Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Among the Branches - For the Love of Tree Houses

Partial Excerpt from Among the Branches - www.Architectural Digest.com

Among the Branches - An East Hampton Tree House Captures the Fanciful Air of The Lord of the Rings

Tree House Design by David and Jeanie Stiles / Text by Kelly Sanchez / Photography by Billy Cunningham


For most kids, there is nothing quite like climbing a tree-the thrill of finding that perfect perch from which to survey the world or disappear into the secret reaches of a leafy canopy. David Stiles understands those children. In fact, he and his wife, Jeanie, have spent a pleasurable portion of their careers creating tree houses for them. "To do a tree house you have to think like a child," David Stiles says. "For me that's easy!"

The couple, who divide their time between Manhattan and East Hampton, also design houses and cabins, and they've written 21 how-to books (five on tree houses). Though David Stiles studied industrial design at New York's Pratt Institute and sculpture at Florence's Academy of Fine Arts, he says that as a boy he was always building-"in-ground huts, clubhouses, bent-pole huts."

When New York financier Alan Patricof and his wife, Susan, asked the Stilese's to design a tree house for their granddaughters, Lily and Nina, they leapt at the chance.

"A tree house should never overpower the tree in which it is built. It should sit lightly in the branches,"says Jeanie Stiles, who, with her partner and husband, David, designed an arboreal escape for the grandchildren of clients in East Hampton.

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