We typically think of treehouses as tree-friendly structures, so the fact that many of them are constructed out of wood that was obtained by bulldozing entire forests doesn’t make much sense. That’s why we’re especially fond of the Crystal Treehouse, which artist David Rasmussen built using blown-down logs and local materials. Located in Carbondale, Colorado, the rustic perch has a snuggly loft with a big picture window that overlooks the icy waters of the Crystal River below.

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The framing materials of house are all made up of either reclaimed or blown-down timbers, which we think makes a lot more sense than going to your local big-box construction store to purchase plywood, when you have materials right in the area that are free for the taking. And while much of the timber used was already felled, we should make it clear that a few trees were sawn for the treehouse, but they were all local specimens. Since the trees on the property (cottonwoods) were not strong enough to build on, Rasmussen built log columns to be the main supports. The pine foundation system was chosen for its minimal impact to root systems of the surrounding trees.

The inside of the treehouse is surprisingly roomy with something that is very unusual in the arboreal home world – high ceilings! So high, in fact, that the house has its own loft which can be accessed by a very cool spiral ladder. We also love the many windows – some circular, some square and some oval – that fill the loft with light. Rasmussen also used his skills as a furniture designer to deck out the room with a desk, stools, and custom light fixtures. And when he told us that this place has a stove too, we wondered why anyone would ever leave!

+ David Rasmussen