Treehouse + Cabin Tour

“Hi! We are Tristan + Lynne Knowlton, a mother/daughter team fueled by coffee and kindness. We love styling and cozying up home spaces and sharing on our blog, Design The Life You Want To Live. When we’re not doing that, we’re eating popcorn, making chunky wool blankets, hanging out in the treehouse + cabin retreat, or road trippin’ with the family in our vintage Airstream camper. Let’s talk about tiny house living and style and all the things! There’s beauty in simplicity. We hope The Treehouse + Cabin Retreat will inspire you to create small spaces with big style. We built our treehouse 10 years ago on our 100-acre property near a wee little town called Durham, in Ontario, Canada. Durham is so small, if you blink, you’ll miss it. With four kiddos and a sprawling countryside, a treehouse just made sense. We upcycled and recycled a friend’s 100-year-old barn (which had been damaged by a tornado). It inspired us to repurpose items, and use them in all kinds of new ways. We love to give old things a new life. Years later, we added a cabin into the mix. The cabin is the sweet unsung hero of the Treehouse + Cabin Retreat. It’s located in the same forest alongside the treehouse and laTREEn (the little bathroom.) There’s an outhouse and a pool, too! My husband Michael has terminal cancer, and throughout the years we have learned how important it is to design the live you want to live. Cancer has been a reminder to live every moment … in our home life, our travel life and our family life. Originally, we tried to build our own treehouse, and it was a rickety disaster. We learned our lesson and hired a pro to build the treehouse that we have today. Our plans were simple: start with a treehouse platform in the trees, drink wine, eat popcorn, frame a basic outer structure, paint everything inside white (there’s no such thing as too much white), rake 436,493 pine needles and create a simply beautiful, relaxing space.

Like anything, not all went as planned, and I’m convinced we didn’t drink nearly enough wine. But we made it happen. It takes soooooo much work to make a magical treehouse + cabin retreat happen. And rules. And codes. And permits. GULP. We had to make a lot of changes over the years to dot all our i’s and cross all our t’s.

One of my fave rooms is the cabin loft bedroom. It’s peaceful, you can hear the birds singing and the rustle of the leaves in the trees. Oh, and hello, bed canopy. Swoon. And fireplace. And, I am reliably informed that the treehouse porch is the best one I’ve met, ever. We were totally inspired by A Beautiful Mess DIY here and created this slat wood wall. When it was done, I believe I may have screamed. I definitely screamed. We have lived here for 17 years. Strange, since I am only 27 years old (times two). We started with a house, barn, and 100 acres of weeds. After a lot of paint, sawdust and blisters, we built a pool within the reclaimed stone walls of an old burned down barn on our property. Next up was a treehouse. Followed by a cabin. Made with love.

Over the years, The Treehouse + Cabin Retreat has grown organically and is now a vacation rental over the summer months. We hope you come meet us over at the blog and download the free ABM printable we made! Come say hey on our Instagram, too.”

Thank you soooo much for sharing your dreamy spaces with us! We hope to stay there someday 🙂 And, if you’re curious about all of the gorgeous items inside their treehouse + cabin, you can shop them here. xo.

Credits // Author: Lynne Knowlton. Photography: Suech and Beck and Lynne Knowlton.
  • What a lovely read! I couldn’t believe when I saw this was Durham. My husband and I stop in Durham every summer to take a swim in the river on our way up to the Bruce Peninsula. It’s such a beautiful place. I can’t believe how magical the space you’ve created here is.

  • This is so gorgeous!! I absolutely love it, thanks so much for sharing!


  • This just shows how deceiving looks could be. Would never imagine how beautiful the interiors are of these cabins

  • Dreamy! I’m also from Ontario (only 6 hours drive from Durham ;p) and so happy to see this representation. I’m going to keep this one in mind for the summer months!

  • So beautiful, thank you for sharing!! Being from Ontario as well, I love seeing it represented in such a dreamy way!

  • This is seriously dreamy and magical. Ontario is so beautiful and I love seeing some Canadian representation on “At Home With”!

  • Breathtaking, and a lovely story behind the creation!
    Is it a dumb question to wonder….what about weather? I’m especially curious about the outdoor living room. Cover it with an awning or is it really that weather-proof? The would be pretty spectacular furniture.

  • This is very, very beautiful and impressive!
    I got to visit a treehouse in Kosta, Småland, Sweden last summer with a couple of friends. It’s built by one single woman!

  • This is so beautiful, like something out of a fairytale! I would love to stay in a treehouse one day and live out my childhood fantasies! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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