Written by Stavros
As the new year rolled around we started planning our weekend trips in New England. The plan was to visit towns and places that we have not been to before and to discover the unique getaways of our great corner of the country. During our search, we were offered the opportunity to stay in a treehouse in the woods of Maine by a company called Purposely Lost. The treehouse is the first of five carbon-neutral, luxury vacation rentals that are to be built on the 15 acres of land that neighbor Littlefield Pond. Purposely Lost is planning on building two more three houses and two ‘Hobbit’ homes in the near future. The ‘Hobbit’ homes will be single-level homes built into the side of an embankment, while the remaining two treehouses will be almost identical to the first one. Each house will have a clear view and access to the pond from a trail leading just outside their front steps.
The 350 square foot treehouse stands a story and a half above the ground, accessed by a spiral metal staircase that leads to the beautiful front deck. Growing right through the floor of the deck is a large pine tree that towers a hundred or so feet over the house itself. There are two iron chairs and a table just outside the front door that are perfect for enjoying breakfast or a morning coffee. The deck continues along the south side of the house to the back end where there is a second door that leads into one of the two bedrooms.
In the upcoming months, the team at Purposely Lost will install 30 solar panels as part of their goal to have the house be carbon neutral. The panels will generate enough electricity to power the house, the water heater and the hot tub that is just below the front deck. Naturally, the one thing that every weekend getaway in the woods of Maine is missing is a private jacuzzi to help you relax after taking in all that nature has to offer.
As you walk in through the red-framed, glass door the wood theme throughout the entire house is not easily missed. From the custom spalted maple staircase to the 100-year-old reclaimed pine floors and the butcher-block counters and dining table, the interior makes you feel like you’re still outside in the woods. The door along with the four other windows on the front of the house flood the downstairs with lots of sunlight and views of the countless trees between you and the pond.
Kitchen and Living Space
Take a couple of steps inside and peer to the left, there is a cozy corner perfect for reading in the rocker chair. Next to that is the butcher-block table and bench seating for all your meals or board games. On the right is the maple staircase leading to the loft, and below the stairs is the kitchen counter running along the wall almost all the way to the back of the room. The kitchen has a full-size refrigerator and freezer, an oven with a stovetop, a microwave, a basin sink, and stocked with all the kitchen essentials like plates, silverware, cups, and mugs. Everything in this space is thought through very carefully by the designers of the home. Details such as the brass acorn handle on the kitchen cabinets and tree-branch-shaped coat hanger, act as an endless game of nature-themed “I spy”. The decision to not include a dishwasher was intentional. The idea is that guests can have another opportunity for conversation when washing and drying their dishes.
Just off of the kitchen is a full bathroom spacious enough to make you think you’re in an actual house and not high up in the trees. There is a 5-foot-wide shower stall with a rainfall showerhead. Tucked in the corner is a rock basin sink resting on a preserved tree trunk base. Covering the walls are the same cream-colored wood panels that dress the rest of the interior of the house.
Walking through the kitchen and to the back of the house is the first of two bedrooms. A queen-sized bed rests just below a skylight that stares past the treetops and to the stars that cover the night sky. Behind the bed sits a beautiful maple headboard cut out of a cross-section of a tree trunk. So impressive and bold it is a reminder to the guests that this is a special house designed to make you feel like you’re as close to nature as you can get. There are also two more windows, one on each side of the bed with maple window sills that double as nightstands. Each offer a view outside, one towards the lake and one into the woods.
The Upstairs Loft
From the front door, you can take the maple staircase straight upstairs to the loft for the second bedroom. A queen-sized bed sits below a stunning headboard with a handmade mural of a pine forest. Next to the bed is a jaw-dropping 4-foot round window that provides unobstructed views of the forest around the treehouse. In the corner of the loft is desk made from the trunk of a maple tree with the bark left on one side for added elegance. The space is as functional as it is an art statement.
When standing in the loft, you can either look through the round window to gaze at the treetops, or turn the other way and look through the large windows above the front door and stare through the trees to Littlefield Pond. The loft offers our favorite views from the entire treehouse and is definitely the place we recommend you spend most of your time during your stay.
At only about 200 feet away, Littlefield pond is 20 acres in size and great for keeping visitors busy during any season. In the summer visitors will have the opportunity to go fishing or take a canoe or kayak out for a leisurely paddle, or even cool off with a swim. In the winter the pond freezes over and opens up the opportunity to go ice-fishing or to go snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing in the surrounding area.
From the moment we arrived at the treehouse, we felt completely separated from our busy daily lives. The house is easy enough to access from the adjacent road but far enough into the woods that you can only see one other house through the bare trees in the wintertime. Otherwise, we felt completely secluded and excited to spend the weekend relaxing and recharging.
We visited in the second week of a cold March in Maine but found the treehouse to have a cozy winter cabin feel. The heating system along with the electric fireplace was more than enough to warm us up quickly after we spent time walking through the trail to the pond and back. For our stay, there were only two of us, and therefore we took the first pick of the bedrooms. We quickly chose the loft, knowing that we can enjoy the views through all the large windows. Waking up in the morning was easy and calm as the sunlight flooded the loft. From the bed, we could hear the sounds of birds outside, as well as the woodpeckers pecking on the nearby trees.
The kitchen was large enough to comfortably prepare dinner and the electric grill warmed up fast enough to cook our food even in the 20 something degree Maine evening temperatures. We cozied up on the bench after dinner and enjoyed a couple of board games, a few glasses of wine and then ended the night watching a movie on the projector and drop-down screen. During our departure, we noted how relaxed and calm we felt and that we greatly enjoyed our time at the Purposely Lost Treehouse.
If you would like to read more on our adventures in Springvale and other locations, the stories are available at New England Travel Journal.