Fans of Treehouse Masters who have dreamed of staying in a Pete Nelson-designed dream treehouse might finally get their wish. There is a new contest to win a stay at the Dove Men+Care's specially designed Pete Nelson treehouse in beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee. The "Elements" Treehouse is a bathhouse-style retreat created to help families reconnect with nature.
The new "Elements" Treehouse will be part of the Treetop Hideaways resort located at the base of Lookout Mountain. They are also going through the certification process to become the world's first "Living Building Challenge" eco-certified treehouse.
I recently spoke to Pete Nelson for this exclusive interview. Pete discussed the new Elements Treehouse, how he incorporated the different Dove Men+Care elements into the design, and how fans can register to win a stay at this luxurious treehouse.
Georgia Makitalo (GM): About this Dove "Elements" Treehouse. I have seen the sketches and It looks amazing! First, why did you choose to build it in Chattanooga Tennessee?
Pete Nelson (PN): Well, Chattanooga is kind of an outdoorsy kind of town. It's a hip place these days. In fact, Outdoor magazine called it the number one place to live in America. My wife Judy and I have been through Chattanooga twice in the last summer. I'm so pleased because Dove Men+Care came to me and suggested that we work together creating a bathhouse treehouse around the new Elements products. How does a guy like me fit into this? When you think of it, bathhouse in the trees sort of combines anyone's favorite things. I just recently had gone to a Korean bath with my wife, Judy and found how pleasurable it is to just get that squeaky clean freshness happening if it was more in culture more it would be pretty amazing. If you can combine a treehouse with this idea of superior care and freshness and water. I mean whats not to love?GM: What will be inside?
PN: Were talking about creating a place where family can come and visit. There is a website that they've got two win a stay at the Elements Treehouse. You can actually sign up for an overnight stay. It wont be just be a bathroom or a bath house. It will actually have a queen sized bed, plus a loft for the kids to spend the night in. So it is going to be a place for the whole family could be involved. This is kind of exciting! This is really our mission: be with your family or your friends. Our mission is to show people how great it is to get back into the outdoors, and be with your family or your friends in an intimate kind of way. There wont be a television in this treehouse. I've really been impressed cause I've actually been using these products myself. Elements are based in nature. I'm not a big perfume guy. They have these things like mineral and sage which is a subtle fragrance, but it still kinda speaks to guys like me. It's a nice earthy, natural fragrance. this is one way that I can see working with a corporation like this, to create something together to collaborate. I am honored. This goes hand in hand with my mission.
GM: I saw that you have each of the different Dove Elements in the design, and you have sage on one wall. Sandalwood on the deck, charcoal on another wall. How will you incorporate those elements in the treehouse?
PN: For the charcoal and clay [part], we do this technique that is a Japanese woodworking technique called "Shou Sugi Ban." It's a technique where you char [the] wood yourself. You take a flame and burn that surface and it creates a charcoal surface. You'd seal it so it does not come off in your hands, but that's a very traditional way. So we're wanting to incorporate these same elements in the treehouse. There is one with the charcoal clay, having some tile in the shower bath area. We're currently in the design stages with this treehouse and I've got the bathroom in the central part of this treehouse. I can see a lot of tile in this and a lot of glass. The location is all picked out. When you're inside the shower you will be looking right at a glass wall looking right into one of the bigger trees. I can feel it. I can smelll it as well!GM: What kinds of trees are you using?
PN: These are oak trees and sweet gums.
GM: How are you using modern technology in this design as you will need a lot of water if you are going to do a bathhouse?
PN: Interestingly, it is not too different from a regular home. I always joke with people when they ask about plumbing: it is very similar to plumbing a house. It is all the same. Pipes work in a treehouse, but you just need to move slightly, flex a bit. In a regular house, you use a crawl space. You have to hunch down, get in underneath everything to do the plumbing work. In this case, it's all right there ten feet over your head. It's a lot easier to work on a treehouse than in a crawl space in a regular house.
GM: Are you using any other types of technology?
PN: We are absolutely going to make sure we're conscious about sustainability—that is a big thing for Dove. Making sure we use sustainable materials, all the wood and so forth comes from sustainably harvested forests. The LED lighting has become ubiquitous—everyones is using LED now and it makes a lot of sense. As far as other technology, we will have wireless technology. We had a little discussion about how much technology we would introduce in a treehouse like this when your main purpose is to connect people back to nature, but we all realize that everyone still wants to stay in touch. We also want to be able to share this with others. I am a big Instagram guy, and whenever I am at a place I love, I will shoot something and say "look where I am, come see this sometime!" We are conscious of that, but we will not have a widescreen television in the treehouse!
GM: That's a good balance of technology. When are you going to start building the treehouse?
PN: We are in the midst of design right now. We're actually with a local contractor now and in negotiations with them. April is the target date. We've got permits and things to go through, that is always the wild card and getting that can sometimes be a bear. But, Chattanooga is excited and being really helpful with the chamber of commerce and everyone being behind it. So we're crossing our fingers we can have something here soon than later.GM: Will it be available for every day of the week or just the weekend?
PN: I'm not sure how this will work yet I understand that it is on a private property in Chattanooga, so there is going to be a window that this is going to go down. It's probably going to extend for a few months sort of thing.
Register to win a stay at the the Dove Men+Care Elements Treehouse over at the official website. Follow Treehouse Masters Instagram account and Pete Nelson's personal Instagram for their latest treehouse projects.
[Featured Image by Johannes Simon/Getty Image]