The Treehouse at La Cressonnière

February 8, 2011

Somehow I hadn’t heard about the treehouse before we moved here. What a wonderful, unexpected surprise!

charming tree house in France charming treehouse in france

The details continue to make me smile — like this scalloped metal trim.

charming treehouse in France

This bell waits at the front door.

charming treehouse in France

The front door opens and closes with this little knob.

charming treehouse in France

A small shelf (to leave gifts of seashells) and a place to write a note. You can open the cupboard by pulling the ribbon and leave a message inside.

charming treehouse in France

The scalloped trim on the awning is amazing. And so are the walls made of woven sticks.

Inside, you’ll find a collection of antique keys…

charming treehouse in France

…and some dishes ready for tea time.

charming treehouse in France

Let’s admire the shutters. They open and close.

charming treehouse in France

This is the view from the back. Do you see the heart cut out of the wood?

charming treehouse in France Charming treehouse in France

A hanging picture frame to gaze through. Genius!

charming treehouse in France

So many great ideas — I hope to copy them all some day.

Update: Here are some more details I just received from the homeowners. “As you probably guessed, Hugues [the husband/father] built the treehouse around that big walnut tree several years ago. It was a labour of love, and he spent the good part of a summer constructing it. The wonderful thing about it is that we didn’t buy anything to make it (apart from nails). We had all the materials either in the house, the barns or in the local forest. The decorative woodwork is in hazelnut. The antique keys are [my daughter's] key collection and we thought that a good place to display them.”

How about you? Did you have a treehouse growing up? Have you built one for your kids?

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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KarinS February 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

Seriously?! How totally cool.
The Blair kids were meant to live at La Cressonnière!

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2 Ren Lady Of The Arts February 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

What a great treehouse- I had one growing up and wish my children did now at our house- they do have one at the cottage though!

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3 Polly February 8, 2011 at 10:56 am

This is amazing! I always dreamed of having a tree house – this is like a fairy tale. A real life fairy tale.

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4 jenna nelson February 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

I’d say that treehouse alone makes the move to France worthwhile. It’s unbelievable.

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5 Jan @ Family Bites February 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

I don’t think you should ever leave this house!

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6 Rebecca Grace February 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

Even the tree houses are chic in France! Sheesh!

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7 karla February 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

Brilliant, just what I needed for inspiration for the tree house we’re building this summer. All it needs is a window box for some pansies. I love the doorbell and I think I might copy using hurdles for walls – what a great idea. Ours won’t be as rustic as we’ll be reusing a climbing frame but I’m hoping I can find the perfect place for shutters, they have to be included now :-)

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8 Erin February 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

Precious. I love it!

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9 Cammie February 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

My grandma was from France. Her 60+ years of living in the US never proved perfect for her. She was always on the lookout for shutters that served a proper function, and bread baskets that store flat, and a proper table cloth, proper pots and so many other things that France does so beautifully. She would have loved your treehouse.

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10 Lori Jo February 8, 2011 at 11:15 am

That’s amazing!! What a wonderful surprise to find!! My children would love it too!

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11 Allison Y. February 8, 2011 at 11:19 am

That is magical!

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12 stephanie smirnov February 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

Only you would end up in a house named after watercress with a treehouse with lattice walls and scalloped metal trim. Beautiful!!

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13 Ashley Rae February 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

possibly the best tree house i’ve ever seen! I wanted one when i was little, but never got one, this looks like a great place to pass the time for your children. I’m sure they will remember it forever. :)

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14 elz February 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

How lovely. It seems perfectly designed for your family. What a wonderful treat for the children (and you two) to find upon arrival.

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15 Shannon February 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

Who are these amazing people you’ve stumbled upon? Serendipity indeed. Did the owners build the treehouse? They seem like wonderful people.

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16 Sandra Gonzales February 8, 2011 at 11:49 am

I bet the expression on your children’s faces when they saw the treehouse was priceless. Lucky duckies!

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17 Liv M. February 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

My dream tree house in my dream location. I just love the antique keys, the little tea station, and all the unique details.

Something your kids will never forget! So much fun.

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18 Lori February 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

Get out — that’s so cute! And French. My 5 yr old son talks nonstop about having a tree house. I like that this one isn’t too high off the ground…and has a bottom level to it.

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19 Marianne Firth February 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

You have got to be kidding! The tree house if fun and wonderful for kids, but what is up with all of the amazing rustic-design elements for mom and her blog followers to enjoy? The cupboard? The keys? I mean, come on! The only things that are missing are Mary Lennox and Colin Craven.

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20 Lori February 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Wow, that is 100% amazing. We had a treehouse growing up, but it wasn’t a work of art like this one.

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21 Meagan February 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I love it! I think my favorite part is the twig fence walls, but the little details are all awesome and I can imagine how much fun kids would have with all those keys.

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22 merrilee February 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm

So French and So Fabulous!

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23 Marcie February 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

The most beautiful treehouse I’ve ever seen. I want to duplicate it! And I just might!

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24 jessica February 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I can’t even stand how much I love this tree house! I’m locking away all the details in my memory. As a kid (even as a teenager) I always said I would live in a tree house some day, but we haven’t had a place to build one yet.

Someday…

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25 JWK February 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

That is every kid’s dream house!! And mine! Love the little details. Especially the heart cut out of the wood. Spectaculaire!

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26 Mary Carstens February 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

ooh la la! i love it. my son would LOVE that house. have fun.

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27 Mom in Mendon February 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I agree with Jenna. The tree house is worth the move. : )

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28 Ashlea Walter February 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

The picture frame?! A-ma-zing. And the collection of keys? Is this a dream, or what?

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29 Robin February 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

All those unbelievable details. It is amazing – I love it. I’m also glad it was a surprise for you and your family!

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30 Sara February 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Absolutely unbelievable!! What genius in those details. Just love it.

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31 sara February 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Ok…the antique keys? Seriously. That alone is the coolest thing EVER. The hanging window? I am dying over here. Unbelievable. I love it Gabby. Just LOVE it. It is perfect and artsy and imaginative and perfection for the whole brood. I hate saying this but stay in France for as long as you can. Soak the whole thing up and tell us all about it :)

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32 Jenni February 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I grew up in apartments so no treehouses for me. But I’m kind of obsessed with them now. It’s definitely on the list of things I want to build for my girls. And this one is a particularly awesome and inspiring example.

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33 Cathi February 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Okay…so this is a dream come true right out of a fairy tale…your fairy tale!

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34 Jody Brettkelly February 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Wow, the treehouse is divine! You’re already on the magical mystical tour, how very fun…

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35 Brenna February 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

That has to be one of the most artistic and charming tree houses I’ve ever seen. I’d play in it, if it could take my weight! ;)

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36 Meggan February 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Just moved to Alaska and with all the tree filled land behind our house I’ve been dying to start a tree house for my 4 kidlets. Inspirational!

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37 Laura Barlow February 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

That is tres magnifique! It’s perfect.

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38 Rachael February 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Oh my gosh, what a great treehouse! I think I especially love that there are dishes for tea and that hanging frame!

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39 Lauryl February 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

How lovely! Also nice to see that Betty is still rockin’ her P.O.P. boots!!

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40 bdaiss February 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

*faints dead away* That is an amazingly awesome tree house. Someone put a lot of time, energy and love into building int. I hope you’re asking the owners if you can “steal” a key to take home so you can remember it always!

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41 Nicole February 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Oh that’s amazing! I salute you and your sense of adventure. A quirky tree house would make some parents nervous… but you see magic waiting. I love it.

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42 laurenjanelle February 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

this is seriously incredible. I want to be a kid again just to have this!

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43 Tala February 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

What a chic tree house!

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44 Bri February 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

That is rad! I too, am going to store these ideas away for the future. Thanks for sharing, Gabrielle.

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45 Susan February 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm

But the best thing about it is that it’s not put together from a kit!! It looks like the ones we used to build when I was little–made of odds and ends and discovered items. I really dislike the typical playhouses and treehouse…so little imagination.

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46 Sarah February 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Congratulations on your move to France. I am beyond jealous. I’ve only been once and cannot wait to return. Your home is so charming as is this treehouse. How lucky your wee ones are.

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47 rob February 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm

no wonder your kids are in heaven. i would be too!
my dad built the four of us a jungle gym (which my mom sewed a canvas roof for) when i was younger. it was the envy of the neighborhood. now i live in a house that has a postage stamp for a yard and no trees. *sigh* maybe someday…

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48 Kathleen February 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Even the treehouse has great design! I’d be tempted to take all those keys for my collection. What fun!

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49 carrie February 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Incroyable! It’s like one of those fantasy dreams…I dreamt that my house had an amazing treehouse, and extra big closet, and and a guest bathroom…..etc, etc. Maybe these fantasy dreams only happen in NYC where we are envious of everyone else’s square footage!

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50 Jasmine February 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Holy Cow…are the owners of this place effortlessly artistic and talented, or something? It’s like they just woke up one day and said they were going to throw some nic nacs and a few twigs together for a treehouse and that’s how it turned out.

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51 Sara February 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I want an antique key collection! How wonderful for your kids!

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52 Sarah K February 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm

What a great treehouse!

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53 Khali February 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm

What an amazing surprise! I love every detail too. I’m sure your children will have so many lovely memories of this special hideaway.

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54 Joyce February 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Here is our version, made from salvaged material last summer. http://www.kidbaltimore.com/2009/08/the-treehouse-is-finished.html

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55 Wida February 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Wow, everything is better in Europe!

Wida
Missing Amsie Blog

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56 Tracey February 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm

BEST EVER! I want to climb up and gaze through the frame!

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57 Sarah February 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

That key collection!!! I wonder what magical places they open doors to… ;)

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58 Meghan Beutler February 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm

It’s so picturesque that it’s hard to believe it’s real. How adorably perfect for a French estate to hold such a treasure, and one that will be well appreciated over the next year, I’m sure!

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59 christina February 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Wow I wish the person who built this had a blog because they are obviously amazingly cool!

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60 barbara smith February 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm

PRICELESS! I can only imagine the conversations that will take place in this sacred little dwelling of sticks and stones…So dear…I enjoy reading about your unique and special family… Barbara Smith

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61 Kelly February 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Get out! This whole France series is killing me, and now a treehouse styled by Anthropologie, to boot? Le sigh.

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62 Maleen February 8, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Those keys are so cool. Those alone would keep my kids busy for hours. They think antique keys unlock dragon dungeons. What an amazing creation.

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63 DeAnn February 9, 2011 at 1:46 am

Is it real? I absolutely want to make this and my kids are young adults. I will have sweet dreams tonight with swirling thoughts about that magical house in the branches.

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64 amyks February 9, 2011 at 7:54 am

That place is truly magical…We built many a tree”house” and fort growing up, But they were nothing like that. They usually didn’t last long, because the teenagers in the neighborhood would usually dismantle them after a few days. Hence the reason, for building many:)
Enjoy France, I so look forward to reading about all your adventures.

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65 Amy February 9, 2011 at 8:05 am

Fabulous surprise! I didn’t have one but would love something like this for my kids rather than the kit kind.

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66 annie February 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

Can I come over to play? Seriously, the cutest ever.

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67 Lisa Long February 9, 2011 at 8:28 am

Are you kidding me? This is amazing!

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68 Martin @ nanny cameras February 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

When i was a kid i remember we have a tree house. But it can
not fits 3 people, it’s just like a terrace. We hang out there just
to talked and annoying each other. It’s a very good feeling to
remember to my childhood days.
great post!

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69 McKenzie February 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

I dreamed about living in france with my kids and that beautiful treehouse. It was a good dream to wake up from.

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70 Kroke96 February 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

I am moving in when you move out. :)

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71 stacey February 9, 2011 at 9:16 am

this treehouse is a fantasy come true!! if you ever need a moment by yourself Gabby, this would be the perfect place to hide-away!!

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72 Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) February 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

My dad built me a little victorian playhouse when I was little, and I can’t wait to build one on my farm for my daughter!

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73 Christina February 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

Wait…IT GETS BETTER?! So excited to be on this journey “with” you. This totally rocks. Can my kid be an exchange student with your family for a month? :-)
Enjoy, and keep on inspiring us to do GREAT THINGS! xo Christina

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74 debbie reisetter February 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

That is seriously the sweetest tree house I have ever seen. I love the antique keys. Lucky you!

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75 Yevette February 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

This is fantastic!

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76 Lauren L February 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

G-This post is lovely. Lately (longer than the move, tbh) I have found your blog lacking actual content. Giveaways aren’t content, posts about another post on another blog, especially if everyone does a post about that post, aren’t content. Links to Babble aren’t content. I miss the DM content! I only check your blog infrequently now. I may be in the vast minority but before we broke up I thought I would let you know!

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77 Chelsey Ercanbrack February 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

That is DREAMY!! I would have LOVED to have such a fun treehouse/playhouse. What an adventure!!

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78 miggy February 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm

This just keeps getting better and better…next I suppose I’ll hear about the Rolls Royce and the chauffeur that came with the house too! :) Such an amazing experience…I just had an idea…maybe you could have a GIANT “come visit the Blair’s” giveaway at the end of your year?? (I’m sorta joking, but mostly not…)

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79 Patty February 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Seriously! Only you could land a rental with the most magical tree house on earth..can’t wait to see some shoots from there! What fantastic memories already and you’ve just arrived!

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80 Megan Stewart February 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

My husband and Father-inlaw are going to be building our girls a treehouse/playhouse this spring! This gave me some great ideas!

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81 Jeaneane February 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm

More, more, more…we want more of everything…you can’t keep it coming fast enough!!! (okay,okay I guess I will try to be more patient…it never was my strong point!!)

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82 Ashley February 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

My family has a treehouse…I’m grown and I live with my husband and baby in Denver, but my family and two younger siblings still live at home. This was the treehouse my dad made almost 3 years ago. We love it!
http://ashleyandjared.blogspot.com/2008/07/treehouse-love-in-mulberry-tree.html

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83 UpsideUp February 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm

This is so absolutely stunning it made me cry a little, Gab. When I come visit, I think I’d like to sleep in the treehouse :)

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84 holly February 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

the beauty of childhood.

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85 Erin February 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Magical! Thanks for sharing. What wonderful memories you are making with your children!

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86 Jeudi February 11, 2011 at 1:07 am

Utterly charming! What a perfect place for your children to dream and imagine great adventures.

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87 alyson boehr February 11, 2011 at 4:41 am

The treehouse would make me not want to return to North America :) What a great surprise!

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88 marilee pittman February 11, 2011 at 8:20 am

Absolutley charming, my grandchildren would adore this enchanting tree house!

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89 Valerie February 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I think better that it was a surprise for your children: exhausted, already a little lonely… and BAM magic happens on the first day.

A beautiful beginning.

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90 Poetesswug February 12, 2011 at 8:54 am

That treehouse is just fabulous!! The former owners…*the father…Oh! A father’s love!!!*…were…are…genuises!! :-)

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91 Andy February 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

So cute! So long as everyone is current on their tetanus ;)

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92 Sophistimom February 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Whoa. Where have I been? I had no idea you were in France!!! Got sick of Colorado, huh?? ;)

Such a fantastic treehouse. It looks like a dream. Hope you are having the most lovely time.

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93 Sherri February 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Oh my gosh… what a nice surprise! Love the frame, keys.

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94 Alie Bellisario February 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hi Blair Family!
Alie would like to know if Betty likes her new big girl swing…she’d also like to explore the treehouse! Glad all is well…please tell Betty she is missed! -Alie & Leslie

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95 Debbie D March 4, 2011 at 2:10 am

Wait, when is your lease up there? Cause I think we are moving in!!! What a cool find. You guys must be having the best time. What a special journey for your family :)

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96 NanaMolly March 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I hope our tree gets big enough to build a tree-house for our grandchildren someday. This is a wonderful place to empower imaginations!

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97 gretchen April 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

What a wonderful treehouse. As an adult I built a little garden house for myself.

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98 dawne July 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

I’m having such fun reading through your old posts…only have time for a few a day, but what a nice armchair travel to your world I’m having! I never had a treehouse, nor did my daughter, but it has always been a dream. This inspires me to get my husband “inspired” to get making one this summer!!!

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99 Ashley Jennings October 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Oh dear! It’s a little difficult not to think of the Prince and the Pauper when I see that treehouse and the walls around the yard that are oh-so-french-revolution.
Huzzah for the skeleton keys!

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100 Tammie December 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

This is so darn cute, love it…

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