Max Lindsay-Thorsen stands on the deck of Treehouse Whidbey, a recently finished vacation rental in Clinton. On a windy day, guests can feel the house moving with the trees. (Photo by Kira Erickson)

Max Lindsay-Thorsen stands on the deck of Treehouse Whidbey, a recently finished vacation rental in Clinton. On a windy day, guests can feel the house moving with the trees. (Photo by Kira Erickson)

In the trees: Couple takes Whidbey Island vacation rental to new heights

Max Lindsay-Thorsen and Tatiana Rocha always knew they wanted to build treehouses.

A Clinton couple is taking the adage “room with a view” to whole new heights — 14 feet above the ground, to be exact.

Max Lindsay-Thorsen and Tatiana Rocha always knew they wanted to build treehouses. So when Lindsay-Thorsen, a Whidbey native, and his Brazil-born girlfriend Rocha stumbled across a seemingly perfect, five-acre woodland parcel on the southernmost tip of Whidbey Island, they knew this would be the spot to construct their dream.

Their recently finished rental resort, nestled among four Douglas fir trees, boasts a view of Possession Point from its deck and many windows.

Although compact, the 400-square-foot space allows for a queen-sized bed and sleeper sofa, kitchenette, dining nook and a tiny bathroom with a sink the size of a dinner plate.

Guests who rent the treehouse for their vacation stay can also use a bathroom — which has a shower — that has access from the outside and is attached to Lindsay-Thorsen and Rocha’s home on the ground, which is a new addition to the property.

The couple, who were previously living in Seattle, made the move to Whidbey during the pandemic.

No stranger to the island, Lindsay-Thorsen grew up on a farm and bed-and-breakfast in Freeland.

He has spent the entire pandemic working on the project.

“This has been my life now since COVID started,” he said.

The rental in the trees was finished within months of the main house, where the couple now resides.

Lindsay-Thorsen recalled sleeping in a hammock some nights on the property, moving to a shed when the weather was bad, before a roof was built.

“I do like the outdoors,” he said.

Whidbey company Iron Root Collective provided consulting help and Seattle company Wild Tree Woodworks helped finish the construction of the foundation of the treehouse project.

Treehouse engineer Charles Greenwood, known internationally for his designs, provided engineering.

Lindsay-Thorsen said his and Rocha’s treehouse was one of Greenwood’s last structures before he retired.

The COVID creation took about seven months to build. While it doesn’t have any trap doors or rope ladders, renters will most likely find its set of wooden stairs far more convenient to navigate with luggage.

If it’s a windy day, guests will definitely feel the house moving with the trees. The structure is on sliders that sit on top of steel beams that are drilled into the Douglas firs.

This configuration allows the house to slide when there’s movement in the trees.

In the future, Lindsay-Thorsen said they plan to build another treehouse on the property. Guests can take a private path that connects to a public trail leading down to Possession Beach Waterfront Park.

n Treehouse Whidbey is available for booking on airbnb.com. For $375 a night, guests can sleep surrounded by trees. For information, visit treehousewhidbey.com

Tatiana Rocha and Max Lindsay-Thorsen and their COVID creation — a treehouse with all the modern amenities that has a view of Possession Point. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

Tatiana Rocha and Max Lindsay-Thorsen and their COVID creation — a treehouse with all the modern amenities that has a view of Possession Point. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

Guests will feel at home in the cozy but modern treehouse, which does have indoor plumbing. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

Guests will feel at home in the cozy but modern treehouse, which does have indoor plumbing. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

Guests will feel at home in the cozy but modern treehouse, which does have indoor plumbing. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

Guests will feel at home in the cozy but modern treehouse, which does have indoor plumbing. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

Photo by Kira Erickson

Guests will feel at home in the cozy but modern treehouse, which does have indoor plumbing. (Photo by Bryton Wilson)

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