One word or two, treehouse versus tree house, this small outdoor wooden structure is the ultimate hideaway for children. A tree house may be built on posts to elevate it off the ground when building the house in a tree is not an option. Decorating a kid’s tree house could be left to the child to decide or an adult could help with input from the child. As a young girl who had a tree house, I think that decorating it is a must and embrace the decorating concepts offered by the British Broadcasting Corporation article1 that says a tree house may be a “palace in the sky,” complete with electric and soft furnishing.
Floors, Wall and Ceiling
Some children may prefer the rustic, unfinished flat surfaces reminiscent of a fort. If painted walls, ceiling and floor are preferred, use the child’s favorite color for one of the paint colors. Add a complementary shade of paint (opposite color on the color wheel2) for the second color so the walls are a different color than the floors. For instance, if the child’s favorite color is purple, choose a light shade of purple for the walls and ceiling, and then use a light shade of yellow on the floor.
Primary colors of red, blue, and yellow work well for a cheery playhouse when the child does not have a preferred color. Choose shades of two primary colors to paint the tree house interior, like using red for the floor and yellow for the walls and ceiling, saving blue for the furniture color.
Use an exterior primer and exterior paint to paint the inside of the tree house.
Keep it simple with furnishings. A small table and two chairs may suffice, but make sure they are suitable for outdoor use since tree houses are sometimes not watertight. A small weatherproof storage trunk, like that used on a patio or porch, can be used to store cushions to accommodate more guests in the tree house. The trunk, if it has a flat top, could also serve as a table.
If running electric to the tree house is an option, install a light mounted to the ceiling or wall. Set the light to only turn on with a timer to ensure the lights are not accidentally left on. Twinkle lights, those tiny lights used at Christmas, could be used instead of a ceiling light. Run several strings from the center of the ceiling to the corners of the tree house. When electric is not an option, supply the child with at least two flashlights or battery-operated lanterns.
Select options for accents, like a picture or small wall-mounted shelf, and let the child decide which of those items they’d like to take to their tree house. A water-repellent fabric could be used to create window curtains or a covering for the entryway.
Pulling it all together
Keep the child involved in the choices for the interior. Where it’s nice to offer an adult sense of color and balance to the tree house décor, the most important element is what the child wants to make the tree house uniquely their own.
1BBC: Children’s Tree Houses