tree house in Washington state
Photo: Julia Kuskin
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A Cut Above

From Up a Tree, May 2003

Nestled within a grove of Douglas fir and hemlocks, this cozy little shingled tree house is equal parts Swiss Family Robinson and Brothers Grimm. (That sinuous hand-carved casing above the arched doorway is pure German Romantic.) With no yard to care for, there would be plenty of time to relax on its broad, curving deck, situated 15 feet above the forest floor, and enjoy the fine views and piney scents of this arboreal perch. If it rains—this is Washington state, after all—retreating to the 315-square-foot cottage is no hardship with so many windows that bring lots of light into the wood-lined interior. There's even a bathroom equipped with a waterless, electrically operated, incinerating toilet. The lack of running water might be a minor inconvenience, but if those Swiss Robinsons could manage to live in a tree, I'm sure I could, too.

—Thomas Baker, building and technology editor
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