A Lothlórien Flet or Treehouse
Find a deep, wooded area. When you start building your flet or house, build it around the trunk of the tree.
You should be able to buy all of your supplies at your local hardware store, and you will probably be able to find instructions for building your treehouse there.
If you decide to build a flet, make it wide. If you choose to put a screen around it, make a slot going all around the outside of the floor. Find an old window screen/glass screen and place it in there.
If you choose to build a treehouse, make sure that it has a large porch. Inside give it lots of windows. Try to find a pattern for an oval house; that’s what the house of Galadriel was. If you want to put a table in your house, build it around the trunk of the tree in the center.
As for getting up there, the Elves of Lórien used a rope ladder, but if that makes you feel unsafe I would suggest turning monkey bars from an old swing set upside down and then roping them to your treehouse/flet.
Make sure you use supports. The Elven ones didn’t have them go all the way down to the ground, but only near the floor. However, it depends upon the size of your treehouse and tree. You’d have to ask your hardware store about that.
Once your house is built, you can decorate like the Elves. There are several other articles to be found in the Decorating section of the Last Homely House.
More Flet Info and Links from Dreamdeer …
Want to actually live in a real-life flet? People do. While I haven’t attained this ambition myself, here are the links to help your dreams come true.
First, check and see if you really do like it (it does involve daily climbing, after all) by staying at Out ‘N’ About Treesort, in Oregon, at treehouses.com The pun-loving proprieter of this arboreal bed and breakfast also offers a variety of contracting and consultation services for those who enjoy the experience so much that they wish to build a tree-home of their own. (If that seems a bit ambitious, consider setting up a flit office or retreat in your back yard.) If Oregon is too far from where you live, the site provides links to similar resorts in Mexico, Florida, and Hawaii, not to mention another Oregon site named, appropriately enough, Lothlorien Woods. And while you’re poking around, check out the “ad” for “Fantasy Flakes” — it’s a hoot!
Another site rich in resources is Treehouse Workshop at treehouseworkshop.com. This excellent Canadian site offers the fullest spectrum of services I’ve seen: construction, design, consultation, structural engineering, arborist consultation, and hardware design and fabrication. They also offer an incredible selection of books on building treehouses, directly linked to Amazon, including every book I was about to track down the hard way, plus a number I had never heard of, on every kind of treehouse from a child’s plaything to full-fledged dwellings.
A third resource that puts an impressive emphasis on maintaining the health of the trees themselves is Living Tree, at livingtreeonline.com. I could not find the proprieter’s location in real world geography, but I did find that he is himself an arborist as well as a contractor.
You have several different options in creating your own flet. The most traditional would be one entirely supported by the tree itself, but since most of us weigh more than elves and few of us have access to trees of great size, most options rely on additional pole-construction support, with the tree still growing right through the building, enhancing that indoor/outdoor blend so beloved by elves (and how do you keep the weather out? Flexible gaskets, my friend! They allow the tree to grow and move and live. Tolkien would have approved.) Alternately, people have built extensive tree-dwellings into several trees at once, either a single house supported by a close-growing grove, or a skyward ramble of different separate rooms connected by suspension bridges and stairs.
If you have no suitable trees, I understand that the Pawlonia will grow darn near anywhere under any conditions (although it has a narrower band for conditions where it will bloom, not too hot, not too cold) at a rate fit for a mallorn-tree. Additionally, Pawlonias fix nitrogen and improve the soil, their gorgeous, fragrant blue-violet blossoms are edible, and they provide good quality timber-wood if you’re ever forced to cut one down, so that you can at least make something useful as a memento to the tree. Planting trees especially for your future flet is, of course, a long-term decision for the truly patient.
Let me know if anyone follows through on this — I’d love to hear about your adventures in flet-living!
~ Dreamdeer from the Realm of Lorien
I would truly love to live in an authentic Flet, however, I am disabled wheelchair bound, and I wonder if there are people out there who have created a Flet and live in it. I would be very grateful if anyone knows such a home.
Great article. You even convinced me to build a flet. My backyard doesn’t have any other trees than a small grove of 5 or so trees. These trees are just a trunk that curves until it is almost horizontal and has hundreds of spindly branches. It is not a good tree for a tree house. My solution is to make a paracord net and tie it from one tree to another. Does anybody have any decorating ideas?
I would LOVE to build a flet. I don’t have any good trees in my backyard, but I somehow convinced my mom to actually look for some property out in the middle of nowhere!