'James Bond' Tree House at Greece

Simon Payne, cofounder of Blue Forest at the Uk, grew up in the great outdoors of east Africa. Payne is nostalgically connected to tree houses, which he says remind us youthful experiences with “dens, playhouses and hideaways.” After a day visit to Athens, Greece, to visit a client’s estate to determine whether a tree house build was possible within the client’s gardens, Payne had a sense that this tree home build would be one of the most extravagant constructions that his team had done. After walking round the client’s house to identify the most appropriate place, Payne picked a website one of a collection of older pine trees close to the client’s most important house and not far from an current children’s play area.

in a Glance
Who performs here: Two and their 11-year-old son
Location: Athens, Greece
Size: 376 square feet (inside floor area)
That is interesting: The tree house is filled with a wide range of high-tech gadgets and can be fittingly known as “James Bond’s HQ.”

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The customer wanted to build a large tree home with enough room to include a kitchen, a washroom and a living area. From the initial conversations, TVs, security cameras, biometric security systems and other high-tech gadgets weren’t even in the picture.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree home, using a deck perched about 10 ft from floor level, was developed to become part of the landscape so that trees may be retained; no trees were removed to make way for the construction. The construction is supported on Blue Forest’s bracer system, which allows for tree movement and expansion where the trees pass through the decks.

Read through numerous tree home photos

Blue Forest UK Ltd

“Our client’s brief for this project was really brief, but following our initial meeting, it had been clear to us that what they desired was a tree house on a bigger, more functional scale. Having designed and built over 200 tree houses, we’ve become quite good at being creative and allowing our imaginations to run rampant after the first meeting,” says Payne.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The building of the tree home was carried out almost completely onsite in Greece by three of Blue Forest’s craftspeople. The team used a unique technique that enabled for the tree house’s subframe erection with no fixings into the host tree.

Unique to this project was the high website security required by the customer. “Someone from the client’s security detail remained with our craftsmen at every minute — even to the bathroom or while waiting beyond the doorway to enter. My staff was required to hand in their passports, cellular phones and cameras to armed security staff in the main entry,” says Payne. Despite being slightly amused by the exceptionally private nature of the customer and the high security, Payne’s team jumped just as though they were constructing at home in the uk.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

This biometric fingerprint lock has been one of those high-tech gadgets conceived by Blue Forest. “After much searching, we were able to supply a professional of biometric security systems in China,” says Payne.

The client’s wish to make an exclusive tree home with a number of luxurious accessories made it hard for Payne and his team to take sustainability into account. However, despite the extravagant nature of the plot, he used a few methods to help improve endurance.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree home substructure, deck, frame and roof are built almost completely from FSC-certified soft wood timber, being one of the most sustainable building materials available and perfect for tree home contruction.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

Timber was the perfect material for this particular tree home because it is ideal for Athens’ hot climate; wood, a natural insulator, has air pockets that make it a natural barrier to cold and heat.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

A few of the tree house’s high-tech features: a bespoke CCTV console, a plasma TV, plasma plates along with the sacred trinity of game consoles: Xbox, PlayStation and Wii — a tween boy’s fantasy come true.

Read through tens of thousands of media room photos

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree house was designed to blend in with its natural surroundings. Cedar tongue-and-groove planks, cedar shingles and hand-split oak shakes make up its exterior cladding. The combination of these neutral colours is not only very attractive but is also helpful in breaking up the outline of this construction, which makes the tree house less oppressive in its own surroundings.

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Designer Sketch: Lea Hein

Lea Hein’s carrot bud made the cut of pupil work showcased at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February 2012. This year’s subject was “grow,” and also the design challenge was to locate unexpected and creative ways to attract vegetable growing into homes.

“I had to make something for indoor climbing, something which will help urban dwellers find a way to produce indoor gardens,” says Hein, a pupil at the Steneby craft and style school at Gothenburg University in Sweden. “The veggie pot was what I came up with. “It is made from honest materials but remains visually attractive.”

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What’s the most exciting thing you are working on today?
The veggie pot, together with Daniel Eidhagen and Kristoffer Nolgren, the Swedish guys behind the Massive window-farm screen at Kulturhuset. The window farm was a really inspiring project that utilized a hydroponic technique. I felt like I always wanted to do something similar, to spread the word to people in town about constructing an urban garden. But, I did not like how plastic bottles were utilized in the window farm, therefore in coming up with the carrot, I conceptualized something which utilized trustworthy stuff but was nevertheless appealing.

My end goal is to earn the veggie baskets readily available for purchase, but we must find a company that can actually produce the pieces and refine the parts a bit more.

When did you know that you wanted to design furniture and products?
I’ve always seen the craft [of furniture layout] as a very important skill. When I knew I wanted to go on this course, I studied cabinetmaking for nearly 3 years before I even entered Stenebyskolans’ furniture layout program at Gothenburg University.

Design Within Reach

Chieftains Chair by Finn Juhl – $11,500

Which famous furniture designer would you wish to work with?
I’d have loved to work with Finn Juhl. I’m very inspired, as I am by a lot of Danish architects and designers, by his understanding of the craft and his
profound comprehension of aesthetics.


What inspires your designs?
My layout is frequently inspired by a form. I guess you can say that I work a bit opposite from the idea that form follows function. I get my inspiration largely in art, nature and geometrics. I have worked a bit with images, and folks tell me that they view the picture changes in my work.

Where is your go-to location for inspiration?
That I love going to flea markets. You can see so many interesting and fun things there.

Where on earth do you wish to go next?
I want to visit Alaska, to get lost in character for a bit.

Can you still draw, or is everything on the pc today?
In the start of a project I always draw freehand. I carry my sketchbook with me. However, the clearer my idea gets, the more I use the 3D drawing apps. To current goods, I always use rendered images.

Herman Miller

Nelson Swag Leg Desk – $1,849

Who is one of your favorite artists?
A Norwegian artist, Magnus Pettersen.

The most significant thing on your desk is …
A glass of red wine.

What’s your favorite traditional furniture piece?
The Nelson Swag Leg Desk.


If you could change 1 thing about furniture layout, it might be …
To mandate that everybody read and use the cradle-to-cradle strategy. Basically, cradle to cradle is a way of honoring our world at the design and manufacturing process, but it can be applied to social systems and businesses outside style.

What’s your favorite new website?
Produced in School

What’s your favorite up-and-coming design company?
We Do Wood at Denmark. Henrik Thygesen and Sebastian Jørgensen are all cabinetmakers and furniture designers who share my style philosophy: design and sustainability principles really ought to go hand in hand. We Do Wood creates honest and simple layout.

Your ideal client is …
A customer who appreciates quality and cares for your environment. It is really important for me to not mistreat the world once I really do product/furniture design. This usually implies that the price of my furniture pieces might be a bit bigger, as you cannot compromise quality in sustainable materials. But if you care about sustainability, you will probably be inclined to pay a bit more.

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More Designer Sketches: Josh McCullar | Jean Dufresne

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Staying Put: How to Improve

Here’s an arrangement book for our times, when many homeowners are under water mortgages, and the cycle of trading up has stopped or slowed way, way down. In”Staying Put,” architect and writer Duo Dickinson has assembled a great and practical manual to help us create real improvements to our homes. Dickinson, an advocate of well-designed and affordable homes for all, has specialized in residential layout for more than three decades.

This isn’t your normal architect’s publication about layout. There’s no vague language nor design-for-design’s-sake thoughts. It’s a practical, down-to-earth manual that walks anybody through the rational procedure of how to redesign your home to get the home you need, from how to think about your home and overcoming barriers to some listing of”Duo’s Do’s and Don’ts” for the homeowner. On the way, there’s plenty of fine before-and-after photos to help clarify the things. Do read the publication. You will be happy you did.

The Taunton Press, Inc

The cover says it all. The omnipresent photo of a gorgeous, award-winning home that’s beyond most people is replaced with pictures of a watched, cup of dawn joe plus a to-do list.

Are you currently staying put yourself? Keep Reading for 8 of Dickinson’s suggestions.

Mick Hales

Think about the compass points. The strategies and illustrated examples are wonderfully straightforward. As an example, we see a home that gets overheated, the siding degrades and the front doorway bakes in the sun because it all faces southwest.

Dickinson’s common-sense information: Rework the front of the home with a new broad porch that shades the front doorway and some smaller, yet well-sized windows to make a whole lot more curb appeal whilst decreasing maintenance and energy intake. It is a triple win: more attractiveness and relaxation with less price.

The Taunton Press, Inc

Avoid gutters. Statements such as”gutters and leaders are devoutly to be averted” may seem like heresy to many, but certainly are the truth. Proving his point, Dickinson illustrates the way the properly-built roof overhang can shed all of the water it has to without the complications, for example ice dams, due to gutters.

The Taunton Press, Inc

Embrace small moves. Dickinson provides a wealth of simple solutions illustrated with before-and-after photos. He shows how to utilize small moves for big dividends, such as taking out a wall between a kitchen and a hallway to generate space for longer kitchen storage.

Mick Hales

Boost curb appeal. The publication offers solutions to frequent problems with a specific style, such as the way to improve and improve an entry into a split-level home. (See the prior photo of this entrance).

Mick Hales

Open up to the outside. Dickinson provides some excellent examples of how we could use modern doors and windows to strengthen the connection between inside and outside. Our homes, ” says Dickinson, no longer want to be”later-day caves.”

Mick Hales

Find your home. Learning more about the style of the home you’ve got will help you avoid barriers in remodeling and recognize the the best opportunities for improving your specific home.

Mick Hales

Open the inside. Snippets of advice sprinkled throughout the book are similar to refreshing raindrops that clean the cobwebs away. 1 such snippet:”If you walk through a room for to a space, something is wrong.” You know — it’s when that new great room gets inserted onto a modest home, and the outcome is some sort of dyslexic creature that’s two homes rather than one.

So rather than even building an addition, Dickinson suggests you take advantage of everything you presently have. In this example, widening the gap between chambers reinforces this room’s connection with the remainder of the home, raising its utility and spaciousness.

See the room before Duo’s intervention

The Taunton Press, Inc

Work with everything you have got (before): Keeping the kitchen dimensions exactly the same when vaulting the ceiling radically increases the overall spaciousness of the space, because you’ll see in the next photograph.

Mick Hales

Work with everything you have got (after): Walls, doors, appliances and even the skylight and kitchen sink were all left where they were. This all avoided costly plumbing, electrical and mechanical function and rework.

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The Taunton Press, Inc

Working with everything you have got (plans): Dickinson has included before-and-after floor programs for lots of the examples. These programs help provide that much more context, allowing the reader to better understand what they could be able to do with the home they already have.

More: Staying Put, by Duo Dickenson, Taunton Press, 2011

How are you making the most of everything you have in your present home and backyard? Please tell us about your project below!

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