Ultimate Guide to Designer Tree Houses

Designer tree houses can be as big and ornate as your tree can stand. See more pictures of home design.

When you were a child, your tree house was a magical place. Your very own hideaway high in the clouds could transform you into a princess in a castle or an astronaut preparing for a journey into outer space. As we grow older, that same tree house where we dreamed and created ultimately gets abandoned, morphing into a crude structure that we realize is only about five feet (152.4 centimeters) off the ground and a faded sign still reads "no adults allowed."

But even as adults, a tree house can be a quiet place to commune with nature and observe life from a different vantage point. So, it's good to know that there are tree houses available especially for adults. These designer dwellings are definitely more house than clubhouses. They have furnished rooms and sometimes even more than one story. You may have become an accountant instead of an astronaut, but you still need a place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life -- and now you can afford the accoutrements.

Designer tree houses can be used as offices, guest houses, art studios, yoga rooms or simply as a quiet retreat to recharge. And if you have a tree in the right location, you might even be able to live in your tree house. But if you don't have the means to build one on your property but desire a taste of living above the ground, tree house tourism is a popular substitute. These unique destinations are found all over the globe and offer accommodations ranging from pared-down cabins to luxury resorts.

In our next section, we'll take a brief look at the long history of tree houses.