Hudnalls Hideout. An 'A Frame' Treehouse
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Frosty leaves were underfoot and there was a brisk chill in the air on the day of my first visit to the location where Sarah and Adrian hoped to build a treehouse. Heading down from their house we chatted and meandered through a wintery woodland, where, after a few minutes a clearing opened up on the left.
"this is where we thought the treehouse could go", Sarah announced. And sure enough, it was indeed a perfect spot.
Natural clearings are obviously a preferred location for a treehouse or any type of woodland build, as they facilitate minimal disturbance, but they are rarely completely clear, so we checked what would still need to removed. Not that we like to remove any growing things, but it's less painful if they are common, invasive, or in poor health, and fortunately minimal clearing was needed here.
Creating the Hudnalls Hideout Treehouse Design
On our way back to the house I stopped here and there to note the leaves, patterns and hues about us which might provide inspiration for the final overall style and colour scheme, for me at least, treehouses should, ideally, somehow echo the woodland they reside within.
Once back in the toasty kitchen, we gathered around the table and got down to the treehouse design. Sarah and Adrian had their hearts set on an 'A frame' of some sort and whilst they had already commissioned a design elsewhere, they felt it lacked the 'va-va-voom' that they were really looking for, so, we explored some different variations. I can't remember how I came by it, but Sarah was immediately drawn to the double apex, twin level roof style, and from there on it was a case of refining the design by the oh-so talented Matt, choosing claddings, and floorplans. It sounds easy if you say it fast enough, but these decisions can take a while!
The Treehouse Build
Winter isn't the best time to build a treehouse deep in a woodland, and the poor guys battled not only with issues caused by a very restricted access, but the highest rainfall in years, so as ever, a huge 'well done' to the build team. As much locally sourced timbers were used, including hazel coppiced from the surrounding hazels for the balustrade around the deck, creating a gentle divide between the treehouse itself and the woodlands beyond.
The initial interior rustic style evolved over time and eventually settled more along a retro theme in response to a partnership that Sarah arranged with MADE.COM. The motif focus also shifted from an oak leaf to the forest ferns, and this can be found dotted around the treehouse, sometimes even the best laid plans can be developed! Shopping trips to local stores and long phone calls about colour choices and furnishings resulted in a contemporary-rustic interior that compliments both the treehouse design and prevailing trends. As a side note, it's interesting how different interiors can attract certain rental fees.
Publicity and Performance
Paying attention to the creative element of a treehouse development might feel a little 'arty' to some, but it pays off. Since it's launch, Hudnall's Hideout has featured in Conde Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, The Times, Homes & Gardens, Red, Sunday Times, British Airways Highlife, The Guardian, and Weekend Candy. It was a finalist in the Rural Business Awards, and featured in Chanel 4's TV programme 'Extraordinary Escapes', where it was subsequently picked as one of the presenter's 'favourite 4' in the Radio Times. It is achieving almost 100% occupancy with a low-season weekend rate of £995, and there is a waiting list of over 1200 people. it's one of the top performing treehouses in the UK.
It was a fantastic project to be involved in, a huge thank you to Sarah and Adrian for choosing to work with us. They were a joy to work with and we hope that they, and their guests, enjoy every moment!
“Working with Kate was a reassuring experience, I knew that Kate is well-respected in the glamping industry and has a great eye for creating a differentiated guest experience. So I worked with Kate on the treehouse design, and styling to complement furnishings through a partnership with MADE.COM.
Kate picked out signature styling features to create a WOW guest experience, like the suspended retro fireplace and stunning verdigris tiles in the wet room. It was important to us that the treehouse didn’t look like any old designer hotel room or too curated from one brand, and all worked harmoniously to create a treehouse that feels contemporary and luxurious but still individual and unique, and the guests love it! Kate is also a great sounding board and consummate professional. Thank you Kate.”
Sarah Orchard, Director – The Hudnalls Hideout Treehouse www.hudnallshideout.co.uk