Small Spaces in the New York Times

TreeHugger often complains that second homes are problematic, because of the resources consumed getting to and maintaining them. Perhaps a more appropriate option is to have it in your backyard or up a nearby tree. The Times shows a range of tree houses, from the extreme two-storey hotel version, to a 42 square foot bed in the trees, and a 2,000 square foot wheelchair-accessible playhouse. It also has the most obnoxious line we have seen in print that did not come from Don Imus, from a treehouse builder describing his clients: "Of course we can have treehouses; we're baby boomers, and we can have whatever we want, and we can have it now, and we have a lot of money."

Modest compared to some of the others, Christiana Wyly's 150 square foot guest cottage is built of redwood staves from old olive oil tanks. The stairs are covered with eucalyptus branches. I can't quite figure out the pointy copper bottom, though. ::New York Times

TreeHugger has covered its share of treehouses here, here and here.

Backyard retreats are popular among prefab-crazed architects and designers because in most cases, if they are under 100 square feet then building permits are not required. The Times shows a range of cutesy ones and missed the opportunity to show some of the great modern ones that have been designed in the last few years, and bizarrely includes the wee house, which is hardly a backyard retreat. However we were intrigued by Daphne's Caravans, which are not designed to be moved great distances but can be fitted out with two beds, shelves, a table, lighting and a mini-fridge when it is time to kick the kids out of the house. ::New York Times

Tags: Less Is More