Recently I watched Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and found myself immersed in the land of fairies and princesses. About mid-way through I was craving instead, Tom Sawyer with a very young Jodi Foster, and Swiss Family Robinson. When I was young I thought there would be nothing better than living in a tree house and even now I think it would be a little slice of heaven. How could you not be in love with a tortoise-shell sink, a sky light in your bedroom and a tree house built on a deserted island in the south pacific? I have also been in love with a series of tree house books. When it came into the store I knew I had to have, Exceptional Treehouses. I spent my Friday afternoon pouring over pictures of tree houses all across Europe and reading the romantic descriptions of each unique house and tree. This book is beautiful and includes sketches and floor plans of each house. Pictures of houses, with actual bathrooms and full on plumbing made my dream seem more of a reality.  And the combination of solitude and perfect party spot made me want to build one and invite everyone I know. Alain Laurens created the Treehouse Aloft in 2000 and has become Europe’s leading tree house architecture company. His work shows true harmony with nature to the point where it appears that the house grew along with the tree. Here is what Alain has to say about one of his houses outside of Paris,

Some treehouses really look like roosts. In some ways a treehouse is similar to a wading bird, like a long-beaked heron clothed in wood, standing acrobatically on one leg. Winter is the time when, stripped of its leaves, the tree’s birdlike form is most clearly revealed. After ascending the staircase you reach the nest, tucked amid the branches. Do the leaves transform the treehouse in a roost? Or is the child’s imagination nourished by the tree? The fact that the child is an adult makes not the slightest difference.

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