Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

Made from salvaged wood and old ship parts, the rustic three-bedroom was recently crowned Zillow’s 2017 House of the Year.

By Marisa Spyker

Dream homes can take on many forms, from a colorful Craftsman and a quirky cottage to a mod millionaire’s mansion. But the ultimate find, according to thousands who weighed in on Zillow’s annual House of the Year, is an island dwelling that fulfills both our childhood fantasies and our grown-up wish list.

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

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Perched on the south-facing shore of Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle, this five-story “treehouse tower” offers an opportunity to live among 200-foot cedars with a front-row seat to the Puget Sound’s passing ships.

The home was listed in 2017 by sustainably minded architect Jason McLennan, who partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio to design the world’s first restorative island eco-resort, set to open later this year in Belize. It was sold to a lucky buyer in the summer for $875,000.

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

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While much of the treehouse’s sustainable qualities seem very befitting for McLennan’s style, the home was actually built in 1978 by a different architect using reclaimed wood as its base. Four massive beams anchor the main living space, which McLennan believes to be old-growth Douglas fir from the early 1900s. 

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

“It’s just nature’s paradise,” McLennan told Zillow. “Everything is nestled in the trees, so the trees are intact and the ecosystem is intact. You do feel like you’re in a special place when you’re there.”

Maritime accents in the home also reflect the home’s waterfront location. Materials recovered from an old ship, like portholes and brass handles, are cleverly woven into the architecture.

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

Each of the home’s five floors offer open, light-filled spaces with rustic-modern décor. The first two floors are used as the home’s main entertaining spaces, featuring high ceilings and access to an outdoor pond and spacious wooden deck.

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

On the third floor, a master bedroom opens onto a peaceful private sunroom perfect for morning coffee or meditation.

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

The top two floors—which form the treehouse’s tower—are extra bedrooms and office space

Photo: Zillow/Erik Hecht

Now that's a treehouse that certainly rivals anything we ever had as kids.