12 dreamy treehouses for living in the trees

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Takashi Kobayashi / Treehouse People

credit: Takashi Kobayashi / Treehouse People

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Although they have their playful moments, these gorgeously designed tiny homes in the boughs prove that treehouses have a grown-up side as well.

It's hard to resist the appeal of a treehouse. From childhood retreat to grown-up getaway, there's something inherently lovely about getting up off the ground and into the trees. Who wouldn't want to escape it all to be surrounded by our noble arboreal neighbors, nestled in rustling leaves and birdsong? There's definitely a "treehouse culture" that is growing across the globe, as evidenced by the beautiful treehouse projects that have been sprouting up all over the place. The ones on the following pages are some of our favorites. They range from rustic to elegant, but all beautifully designed. And more often than not, include a playful element – slides, a trampoline bed, even a skate park! – that hint at the magic and wonder to be found in a home housed in trees.

1. Nasu Tea Treehouse
The Nasu Tea Treehouse, pictured above, is one of the beauties created by self-taught Japanese treehouse builder Takashi Kobayashi. As Kimberly writes, "Kobayashi sees the future of a sustainable culture as one that lives with trees..." Author of the 2008 book, Treedom, Kobayashi has built more than 120 treehouses, often using salvaged materials found at the building sites. "Along with Kobayashi's innovative design philosophy," Kimberly explains, "his treehouses are meant to also focus on raising awareness about the decline of forest stewardship, especially in Japan." See more of his marvelous work here: The Zen of treehouses: Japan's treehouse master Takashi Kobayashi.

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