About 18 years ago, contractor and treehouse-builder Doug Studebaker began constructing this whimsical sky-high retreat. Over the last four years, the treehouse transformed from a kid-friendly headquarters to a vacation destination for travelers from all across the world.
Nestled into a majestic coastal live oak, the Studebakers’ treehouse harbors two beds, sleeps four people, and features a rope swing and wrap-around deck. Airbnb guests can soak up views of the San Francisco Bay. After witnessing this magical creation for myself, I chatted with Doug for a more detailed view of his design.
“Thinking back I found motivation to create the treehouse from a combination of just being a ‘good dad’ and the opportunity to do something creative and highly original. I’ve always enjoyed building and creating unique spaces.”
“Trees are growing, moving and organic. Having built many treehouses over the years, I’ve learned that design and construction must be both creative and evolutionary during the building process…One gains this insight by being up in the trees with an open mind. The information is there if we go there and listen.”
“Vintage windows and French doors, some with stained glass elements, added to the whimsical aesthetics we were trying to achieve. The abundance of windows allowed us to take advantage of the beautiful views across a tree-filled canyon, as well as across San Francisco Bay with its continuously changing weather patterns.”
“I love that the tree trunks wind their way through this treehouse. I love the kid-friendly sleeping loft and the fact that the morning sun from the East comes filtering in through the leaves in the morning…These simple, but thoughtful aspects of the construction process have made all the difference with this treehouse.”
“This two-flight stairs approach added stability, intrigue and safe access to our structure floating above in the branches and leaves. How a treehouse is accessed is an important and creative aspect of the overall design. Making access subtle and not entirely obvious ads to the intrigue and specialness of construction in a tree.”