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Garden Treehouse Cabin: Elevated Micro Living

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If you’ve ever wanted a treehouse as a kid and are now interested in tiny living I think you’ll love this..

It’s a micro cabin with a balcony/deck that hovers over the main house on the property.

But it’s not just any kid’s fort either… This is a fully functioning micro cabin with:

  • kitchenette
  • sleeping loft
  • downstairs bed
  • fireplace
  • wall mounted LCD TV
  • outdoor shower/bathroom

Treehouse Micro Cabin


I encourage you to tour it yourself below and let us know what you liked best about it in the comments:

Downstairs Bed, Living Area and Kitchenette


Sleeping Loft



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Covered Porch/Balcony


Nearby Hot Tub



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Outdoor Shower by the Main House

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Coy Fish Pond

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I can imagine myself having a micro cabin like this somewhere out in the forest as an affordable vacation space to get away from it all and maybe even have another two or three cabins just like it for friends and family. Somewhere off grid where land is affordable and there are no building codes.

But for full time living it’s definitely too small for me. Especially since I don’t live by myself. How about you… What would you use a micro cottage/cabin like this for?

By the way you can actually try this teeny treehouse out yourself it’s in Schaumberg, IL and is available to rent over at AirBNB.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Darcy
    November 17, 2013, 11:24 am

    This structure is architecturally un safe and it would shock me to see if there is any proper permits approved for such a lawsuit waiting to happen, actually a cute little structure however to rent it out, or to in habit the space or even to get insurance would very difficult to do?

    • November 17, 2013, 11:55 am

      Hi Darcy. I have been a builder/contractor for almost 20 years and in looking at the structure of the tree house, I would disagree with your statement that it is unsafe. Tree houses are different than standard homes and what they have done here looks completely sound to me. The long diagonal bracing back to the tree is very strong and the floor joist system is attached well to anchor points in the tree and bracing. I would very much trust the structure. I can’t speak for permits and/or insurance as I don’t know the local codes in that area, but in many areas, tree houses are permitable (code approved) and insurable.

      • Alex Pino
        November 18, 2013, 8:58 am

        Thanks Andrew nice to get that clarified from a builder/contractor. Appreciate it!!

        • November 18, 2013, 12:56 pm

          You’re welcome Alex.

        • alan spinney
          November 27, 2013, 5:35 pm

          look fellow hunters the tree stand and camp in one saving a early morning drive. buid it in the right spot and you will be sucsesfull. I only wish my health and finances were better I would have my dream treestand slash camp. thankyou for all your pictures. from alan spinney cape breton island ns.

  • alice h
    November 17, 2013, 11:36 am

    That looks like an outhouse tent on the treehouse deck. Those things are great for keeping a sawdust toilet handy. I used a popup one while I was building my wash house, then got one you could also shower in. Really handy for camping guests and outdoor gatherings.

    The treehouse is too small for me to live in, plus all the ladder climbing, but it would make an excellent place to stash guests or stay in while guests took over your main living space. Perfect spot for visiting grandkids, much better than a tent.

    • Alex Pino
      November 18, 2013, 9:00 am

      Too small for me too, Alice. I need more space than that since I’m home quite a lot. It might work for me if I was gone all day and just came home to plop on the bed, rest, wake up and do it all over again.

  • Ralph Sly
    November 17, 2013, 1:44 pm

    I think the better idea rather than supporting it to the tree would have been to put it on stilts braced to the ground and build the deck around the tree if you wanted the tree house effect. That would be healthier for the tree and a safer structure to spend time in. The tree is now deprived of rain for irrigation so hopefully they put a hose down to irrigate the roots.

    There is a bit of irony going against the grain and philosophy of many with designs of tiny house living. Note the beautiful house and at least another structure on the property. This TH, as cute as it is, is another toy someone is cluttering their life with. I am far from envious of anything another possesses or their motive for having what they do; I have lived the lifestyle of too much money and not enough life because of accumulating. Lived the Cadillac collecting, boats, the entire game and that is why I now embrace the idea of simple clutter or necessities, I worked hard and many long hours to support this crap and we can view a million little structures which in fact are more clutter for people. You want photos of these things, go through any opulent neighborhood and you could fill your camera with them.

    I am not knocking you here Alex, what one dose with the ideas you present is their business. I just think we often get adrift (not that I ever drift off or get long winded, LOL, I can hardly believe it’s me trying to make this point LOL) of the main meat interest of TH living, as I see it and this is a good example of how many of us arrived at the realization we just had too much STUFF and not enough life. It did stimulate quires like Darcy brought up with safety and the insurance fact and of course the ever researching Alice noticed the potty tent. I had one like you mentioned Alice and it was great especially for road trips with females along needing more privacy. I am going to get another one as I now do some projects along highways and they are great to hide in for urgent relief. I really like the ladder with the low profile hand railing, these are great for steep inclines and very nice to use, even for us now of life aches and pains. Anything you get a good grip on is a blessing.

    • Cyn
      November 17, 2013, 2:43 pm

      It’s a Koi pond.

      • Ralph Sly
        November 19, 2013, 12:22 am

        Yes, Cyn, I was very impressed with the “Koi pond” as well, it is beautifully incorporated. Thank you for telling me what is was but I believe I was only wondering that. Um spooky. (I almost did mention it as a fish pond, you spared me)

    • Alex Pino
      November 18, 2013, 8:57 am

      I really like your points Ralph because it’s true. A lot of the examples I find online are cases like this. Although, I guess these people, whoever they are, are adding to their income with this little treehouse so I guess economically speaking they’re pretty smart. (This one is a vacation rental)

      For those out there who have structures like this for their kids, in addition to an RV they never use, and a boat, etc. it’s so true.. Just all a big waste of life (money, energy, time..) unless of course they use it and enjoy it. It’s all relative.. But I agree with you because the simple things can be appreciated too (a walk in nature, park, home cooked meals, picnics, sunsets, sunrises)

      Yeah.. I really enjoyed that write up Ralph! And I agree with you on the treehouse set up. Much smarter to have put it up on stilts instead. The tree does look like it’s got a little more than it should be handling.

      • Andrew
        November 18, 2013, 1:46 pm

        Thanks Ralph, you make some great points. The one point I would disagree with is about depriving the tree of rain. Generally, trees create their own rain shadow (to varying degrees based on the type of tree). This means that they absorb most of their water around the outside of the tree crown. This tree house looks like it’s smaller than the tree crown, so all the rain that falls on this tree is still accessible to the root system. In fact, the root system could easily extend under the main house, which would take away rain depending where the gutters go. I like tree houses so I wouldn’t want anyone to be discouraged by thinking they’re blocking rain.

        • Alex Pino
          November 18, 2013, 3:30 pm

          Thanks Andrew! I like that you cleared that up for us 🙂

    • November 18, 2013, 1:44 pm

      Good catch Ralph on the potential for tiny homes to become more clutter in an already cluttered lifestyle. I can’t speak for the folks who created this treehouse, but I hear your point load and clear.

      We plan to build a treehouse for our son this coming spring (we have a 120 cabin exactly like what you recommended…elevated on posts rather than a tree) for our daughter. We are building our 221 SF tiny house on a trailer as we speak. The tiny house will be our home and our office and the two 120 SF cabins are private spaces for our older children so that 1) they have a space of their own for complete privacy, and 2) there is room for their friends to visit (they are very social). We are a VERY close knit family yet the idea of all of us living in 221 SF wasn’t realistic. In this way, building secondary cabins (no plumbing, just solar powered electric) meets the mark perfectly.

      In terms of the health of the tree after a tree house is built, that depends on how it was attached and the health of the tree to begin with. There are new, specialized bolts which provide excellent anchoring of the floor system with minimal impact on the tree. Picture a tree that has grown around an old fence…they can and do heal well if treated properly and the bolting is minimal (that’s what the new bolts achieve). Proper care for the tree (watering, natural, organic fertilizer, etc.) is essential as well to keep the tree strong and happy.

    • Ralph Sly
      November 19, 2013, 12:06 am

      Poor Alex, he is thinking right now, oh no, the yappyiest (if there is such a word to describe a mouthy individual) guy on my site and he now has three long, very well written comments to respond to. You see Alex, there is a higher power. You all breathe the same air on the subject of irrigation, so I respond to all three. Realizing I was dealing with those in the know, and having above average ignorance, I consulted my friendly arbor culturist who I am a pain it the posterior, I have trees spreading their roots destroying sewer lines and pushing in foundations and they aren’t my trees. The battle is with a city so we will keep this short, (it’s cheaper to replace and repair than fight city hall) he, (the tree guy) agrees with all of us on different scenarios so I will just say, I am hopefully building a upper story to this little building and extending a deck out to enjoy the fruit of pear, apple and a cherry tree I have out back at this building, much like a tree house only it will wrap around the trees, built on a slight slope and direct the drainage to the base of these trees and I only using my portly self as an example, cut off my sustenance and I get thin and week, I would then spread my roots also in quest for moisture.
      Andrew 1, sorry, you didn’t realize you were dealing with a damn fool here, (I took your theory and dealt with it practically) today was a great day for this subject as it rained all day where I was, so, I went and stood under a tree, thanks for the shower, I got soaked. LOL. “Yes I did do that”. Then I came home and my little (no idea who built it) tree house (or platform) in my bush area had no water under it at all where the platform sheltered it and it was very wet beyond. That platform is much smaller than the canopy of the tree, the floor was soaked but nothing underneath, so I hang on to my sustenance theory, why cut it off if you don’t replace it is all I am saying. By the way, my smart friend agreed with you totally and knowing me he said Ralphie, you are making a big thing out of nothing, the difference is miniscule. Then I say, throw the equilibrium of on a gyro and it gets chaotic. I love tree houses also, I just want people to build and respect the tree that gives them the enjoyment, turn on a tap.
      Andrew Morrison and Alex, you bet, if the tree house as in this example contributes to the lifestyle of these or anyone then I am all for it. I especially like the revenue idea where people can rent and find out what they are in store for before deciding to live like this and invest into a nightmare. A friend has a beautiful little place on her property approx 297 sq’ and she could not live the lifestyle she dose (wants) without it compensating and I think I made my ideas of, if you lived in 5,000 and go down to 1,000’ you are indeed scaling down to a tiny to you house about a thousand times over the years. (I have been taken to tasks on that one) Actually, when I helped Syl get hers ready for these last tenants she took a good look and thought she may entertain the thought of renting the big house and moving into the cabin herself someday, none of us gets any younger and down the road that may be a good plan.
      Mr. Morrison, you are a pip sir. I love the plan you have worked out. I am now (presently) alone and not as fighting fit as I once was so 250’ is about the best I can scale down to but if I had kids (mine are all adults in their own homes), I would hope I had your smarts and do exactly what you have planed. It will give them independence and show them how little they really need as they grow. Good plan, I hope it all works out but by the sounds of your family you all will make it work. By the way, I just explained the tree fasteners to a friend on here the other day and when I first found out about them years ago there was only the one guy doing it. Now there are several (probably hundreds by the web sites I found) people into these nuts, bolts and fasteners. If I was going to build high in the tree or a complex of them with rope bridges and the bit, I would defiantly look into that process but I am past all that now and would build low, on stilts as my deck is going to be. I would rather go that route and avoid any stress to the tree if I can. I am not a tree hugger as the terminologies implies but simply view a tree as a living thing also and like a woman, treat her as gently as possible and keep her smiling to gain love and tender fruit. I am also aware of the strength and durability of a tree, again like a lady, any man who thinks he is stronger and can tolerate what a woman can is an undeserving fool of such fantastic creatures.
      I wrote that comment in a hurry and after I read it, thought I should have taken more time but appreciate the essence of the example was realized. I in no way intended knocking these people and am happy no one thought that, it was just too beautiful of a setting not to use as an example to get my point across. Actually it was the BBQ on the deck that got me started, almost exactly the same one I have and would not part with it during a past property settlement, LOL. I gave up many other things for that BBQ but it was loaded on my truck and will indeed be on my patio here.
      Alex, are you proud of me that I didn’t even ask Andrew why he was building on a trailer instead of skids and just let that slide by. Oh and I also agree the tree seemed a little light for what was added, that was one of the first things that caught my eye and possibly Darcy’s.
      Good exchange gentlemen, thank you.

      • Alex Pino
        November 19, 2013, 11:40 am

        LOL love you Ralph 😀

        • Ralph Sly
          November 20, 2013, 4:48 am

          Garsh, that was nice Alex, don’t know what I said that prompted it but I end most conversations with that phrase, I love you to.

        • Alex Pino
          November 20, 2013, 8:45 am


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