Room Envy: This Candler Park tree house is a Zen meditation room

Katharine and Howard Connell added Bohemian accents Craftsman-style structure
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Photograph by Marc Mauldin
Photograph by Marc Mauldin

When Katharine and Howard Connell bought their circa-1895 Candler Park Victorian last year, they inherited a 265-square-foot, Craftsman-style tree house. The avid yogis have since transformed the arboreal retreat into a Zen meditation room with bohemian accents befitting Howard’s “reformed hippie” past (he’s now a professor at Georgia Tech, and Katharine is an attorney).

Period piece
Traditional Craftsman details include a partially paned oak door, a mix of moldings, a heart-pine floor, and stained-glass windows like those in the main house.

True to style
The low-pitched, hip roofline is characteristic of Craftsman style, as are exposed soffits, multipane windows, and the porch railing.

Color story
The porch ceiling is “haint blue,” a shade historically used to ward off mischievous spirits.

Magic tree
The Connells nicknamed their oak “Merlin” because it spreads over the entire yard. “We think it watches over our house,” says Katharine.

Going up
A hefty knotted rope tempts intrepid climbers. But a wraparound staircase makes scaling the 12-foot structure safe and simple.

Tip: Go hardwood
Debating a spot for your own aerie? Choose a sturdy species, like pine, maple, or oak, says Antonie Buliard, co-owner of Tree-Fort Builders. And select a mature specimen that is mostly grown. An arborist can assess its health and stability.

This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue under the headline “Branching Out.”

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