Home & Living

Nest: Tree Hugger

Dave Plunkert’s Cockeysville treehouse is the perfect kid’s retreat.

THE PLANNING STAGE: I decided to build the treehouse in the spring of 2009, my oldest would have been 10 and my [twins] would have been five. [My wife and I] had three straggly trees in our front yard and thought we’d get rid of them. I found a book on building treehouses and it suggested building one in a stand of trees, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

DIY: It took about three to five weekends during the summer. Some of the engineering things I picked up from books, like using bolts instead of nails, or not having it attached on all four sides. Other things I just worked out. I figured as long as the wind can blow through it, it doesn’t have to be engineered in a way that needs to be weather-tight. It has held up in heavy snowfalls.

RURAL SOCIETY: I think it was mimicked on more of rural architecture—it’s got the basic shed roof and the materials are very simple and sort of eclectic, using repurposed things.

THE FINDS: A lot of the materials were leftovers from other projects. Like the slats that are on the exterior were used in an exhibit at our Spur Gallery where we hung the art. The baby’s head is a mold that was used to make doll heads. I think I purchased that at an antique shop on the Eastern Shore. The window boxes are an Ikea find, and things like the tin ceiling were found at Second Chance.

CABIN IN THE WOODS: For a couple of years now, my son has asked for a cabin that he can sleep in. I will probably build a kid’s cabin some place in the backyard with a similar aesthetic, using only salvaged materials, and have the kids help me paint it.