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Toy Box: At Home in the Trees

As a child, one of my favorite poems was Shel Silverstein's "Tree House." I dreamed of having a tree house I could escape to when I needed a minute alone. Now that I am about to move, I couldn't help but go ga-ga over this Tree Top Inn designed by Barbara Butler. The multi-tree, multi-level house has a 17-foot swinging bridge, an eight-foot straight bridge, a club house with a tin roof, a balcony, several decks, and a winding staircase. The San Francisco-based Butler creates a variety of backyard play structures for kids and adults, often using colorful redwood and including a secret escape hatch in each model.

To see why my dream may be put on hold,


It's easy to see why celebrities like Bobby McFerrin, Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, Robert Redford, and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have commissioned Butler to make custom play areas. The designs are unique and fun for the whole family, if not the entire neighborhood. But with prices ranging from $25,000 to $156,000 (like for the Tree Top Inn), it may be a while before I'm asking her to build one.

Join The Conversation
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I love tree houses! I hope I can have one built for my children one day.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
awesome! i totally thought i'd have one of these for my girls :( maybe for my grandkids.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
If I could afford it, I'd totally get one of those for my son! I'm sure you can find cheaper ones too.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 9 years
My husband and I are obsessed with tree houses -- my husband especially! When we move out of our townhouse into a "real" house and have children, we'll definitely try and build one in the backyard. I doubt it'll be as extravagant as the one above though, hehe. The one my husband worked on while he was still living at home with his parents had to be taken down via an order from the city. Boo hoo!
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