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A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

The great outdoors is even greater when you’re bunking at one of Ontario’s plushest glamping getaways

By Jean Grant| Photographs by Lynne Knowlton
A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham
The Tree House Retreat in Durham is fashioned from an old barn. Photographs by Lynne Knowlton

How much: $350 per night for the Airstream; $800 for the tree house and cabin Where: RR2, Durham, lynneknowlton.com
Travel time from Toronto: Two hours

In 2010, interior designer Lynne Knowlton moved her family to a sun-dappled stretch of Ontario farmland. She spent the next few years adding exquisite vacation rentals to the property, including a cabin decorated like a Victorian farmhouse and an old barn that she transformed into a stunning tree house with a shiny red slide. Her latest addition is a sparkling silver Airstream, which Knowlton refurbished as a Miami-style retreat. The only holdover from the dingy 1976 RV was the vintage chenille sofa, which inspired the beachy blue colour scheme, accented by Turkish blankets and a tropical painting Knowlton picked up in Bali. Visitors bring their own food to cook on the outdoor grill and spend the rest of the time lounging at the communal pool. “The idea is to do absolutely nothing,” Knowlton says.

The tree house accommodates two guests. Here’s the loft (that railing is a garden gate that Knowlton got in Bali):

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

And the sitting area:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

And the kitchen, with its reclaimed barn-board island:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham
A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

Knowlton bought the hammock chair in Mexico:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

The cozy cabin accommodates two guests. Here’s its loft:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

The rest of the cabin looks like this:

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A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham
A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham
A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham
A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

She spent two years looking for an Airstream. She finally found one for sale at a campground in Walkerton, Ontario:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

She ripped out the cabinets to create more space, added recycled wood flooring and adorned the kitchen with bronze-hued faucets:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

Here’s a better angle on that vintage chenille sofa:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

The property may have the world’s cutest outhouse:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

With tin shower walls made from repurposed barn roofing:

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A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

And live-edge countertops from One One Eleven Designs:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

The wall around the pool deck was made from the stone foundation of an old barn. The area also has its own bar, kitchen and firepit:

A look inside a designer treehouse getaway in Durham

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