Our Livable Treehouse - Tiny House Blog
November 12, 2013

Our Livable Treehouse


by Jay Duffy

I have a little documentary that Kirsten Dirksen of faircompanies.com put together for us and I’d love to share it with you and the rest of the tiny house community. It’s a video about a tree-house for grown ups that I built using 90% recycled materials.

Here is what Kirsten has to say about it:

When carpenter Jay Duffy began building a tree-house in his fiance’s front yard for her two sons, he used discarded materials from his construction jobs. With leftover redwood siding, recycled windows and an old barn door, the fort slowly began to resemble a small house.

When Duffy and his fiance, Chandra Lila, noticed that her sons weren’t using the space very often, they began to make themselves at home. Now it’s their “tea house tree-house.” Duffy has created cabinets to store their teas and utensils and they’ve added a pull-out mat for reading and taking naps.

The space was built to fit the tree. It’s supported by 3 beams and chains and Duffy didn’t remove a single branch. Instead, limbs cross through walls and slice the interior. The nearly transparent plastic roof allows dappled light from the tree’s canopy to enter.

Join Our eMail List and download the Tiny House Directory

Simply enter your name and email below to learn more about tiny houses and stay up to date with the movement.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Freddie Mesquit - November 12, 2013 Reply

Like most folks who are just a little eccentric, my wife and I threatened to do something like this when we were much younger. This just brings out the adventure which is kept under wraps by our modern society. A very natural feeling we all have as children and which, sadly, is suppressed until gradually gone when we arrive at “adulthood.” This is one of the very coolest videos I’ve seen on Tiny House yet, and I’ve seen most of them. Congratulations to you Jay!
BTW when I was a kid (circa 1954) my aunt,uncle, and cousins lived in Santa Cruz. My cousin’s father in law owned the only sporting goods store in town when Santa Cruz was basically a very quaint little village and its claim to fame was being the home to Wrigley’s gum. I spent many hours on the boardwalk and throwing rings at the clowns mouth from the merry-go-round. I even got up the nerve to ride The Giant Dipper a time or two! I sure hope I get to do it once more before I check out. Thanks again for the great piece.

J Duffy - November 12, 2013 Reply

Thanks Freddie for your heart felt response. Always important to keep the dreamer kid in us alive and well. It keeps us young and creative. Great to hear another Santa Cruz story. Especially from days of yore. Those are my favorite.

Truman Green - November 12, 2013 Reply

This is a lovely video. My brothers and I built forts when we were kids, and this reminds me of that time and the feeling of being in a secret hideout.

Wonderful treehouse!

Robynne Catheron - November 12, 2013 Reply

Living in upstate New York, watching this video was a real treat. We lived in Santa Cruz in our early teens back in the 60s (I know, great time, right?), and this brought back a flood of warm memories of that quaint and quirky town. My sister worked for Wrigley and brought home many a misprinted pack of gum, and we spent countless high school evenings on 26th Ave beach. I sure wish I had saved one of those brass rings from the merry-go-round, darn it, and the Big Dipper will always be my favorite roller coaster because of its now-famous clickety-clack. The weather was sublime, and we all miss it terribly!
Your tea house tree house is fabulous, and it’s beautifully built. Well done, and thank you for sharing it!

Nancy - November 12, 2013 Reply

Tree houses are out of this world. Had on which was just boards on the limbs as a child….not even a ladder up, had to climb to get there. The greatest sense of freedom to be found on land. Love your share. Thanks.

Kenise - November 12, 2013 Reply

AWESOME! I too love Santa Cruz and this tree house. It was genius to use the chains instead of cutting into the trees. Would like to do a modified version for my cats. Thank for actualizing many of our dreams

Mark - November 12, 2013 Reply

More photos, please, and always!!

Santa Cruz home to Wrigley’s Gum? I don’t think so, ever heard of Wrigley Field in Chicago where the Cubs play? The Wrigley building also in Chicago, their headquarters? Maybe a Wrigley lived there during winters.

Alexandra - November 12, 2013 Reply

Your teahouse treehouse is so cool! I love it! I just forwarded your video to an old friend in Bellingham Washington where I used to live. She built an amazing treehouse some years ago that we (adults) hung out in all the time.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love at least the idea of having a treehouse. In our current yard in Massachusetts we have 4 trees spaced in such a way that I’ve always thought a treehouse would be fabulous. Thanks for the inspiration to put that idea back on the front burner.

Chandra Lila - November 12, 2013 Reply

Mark, yes, Santa Cruz *was* home to Wrigley’s gum- at least one plant was here, though it is Chicago based:

Anyway, so glad you all like our little treehouse. We are enjoying it immensely and Jay is looking forward to building the next one- hopefully a commissioned piece!

Cherlynn - November 12, 2013 Reply

Over the years I’ve built a lot of tree houses as a kid and with my own kids but nothing like this! I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Deek - November 13, 2013 Reply

Love it- looking for a few great tree houses to photographically feature in my in-the-works book too- interested? This video also reminds me to get off my butt and finish a CA-tree house video I shot- TWO YEARS AGO now! Been too busy…. Anyway, congrats, the place looks great!

J Duffy - November 13, 2013 Reply

Deek, Sure i’d be interested in being in your book. Checkout and contact me through my website
http://www.sevenseascarpentry.com. Thanks and finish the video!

Leave a Reply:

Get the Tiny House Directory... join our weekly newsletter