Frosty leaves were underfoot and there was a brisk chill in the air on the day of our 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 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 we 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 us at least, treehouses and cabins should somehow echo the woodland they reside within.
Once back in the toasty kitchen, we gathered around the table and got down to Hudnalls treehouse design. Sarah and Adrian had their hearts set on an 'A frame' of some sort and whilst they had commissioned a design elsewhere they felt it lacked the 'va-va-voom' that they were really looking for, so, we explored some different variations and Sarah was immediately drawn to a double apex, twin level roof style, and from there on it was a case of refining the design and choosing the 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, let alone one with no vehicular access, and the poor guys battled not only with issues caused by the restricted access, but the highest rainfall in years. 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 a leading online furniture store. 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 a different level of 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, along with a top marketing campaign, since its 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 one of the top performing privately owned treehouses in the UK.