall mounted tap, sits against a tiled panel below a little side window,. A white composting toilet, indistinguishable on first sight from a conventional WC , completes the bathroom suite. The bathroom's vaulted ceiling has been painted by the owner in lush green with gold stencils, and her glittering chandelier and vintage mirror further enhance the tiny Baroque interior.
The small hallway and a second stable door leads out to the treehouse's own cedar-lined nest; a woven branch clad, outdoor perch for visitors to sit up in the trees, taking in the woodland's peaceful sights and sounds, and the view across the pond to an unbroken horizon.