The Copper Fox Treehouse

I recently stumbled upon this awesome little handmade home, coined The Copper Fox Treehouse.

According to what I’ve read at both Dwell and Marist, this new-build started its journey with a pair of salvaged windows Heidi Richards found on Craigslist. In a dream, the windows appeared as fox ears. She quickly took that inspiration and ran- sketching the building and floorplan to share with her husband, Nicholas. He embraced her vision and helped her bring the fox-shaped building from a dream to a 520 square-foot reality.

“When designing it we just took each section step by step and built out the layers of the fox individually,” he said. “It was time-consuming and stressful trying to figure out how to make everything work cohesively and structurally.

To help pull off the odd geometrics, they used 3-D modeling software, SketchUp. Once they had a solid plan, they began building.

Heidi has always had an interest in environmental stewardship. In fact, her original chosen major in college was environmental science. Although she later switched focus, this building project brought her back to those roots.

They sourced most of the wood locally- within a 30 mile radius of their acreage in Pownal, Maine.

They also utilized recycled and sustainable materials for much of the project, hoping to minimize construction waste. The treehouse is powered with solar electricity and is insulated with hemp wool.

“We wanted to finish this project knowing that we did everything we could to ensure the health and well-being of our guests, of our little plot of Maine woods, and of our planet,” said Heidi.

For the exterior, they painstakingly hand-built and stained wooden shakes to mimic the light and dark of a fox’s fur. To create the shingles, they used an antique mill- a terrifying endeavor for anyone who knows how quickly tools like this can go wrong.

Throughout the interior, you’ll find little fox, squirrel and forest themed details such as the kitchen knobs, the lighting, wallpaper, and other decorative elements. They applied a copper and forest-green color scheme paired with other natural materials.

Inside, the antique curved door is one of their favorite features. To restore the door, they removed years of built-up lead paint and and hung it with a custom-built jamb and topped with a fox detail.

They also purchased lighting that they could easily transform into semi-homemade fixtures. Over the top of the simple white glass shades, they added wooden accents which mimic acorns and keep with the fox-forest theme.

The overall vibe of this place reminds me of something straight out of Richard Olsen’s book, Handmade Houses. Even though it’s more contemporary and imbues Anthropologie vibes, I think it would make any counter-culture builder smile.

Of course now, you can see it for yourself as it’s a short-term rental. Check out more at their website, here.


Have you seen any awesome hand-made houses lately? If so, I’d love it if you’d share with me.

Thanks everyone,

HouseRat Zero

NOTE: All photos and info are pulled from Dwell, Marist, and The Copper Fox Instagram page. Quotes are pulled from that same Marist article. Thanks.

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