I think that I shall never see a home as lovely as a tree

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Swiss Family Robinson attraction at Disney World

Hi ya Design Crisis fans!  I’m Raina and I’ll be filling in for Karly today while she’s drunkenly heckling Pottery Barn shoppers on vacation.  My days are spent chasing my two-year-old daughter around and writing a couple of little interior design blogs, “If The Lamp Shade Fits” and “The Daily Bed.”  I’ve worked in design and retail since my teen years and previously owned an interiors shop and a clothing boutique for nearly a decade.  Enough about me, let’s get to today’s topic…

Who doesn’t love a tree house?  Given the worldwide economic bloodletting and skyrocketing home foreclosure rate, les cabanes dans un arbre (it’s sexier in French) may soon become the shelter of choice if not necessity.  Let’s take a tour through some superlative examples of the genre.

Stockholm-based architects Tham + Videgard Hansson Arkitekter have designed a hotel with individual rooms to be suspended in trees and accessed by rope ladders and bridges.

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The suites will be clad in mirrored glass so as to give the structures a Harry Potter-esque cloak of invisibility.

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Each unit will sleep two people and include a living room, double bed, small kitchen, bathroom and roof terrace.  The hotel is due to start construction in 2010.

Continuing with the box-in-a-tree theme, Canadian architects StudioLukaszkos designed this award-winning 410-square-foot lakeside project called “4treehouse.”  The first floor contains a sheltered bedroom with the two upper floors open to the elements.

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British builder Amazon Tree Houses creates “inspirational bespoke retreats for inspired locations.”  Budgets for these more traditional fairy tale tree houses start at $7500 and head upwards of $150,000 (and beyond).

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Lest you think tree houses can only be built in mighty oaks, I give you the “Palm-Fiction” designed by German builder BaumRaum.

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BaumRaum (translation “tree room”) combines “the creative and constructive expertise of an architect with the long-standing experience of a landscape architect, a tree expert, and established, reputable craftsmen.”  Working internationally, the design firm specializes in modern shapes and luxe interiors.

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As part of a recent marketing campaign for the New Zealand Yellow Pages, a tree house restaurant was built in a giant redwood (all suppliers to the project were Yellow Pages advertisers).  The restaurant, located north of Auckland on a privately-owned redwood plantation, was a limited-run engagement open from January 9th to February 9th. The structure, now available for private parties, seats 18 people on split levels with service provided from a kitchen located on the ground.

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If you prefer to live out your tree house dreams in the safety and warmth of your own home, you may want to think about one of these fantasy beds.

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Under the Apple Tree” canopy bed from Attila Design.

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Tree Bed” from Shawn Lovell Metalworks.

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Tree House” loft bed from VIP Kids.

For further inspiration, check out the tree house porn coffee table book “Treehouse Living: 50 Innovative Designs.”

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See thee in the canopy!