A Treehouse Adventure
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we invited readers to pitch us ideas, and we sent five of them on assignment. This writer and his brother went out on a limb to report back on several treehouse hotels in the Pacific Northwest.
Before Eve and Eryn became hotel rooms, they were only for family and friends. Now honeymooners and pregnant couples who want a "womb-within-a-womb" experience are booking stays. Tom currently has plans to add one more sphere, which is in production. He may move them to a new piece of land, though, if his neighbor continues clear-cutting.
We climb up to Eryn. Tom's boatbuilding background is immediately evident. The teak interior and circular windows call to mind a glamorous yacht. There's a coatroom, cupboards, shelving, booth seating with a table, a countertop with a sink, a double bed, and a bunk—and not a hint of unused space. Yet the room doesn't feel cramped and can sleep three. (The nearest toilet is an outhouse down on the ground.)
A microwave, a fridge, an iPod docking station, electrical outlets, and reading lights add convenience to the charm. Even modest movement causes the sphere to jiggle, however. When I slide out of the bunk, my brother bounces like he's in a Jolly Jumper.
The following morning, Tom shows us his workshop. Except for the windows, each entire sphere is crafted here, including all metal handles, hinges, and brackets. I step through the doorway of Melody, the sphere in production. The acoustics are wacky; words reverberate the moment they leave my lips. As I exit, Tom vocalizes what I've been feeling throughout my incredible journey: It's high time we start thinking outside the box about our living spaces.
6922 Preston-Fall City Rd. SE, Issaquah, Wash., 425/441-8087, treehousepoint.com, $149
17815 433rd Ave. SE, Gold Bar, Wash., 206/465-6797, skyriverhaven.com, $100
Free Spirit Spheres
420 Horne Lake Rd., Qualicum Bay, B.C., 250/757-9445, freespiritspheres.com, from $125