As a tailor-made supplier to the glamping industry Smallwood Treehouses don’t just design and build their namesake. After all, a treehouse is more than the sum of its parts, and owner Leigh Smallwood appears to have realised this. As a result, in creating lavish, luxurious, aesthetically sublime buildings what this company is doing is creating childhood memories for grownups.
It is okay to be down-right jealous of company owner, Leigh Smallwood’s business. Through his joinery, building and construction business he turns people’s dreams into reality through bespoke designed projects covering a far wider scope than just treehouses. All of his projects are designed to fit the parameters of the client’s needs and wishes and undergo a thorough planning and brainstorming session that leaves no area unexplored.
As it says on his website www.leighsmallwood.co.uk, “imagination is key”. Whether it is a kitchen, bathroom, landscaping project or a treehouse that his company is lending its expertise to, Leigh is insistent that the client be absolutely happy with it after they have completed the work and left. The benefits of repeat business aside, Leigh just doesn’t want anyone he’s work for to be left with something that they’re unsatisfied with. He wants something that the client will marvel at.
TREEHOUSES: HOLDING A CLIENT’S DREAMS.
You can see from testimonials that this firm from Nottingham have received that clients really cannot recommend them highly enough. Including phrases like, “… we had the pleasure of employing Smallwood Bespoke project developments several times…” and “exemplary approach to project management, cost and craftmanship,” their reputation has turned them into a powerful word of mouth business with much work coming from recommendations and referrals.
Smallwood Treehouses are different from others in their business because of their appreciation of what can’t be seen. The appreciation for the “hidden” and “private” value of the projects being created. Other workmen see a project in terms of a list of materials needed, time taken, costs accrued and measurements. It is rare to find someone who first wants to understand what the picture is that the client has in their mind and really explore the idea fully. To do this there are several steps that are undertaken.
After an initial contact and discussion, Leigh’s very next step is a full exploration of the client’s idea. This is as much to paint the details for the client as it is for the builder. It is after all vital that both sides see the project as a complete whole before the first board is planed. The more precise the detail the better.
This doesn’t mean that everything a client dreams about is possible within the realms of physics. But, it does give Leigh and his crew the opportunity to apply their experience and capabilities to the project and to get an understanding of requirements and the use of space.
A site visit follows. This is where Leigh and his crew start laying down the plans that they’ll need to construct the treehouse. Here they share ideas with the client, review other similar projects in their portfolio and explore the four fundamentals. Opportunities, constraints, costings and options.
Sometimes a client may not realise the full scope of possibilities but with their expertise, experience and imagination they help them see what could be done.
As the only habitable treehouse company in the UK, the treehouses produced by Smallwood Treehouses come in every shape and size from those for children, for hotels and even unique accommodations for the glamping industry. Leigh only works with the finest carpenters who share a fastidious attention to detail that matches his own.
Treehouses are fun, that’s the attraction of them. There is an excitement that we feel that reminds us of when we were children and would climb a tree. Also, because no two trees are the same this guarantees that each and every design will be unique and magical. For the client, and in the glamping industry where many of his treehouses are now regularly inhabited, the guests, this magic is all that counts. It is down to Smallwood Treehouses to ensure that the most important things like safety, reliability and functionality are present while not hampering the guest’s ability to enjoy themselves.
This sensibility to what the client wants and what the client needs to provide a safe accommodation for guests has made Smallwood Treehouses the firm that glamping site owners go-to when they want to be able to offer “something special”.
Glamping relies on the combination of camping and glamour, and a luxurious treehouse is very glamorous. In fact, unique accommodations such as tree houses are in such demand nowadays that glamping sites can ask up to three times what they would ask for a lodge, tent or yurt.
And it’s not just about being high up in the branches of a tree. It’s all of the sensual elements that are involved. Such as enjoying your morning coffee while sitting on a patio looking out from such a view. Sleeping in a luxurious bed while surrounded by the sound of tree limbs moving, the breeze blowing through the leaves. The smell of the wood.
Many children, when sitting in their makeshift treehouses, imagine the freedoms of adulthood as being able to live in a treehouse because you’re grown up and allowed to. The allure of being able to achieve this childhood dream, even for a period, is something that cannot be denied. At some point when we were young, we all wanted to live in a tree.
And there doesn’t even need to be an actual tree to build a treehouse either! Not in the traditional sense. Not every site has tree growths substantial enough to hold up a house, but this is where design and style come into it. Several of Leigh’s projects involve creating “houses in trees.”
Using a variety of techniques, they can build very substantial buildings that interact with trees without necessarily relying on them as a foundation. This is useful when the project is a large one to make use of a growth of trees that are beautiful but not strong enough to be load bearing. Using pillars, stilts and clever architecture you can create houses that have space for hot tubs, several bedrooms, living areas and star gazing platforms all within the branches of tall trees without running the risk of damaging the trees themselves.
TREEHOUSES AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Their success with designing the coolest treehouses available in the UK, comes really from being able to apply the skills and experience that Leigh’s team has been able to garner over a long and successful career of bespoke projects in the home.
This has resulted in many glamping site owners having Leigh Smallwood on their speed dial. When you know that someone can make the most complicated dream project seem straight forward, you know your kitchen, bathroom or landscaping venture will be in good hands.
And with the glamping industry continuing to grow in leaps and bounds, it is important for newcomers to the industry to know who the best suppliers are to get these unique dreams off the ground and safely into the air. Or the branches.