Tucked into the woods on an island in the San Juans is a treetop getaway borne of imagination, adventure…and a whole lot of carrying supplies from point A to B. The treehouse is the brainchild of Daryl McDonald, designer and project manager at Nelson Treehouse. He, along with a team of intrepid and experienced builders, helped make this treetop dream a reality.
The builders at Nelson Treehouse know a thing or two about creating cozy dwellings up high. They’ve built hundreds of treehouses around the world, including a poker treehouse for Shaq, a tasting room for Angry Orchard, and a techie, tree-top workspace for Microsoft. Their work was even documented in a television show, “Treehouse Masters,” which aired on Animal Planet for 11 seasons.
For this project, the homeowners wanted a kid-friendly getaway that the adults could also enjoy. The result is a modern, elegant structure modelled off the clients’ main waterfront home. The treehouse offers an arboreal view of the property; it’s held aloft by two sturdy Douglas firs, surrounded by acres of dense woods.
Playful touches, like a fire pole and a suspension bridge, bring imagination into the picture. More practical features include a kitchenette, sleeping loft, spacious living area, and a bathroom with a composting toilet. A rain screen siding system and single sloped roof protect against mold and rot.
While the building process was less than straightforward — there’s no ferry service to the island, so the team had to barge out every day before hiking large materials deep into the woods — McDonald admits the scenery was more than worth it.
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