A Treehouse Fit for Three

This summer, we got to work on an incredibly unique project.  Clients typically come to us for our modern, neutral aesthetic.  This time, we were given free reign with color, creativity, and playfulness.  Our client reached out to us last spring telling us that they were moving their three children (two boys, one girl) into the third floor of their home, where they would all share a room.  At the time, the room was one large open space with a high, pitched ceiling, and doors leading to roof decks on either side.  One big room, three kids.  We were told, “the kids love color, otherwise, it’s free reign”.  Challenge accepted.

Getting started

We started by dividing the room into zones.  Naturally, we figured the little girl might want a break from her brothers every so often.  So, we gave her a zone on one side with a shared “play” zone separating her from her brothers.  We then studied different ways to play with the ceiling height and the other existing architecture features in the room.  For instance, there is a bumpout in the middle zone and doors and windows on either side.  To play with these features, we incorporated them into the design as much as possible.  Soon, our zones were developed into the treehouse design.

The design

The daughter’s zone was to become a little house, complete with a front door, windows with shutters and flowerbox.  The boys would get built-in bunk beds.  This gave the boys privacy and a a cozy little nook of their own.  The central zone evolved into what we called, the “Treehouse”.  Using the walls created from the house and the bunkbeds, we created a loft space above, with a rock wall and ladder leading up to it and completed the space with some life-sized tree cut-outs at the front and back.  Below are a few “before photos” and a diagram illustrating the zones we created.

Before…

The concept

Before we started swinging any hammers, we had to communicate our concept to the client.  At DGI, we always stress the importance of 3D visualization so clients know exactly what to expect and can make adjustments to the design before it’s too late.  Here are the renderings we presented to our client, showing exactly how our vision would come to life.

After

I’m not sure who was more excited, the kids or the parents, but shortly after the presentation, we were bringing the concept to reality.  To really drive the feeling of being outdoors, we used carpet tiles that resemble moss growing in stone pavers and laid them out in a way that created a walkway to the “front door” of the daughter’s house, with “grass” one the sides by each wall.  And what treehouse is complete without a swing?  We tethered this piece to the floor so the kids can’t kick out and windows but can still get a taste of playing in their backyard while living in the heart of the city.  Here are photos of the completed project!

  

We love when clients trust us to push boundaries and get creative with the design.  Needless to say, we are all thrilled with how this project turned out and had the best time letting our inner child run free with this design.

Devon began her career in design while working at an architecture firm during high school. She went on to each a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Northeastern University, followed by a Masters of Art in Interior Design from Suffolk University. With a background in both architecture and interior design, Devon looks at spaces holistically and creates designs that are cohesive to tell a clear story about their users.

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