“We call it the clubhouse,” says homeowner MitchellW. Woodrum. “You know when you’re a kid and have tree forts and things like that? Well, now we have our adult treehouse.”
Homeowners Mitchell Woodrum and his husband, J Dalton Turner-Woodrum, had been fantasizing about a lake property for years before they happened upon a treehouse property while riding four-wheelers. Although the area was overgrown, it held the couple’s sanguine intrigue. Through a quick internet search, Dalton discovered the 800-square-foot home nestled on 1.5 acres was for sale.
Today, Dalton and Mitchell spend two to three weekends a month in the cabin surrounded by loved ones and nature.
“We’re thankful for the house because it’s been a great backyard getaway for us,” Mitchell says. “But the thing that means the most to us is that our friends just love it.”
Serious TLC was poured into the treehouse to make it a home loved by many. The cabin was all but gutted to obtain its current look.
Construction novices, the couple pitched in for a few DIY projects alongside a professional team during the treehouse makeover. Dalton and Mitchell’s contributions included constructing a bar overlooking the woods and staining and installing butcher-block kitchen countertops.
Other improvements included a fi replace installation sourced from Encore Vintage in Jefferson City, a loft for additional sleeping quarters, and a kitchen remodel.
MAKING A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
“There’s a very comfortable vibe as soon as you walk in the door where you just kind of feel at home,” Mitchell says. “This little cabin has become a gathering place for people who mean the most to us. If you walked in here, it wouldn’t seem like it would work, but it just does.”
The house is bursting with character, each item holding a storybook worth of tales. Eclectic, graphic paintings in the bathroom juxtapose dark, antique, heavily framed paintings, lithographs, and sketches in the living space. Decades, status, and styles blend together in a buzz of color and texture.
“I would say that all of our decor is centered around art,” Mitchell says. “We both live off art. We take the approach that the art goes up first and everything else goes around it.”
Not living by the rule that everything needs to match, the homeowners also abide by the philosophy that no matter what it is, “If you love it, buy it. You can always make it work.”
This attitude created an ultimate personal shopping experience. The couple furnished their getaway home by shopping somewhere near and dear to their hearts: a 12-by-20-foot storage unit full of curated goods from eight years of traveling, antique shopping, and estate sale hunting.
“If I see something that I like, I usually just buy it and put it into storage because I know I’ll use it someday,” Mitchell says. “It’s really hard, with our style, to go out and buy everything new.”
For a house of its size and color palette, Dalton and Mitchell’s cabin refrains from feeling too busy or confusing. The plethora of nature seen through the windows or up close from the couple’s collection of 80-or-so plants grounds the home. So, rather than sending your eyes around a merry-go-round, the treehouse invites curiosity to explore the richness of the items around you.
Mitchell compared the cabin to a greenhouse because of how much their plants thrive in the environment. The pothos is a favorite of the couple’s and one with sentimental value. It behaves as a refreshing architectural element that frames the entryway to the kitchen.
“It’s a sentimental plant because we give our friends cuttings off of it,” Mitchell says. “It’s the healthiest, fastest growing pothos I’ve ever seen.”
FRONT ROW SEAT TO NATURE
While designing the house, Mitchell situated furniture as far from the windows as possible. This allows nature to shine through the picturesque windows as an art piece, and it gives Mitchell and Dalton a front-row seat to the glory of the four seasons.
“Summer is interesting here because the trees grow around and over the house to form like an umbrella,” says Mitchell. “Being down here when it rains, it’s amazing — it’s a 360-degree view of the storm.”
One year, the couple snuck away to the cabin before a fantastic 13-inch snowstorm.“
It’s literally like being inside a snow globe,” Mitchell says. “Watching it snow through all the windows was magical.”