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

Thank you Lynne!

Jan Halvarson


Anna of The Analog House said...

Beautiful post. Let's live there!

XX Anna of Analog House

Jan Halvarson said...

Anna of the Analog House - yes wouldn't it be nice?

Lynne Knowlton said...

Jan !!

Thank you so very much for sharing my treehouse and airstream. What an honour to be on POPPYTALK. This is a moment I will remember for always. Thank you!!

With much love, Lynne xx
Design The Life You Want To Live

Janine Morrison said...

An absolute treat to see Lynne's property featured. It's all that you can see in the photos plus more (the feelings) which are hard to even put into words. She is an absolute inspiration -not to mention a hoot {yes hoot}!

Karen said...

Wow! Your tree house is stunning. I love all the reclaimed wood you used and it is decorated perfect. Good job! I hope to rent it one day maybe..

Karen said...

\ Wow! Your tree house is stunning. I love all the reclaimed wood you used and it is decorated perfect. Good job! I hope to rent it one day maybe..\uc0\u8236 }