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5 Hotel Style | The Treehouse + Free Printable!

    Photos by Lynne Knowlton. 

Earlier this month we featured the idyllic treehouse owned by Lynne Knowlton, her husband Michael and their family in the Ontario countryside in our Summer 10 year blog Anniversary Magazine on Issuu.  We couldn't pass on the chance to also feature it here on the blog and include it in our collection of Hotel Style posts.

If you missed the article, we interviewed Lynne, asking her a few questions about their treehouse and surrounding property.  Since then too, she has finished her renovations on the Airstream trailer they've added to the setting, which we have a collection of new images to share here on the blog. The trailer and treehouse are all available to rent via Airbnb and their site.  Here's our original interview and a few new images!

When we first happened upon this idyllic treehouse, we were in complete awe. Despite all our years online, we managed to miss this beautiful oasis right in our own Canadian backyard. Not only is it a gem, but so are its’ owners, Lynne Knowlton, her husband Michael and their family. Their story will pull at your heart strings, as Michael battles a rare form of blood cancer and it will also warm your heart, as they focus on the positive to keep following their dreams and inspire others to do the same. All documented in Lynne’s beautiful and inspiring blog, Design the Life You Want to Live. Their 100 acre property in the Ontario countryside is a dream come true, and we were delighted to hear they rent out the treehouse in summer months and this summer they’ve been refurbishing an airstream for visitors to enjoy.We asked Lynne a few questions about their adorable treehouse and surrounding property:

Q. What started the idea of building a treehouse? It's such a cute design, did you design it?

Lynne: The idea of a treehouse goes back to a time when we were kids. Making up secret handshakes in the backyard tree fort, even if it was just a cardboard box. Fast forward to adulthood and not much has changed. *smile*

We have four kids and live in a 100 year old farmhouse in the Canadian countryside. About 5 years ago, we thought it would be fun to have a treehouse for our kiddos. Initially, we attempted to build it on our own. That was an epic fail. I didn’t feel like the sharpest pencil in the pencil case when it came to that project. Ha! I truly thought ‘can a treehouse be really THAT hard to make?' Uhhhm. Apparently. It was time to hire a pro.

Our local contractor has a quaint little treehouse that I fell head over heels in love with. It has twinkle lights, a wrap around porch and the occasional firefly. It looks like heaven on earth. I was treehouse smitten and determined to build one (but not by myself) haha.

For additional treehouse inspiration, I showed our contractor a photo of a rickety old shack in the trees. I had no idea what would happen from there. We moved away to Paris, France and had all treehouse communication by email only. We returned home two years later and WOWSERS! There was a gorgeous treehouse. It’s amazing what can happen when you give wonderful souls creative license on a project. Good things happen. At that point, it was just the initial walls and basic floor, but it was the beginning of the treehouse journey.

We slowly chipped away at it for the next few years. I’m a blogger, and thought it may be coolio to blog about it and share inspiring ways to decorate small spaces. I wrote about it long before it was trendy to have a treehouse. I simply wrote about it, because I flipping love it and thought that everyone should experience a treehouse…even if they did it virtually and from afar. It’s all good. We eventually decided to rent it out on my blog, AirBnB and TripAdvisor. We discovered that really interesting people rent treehouses. Legit. It has been so fun!

Guests say things like “ the treehouse smells like lavender, cedar, fresh air and dreams” and that they leave the treehouse with a “quiet mind and a full heart.”

Q. Is it true everything is built from recycled materials including a barn from friends?

Lynne: Recycled materials get my mojo running. LOVE. I’m crazy about 100 year old doors, worn windows and whitewashed barn beams. My design style is clean white lines mixed with character and whimsy. I like to work with what I’ve got and try to keep the budget as low as possible. It almost never happens, but technically it’s my goal.

I believe that our minds are busy enough, and using clean lines and uncluttered spaces really make a space feel peaceful. I work with reclaimed materials as much as possible. When the opportunity to buy a barn came, I jumped at it.

The treehouse does have some new structural elements, but the majority of the building is a reclaimed barn. My friend lost her barn in a tornado. The insurance company suggested that she burn it. *oh my *
Knowing that I love to work with reclaimed, up cycled materials in an eclectic way, she asked if we would like to buy the raw materials of the 100 year old barn. She knew they would go to a good home and that was important to her.

We hired the local Amish to help us dismantle the barn and transfer it to our property. That was 4 years ago. The Amish are still near and dear to our heart. We work with them all the time. They are now creating Artisan style handcrafted wooden wheels and door track hangers for the DIY sliding door hardware tutorial on my blog. It’s d’bomb dot com

Q. We see you have other buildings nearby too, can you explain what they are.

Lynne: I sure can. We are building a dining area /lounge at the moment with an upper sleeping loft. With the new building, we will be able to comfortably accommodate 4 people in the treehouse rental. It won’t be ready until the spring next year.

Last summer, we built the ‘laTREEn’ which is the treehouse bathroom. It is a tiny 10 x 10 cabin and it was truly one of my fave DIY projects. Who knew that a bathroom would be one of my proudest accomplishments??! A toity!! It's built from reclaimed, recycled materials with the exception of the toilet and faucets {that would just be gross *snicker*} They were my splurge from Brizo and I abso-tootly love ‘em.

A barn with a chandelier too!

Q: Tell us a bit about your airstream nd where it is planned in the scheme of things on the property. When will it be ready?

Lynne: Oh la la, we did just buy a 31 ft. 1976 International Land Yacht airstream!! If you're wearting rose coloured glasses, it's a diamond in the rough. It may be my biggest design challenge so far, but I love the whole dang messy thaaang. I have a girl crush.

I have been dreaming of owning an Airstream for f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and a day. For inspiration, I created a glamping board on Pinterest and put forty nine billion photos in there. I have always wanted to get hitched in an airstream.

We have created a wee spot on our property with a little river rock pad for the Airstream gal. She will be parked at the pond and gussied up with twinkle lights, charcoal BBQ and fun pond floaties. My goal is to have the Airstream done for Aug 1st but that may be a lofty goal. I’ll be sharing the journey on my blog and renting the airstream via my blog to guests from August to October.

Because the treehouse is quite booked up for the season, the Airstream will give guests a chance to experience the 100 acre property and pool without having to wait until next year for a booking. It should be amazeballs.

Q. You rent out the treehouse — all year round, or just in spring, summer and fall?

Lynn: Because the treehouse isn’t insulated, we close it up for the winter. Insert *sad face* When the pool is covered with a big black winter tarp, I want to declare it National Depression Day. I’m usually balled up on the floor in fetal position dreading winter snow storms. Joking. Not joking. The one treehouse bonus of the winter season is that it makes for great photo shoots. We have worked with photographers and brands like Roots Canada for some pretty fantastic photo sesh’s in the treehouse.

We have 100 acres of fields and forests mixed with walking trails. If I farmed it, we would all be eating weeds for dinner. We have a local young farmer who works our land. We wanted to keep the integrity of the narrow laneway and forested edges of the property. We love working with a farmer who doesn’t clear cut the trees for large machinery. I adore the trees.

Oh! And did we mention the new teepee?

We have walking trails that are ohhhh so relaxing to walk. There are deer, wild turkey and an occasional Canada Goose. Grrrrr. We can’t help it, they just invite themselves over. I do love having deer on the property. I’ve been known to try to photograph the deer in the wee hours of the morning. Note to self: Do not chase deer while wearing bright pink pyjamas. I ended up with photos of weeds.

Psssst! And fun news! Lynne has a present for you!  She is offering a free printable of her treehouse print by B.C. artist, Michelle Molligna of I Dream of Chairs.  Click here to sign up for yours!

More info about the Treehouse property at lynneknowlton.com.

Thank you Lynne!


2 9 Rad IKEA RAST Hacks

The IKEA RAST seems to be a popular pick for the DIY set.  The possibilities are rather endless and just recently we seemed to run into so many, we gathered them for a post.  From mid-century modern to even a Brownie Camera, here's nine rad makeovers worth bookmarking!

1.  The Box Camera Dresser
by Prodigal Pieces
How amazing is this paint job of a Brownie Camera? Get the how to here.

2. Slick + Modern
by Mid Western Girl
A slick modern version with some nice brass hardware.  Get the how-to here.

3. Traditional White
by Armelle
A clean white paint job makes for a nice traditional bedside table. Click here for more info.

4.  Mid-Century Modern + Bright
by Bliss at Home
We've mentioned this one here before, but can't be skipped! Love the yellow and white cut out in this makeover. Click here for more info.

5.  Weathered Grey DIY
by Live Love DIY
A pretty paint colour and hardware combination. Click here for the instructions.

6. Cool Woodgrain
by Livet Hemma
The faux wood of years past has stood the test of time with this project. Click here for more info.

7. French Farmhouse
by Serendipity Refined
Inspiration industrial-style.  Click here for more info.

8. A Decal DIY
by Petite Vintage Interiors
A clever idea using a decal kit.  More info here.

9. The Plank Look
by Cherished Bliss
A really cool way to get a faux plank look. Click here for the instructions.

Which is your favorite?
Click here for more IKEA hacks.


1 9 New + Cool Decorating Tricks from IKEA Stylists

A dream job would be to work in Almhult, Sweden and create beautiful vignettes all day yes?  IKEA's stylists have to be some of the best out there. Here's 9 new vignettes, each with a cool decorating trick to bookmark from IKEA's Livet Hemma blog.

1. DIY - CROWN Rorschach
Inspired by the mythical Rorschach test and framed in the smaller RIBBA frames. Pull out google translator for instructions. Click here for the project.

Anna L-B, Livet Hemma redaktionen Livet Hemma
2. Boho in the Kitchen
We like this set up using the FINTORP rail close to both the stove and sink . Nice for hanging kitchen favorites on and double nice for when they are so handy . Hang up photos and quotes for an easy boho feeling.  See more here.

Kristin Lagerqvist, Krickelin för Livet Hemma
3. Stool Becomes End Table
The new SINNERLIG podium, designed Isle Crawford, makes the perfect bedside table as seen in this sweet and feminine bedroom. Click here to take a closer look.

Pella Hedeby, Livet Hemma-redaktionen
4. Cool Storage
The limited edition HEMSMAK collection opens infinite possibilities when it comes to organizing and storing. In addition to the kitchen and pantry, they are suitable for the creative studio also!

5. Curtain Rod Wall Hanging DIY
A vintage kimono becomes a nice decoration in this Japanese-inspired bedroom. Get the look with the SANNOLIKT curtain rod, and suspend a kimono. Click here for more info.

Pella Hedeby, Livet Hemma-redaktionen
6. An Autumn Moodboard
Paint directly on the wall or as here on a door or desktop that acts as a message board for an autumn mood boar. Click here for the details.

Pella Hedeby, Livet Hemma-redaktionen
7. Tea Towels Become Table Napkins
We love this scene for a late summer crayfish party.  The cool decorating trick though are those .69¢ white and red TEKLA tea towels, perfect for a set of table napkins for a small party.  Click here to see more.

8. Outdoor Carpet
Make picnicking outdoors super-lux by adding some plush carpet to the spread.  See more here.

9. Mix Old and New
Get ready for back to school with a fall palette, mixing old with new.  Click here to see more.

Anna L-B, Livet Hemma redaktionen


1 The Social Sessions | Growing A Following

Clockwise Top Left: Joy Cho, Tamara Taggart, Earl Einarson, Jan Halvarson, Jaime Derringer, Monika Hibbs

We don't talk about the business side of things often in this space, but if you're interested and would you like to hear about our journey on Pinterest and about our road to over 8 Million followers there we will be sharing our experience at a panel, 'Growing a Following' at Social Sessions at IDSwest this year in September.

We are excited to be partnering with the Interior Design Show West to bring this blogging and social media conference to our hometown, which is the perfect event, merging our love for everything design and home decor and how we share it online. Also, this is something we think has been long overdue here on the west coast of Canada!  We are thrilled to be telling our story (first time ever) to our local Vancouver audience! (A very rare occasion we might add).

Pinterest is still the number one referrer to our site (over and above all other social channels) and we will be talking about how we think you can improve your Pinterest along with other social media channels on our panel with three other successful social media panelists, Jaime Derringer of Design Milk , Tamara Taggart and Monika Hibbs. All have had successes on their social channels including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, each with different perspectives from TV, fashion and art.

The conversational-style panel (moderated by Earl Einarson, Co-founder of Poppytalk and BCIT Instructor, Digital Design and Trends) should be a huge resource for anyone interested in growing their following online and on social media.  As the online landscape changes, so does the way we communicate there and adapting to those changes from our blogs to our social channels. This panel will address our experiences, our growth and how we have adapted to new platforms, from being early adopters (or late), what angles we have taken, what worked, what didn't, along with a question and answer period afterwards.

We had an amazing journey online throughout our ten years of blogging and one of the highlights was our following on Pinterest. It didn't happen overnight, there was a lot of hard work and dedication and love for what we do, but with that experience, we do have some valuable tips and tricks we learned along the way. As a result, collaborations were formed, such as our partnership with Target (Poppytalk for Target ) in the summer of 2014, and other opportunities with brands such as Martha Stewart, Roots Canada, Staples and 3M.

We invite you to join us at Social Sessions at IDSwest (at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre) on September 26th at IDSwest to hear about our journey along with our peers in what should be a fantastic event!

Our expert lineup includes top online, social media, blogging, television and technology industry leaders in North America including a Keynote from Joy Cho of Oh Joy (named one of Time Magazine's Most Influential People on the Internet this year) our panel on 'Growing a Following' and another panel looking at the 'Future of Tech' (what technology should you be focusing on) with panelists from Issuu (Jeremy Lacroix, Head of Product Design and User Experience), Hootsuite (Candice Charleton, North American Community Manager) and Latergramme (Destin Jones, Head of Community & Customer Experience) moderated by Earl Einarson, (Co-founder of Poppytalk and BCIT Instructor, Digital Design and Trends).

If you're interested in attending visit IDSwest's website at idswest.com/event-info/social-sessions to register or more info.  We think it's going to be a really informative day and hope to see you there!


1 Sneak Peek | September Issue Inside Out Magazine

Styling by Joseph Gardner and Danielle Selig. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper. Floral styling by Myra Perez of My Violet.
Summer season may soon be ending, but thankfully we have the Southern Hemisphere and Inside Out Magazine to rely upon to bring new blooms our way for the upcoming season.  Managing Editor, Lee Tran Lam sends us a sneak peek and tells us about their September issue out Thursday!

"Our 'Spring Fling' story (above and directly below) is all about embracing the well-scented start to the new season – and so you'll find blossoms, petals and foliage spilling out of every corner of these pages! Styling by Joseph Gardner and Danielle Selig. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper. Floral styling by Myra Perez of My Violet.

Styling by Joseph Gardner and Danielle Selig. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper. Floral styling by Myra Perez of My Violet.
 In the home of Craig Miller-Randle (who runs MRD Home), there's no shortage of greenery either. In fact, he has an incredible plant wall (yes, literally!) and shows you how to recreate it in the magazine. (There's also a trick to making sure you don't have to stand on tiptoe to guarantee your watering can reaches the highest plants, too.) Styling by Deb McLean. Photography by Colin Doswell. 
Styling by Deb McLean. Photography by Colin Doswell.

Styling by Deb McLean. Photography by Colin Doswell.

Styling by Deb McLean. Photography by Colin Doswell.
 And our cover story is on the home of artist Megan Weston – which is as bright and vibrant as the freshest bouquet of flowers. From a denim chandelier by Moss Grotto to the palette-flirting rugs, every detail in this home is on pretty friendly terms with the vivid parts of the colour spectrum. Styling by Julia Green. Photography by Armelle Habib. "

Styling by Julia Green. Photography by Armelle Habib

Styling by Julia Green. Photography by Armelle Habib

Styling by Julia Green. Photography by Armelle Habib
Thank you Lee Tran - looks stunning! The September issue of Inside Out Magazine is out Thursday and is available at newsagents or digitally via Zinio, Google Play, iTunes & Nook