All Photos by Richard Powers
When I visited Todd's treehouse I was literally drunk! Not with spirits or by grapes but I was giddy with joy. I couldn't stop giggling and I had a smile stretching ear to ear. I felt adventerous and found myself craking jokes I use to make when I was 12-years-old. Visiting Todd's creation was one of the most magical days I have ever had.
Nestled sixty-feet up in the Pennsylvanian treetops perches a treehouse so fun-filled and fabulous it could tempt Peter Pan out of Neverland. ‘We have ruined the lives of quiet a few visiting parents,’ chuckles its owner, Todd Oldham. ‘Kids love it here!’ You can hardly blame them?
Todd Oldham, a long time champion of the obscure has made his name in the US doing flashy fashion in New York before turning to books and photography, as well as interiors, furniture and even hosting a couple of hit US TV shows, Todd Time and Bravo's Top Design.
Inspired by his favourite childhood stories, The Swiss Family Robinson and Peter Pan, Todd designed and built this hideaway for himself and partner Tony Longoria, combining a fresh and unpretentious take on mid-20th-century Modernism with rustic, handmade style. The result is undeniably a fantasy getaway, full of adventure and charm. ‘I don’t feel like a kid when I’m up her, but I do feel like a really happy adult,’ says Todd, who’s installed electricity to power his array of can’t live without gadgets and has a every mod con you’d expect to find in a regular land-based dwelling. ‘It’s impossible to get our friends to leave.’
It took him two years to find the perfect white pine to create this unconventional den, located in the grounds of his weekend property on the edge of a sleepy town a couple of hours’ drive from New York. Five months on – after consultation with companies specializing in children’s playgrounds and adventure wilderness rides – Todd’s long cherished dream became a reality. ‘If you know what you want it’s easier to get it. Up here is very special – to me the atmosphere is completely different. I knew it would be fun, but I didn’t anticipate we’d be so close to nature. It’s like you’re in a strange home, with a really weird view!’
What better way to get close to nature than by sleeping amongst the trees in a luxurious tree house. ‘Whether you are a child or a child at heart this is a truly magical experience,’ explains Todd. ‘When designing a treehouse, it’s almost always a good idea to add a little childhood nostalgia and rustic charm to the mix, even if the end result has modern leanings’.
Once climbing the three flights of white-pine stairs to the balcony and entering indoors you quickly forget you are swaying a long way from the ground.
Todd has demonstrated that he is not scared to have fun while he decorates. 'Humour is important when you design anything from your bedroom to a house up in the trees,’ says Todd.