Sulfur Ridge is not your childhood treehouse. In fact, there are no kids allowed.
Perched 15 feet in the air, “Tennessee’s first luxury treehouse” in Bloomington, Tennessee is designed to awe and inspire grown-ups. The adult-only property is decked out with antiques, local color, and spa-like amenities. Guests enter the property through eight-foot-tall antique Egyptian doors, surrounded by a wall made of 160 wine bottles, sourced from the local DelMonaco Winery.
The property is filled with a sense of place. The owners, Susan and Trent Dyer, commissioned a local mural artist, Erica Swenson, to paint the outside of their shipping container turned toolshed to look like a 1960s postcard. Underneath the 15-foot high house, a full-sized bed swing hangs by chains forged by a local ironsmith, the Angry Ironsmith.
Some 15 feet above the patio with a fire pit, grill and hot tub, up a wooden ramp, stands the 170-year-old treehouse door, which had a former life in a Shelbyville, Tennessee mansion that operated as a hospital during the Civil War. The 1899-manufactured doorbell has the same “ring ring” heard 120 years ago, said Susan Dyer.
“Everything here has a story,” said Dyer, who sourced pieces for the treehouse from auctions, antique shops, and salvageries. Inside, the treehouse is brimming with antiques, from old quilts to vintage magazines. Guests love the jukebox, which comes with a bowl filled with quarters to play music. And in the bathroom, a 100-year-old stain glass window from an old Kentucky church is mounted above the standalone tub.
But perhaps the most noticeable feature of the treehouse is its colorful wood floors, reclaimed from a mid-20th century manufacturing plant that custom-made uniforms for major league teams from 1946 to 1949, she said.
“We had to work really hard to clean those up. That floor had 73 years of dirt. But the color is just like it was. We didn’t change it at all,” she said.
Nestled between two reading chairs, the floor-to-ceiling, 18-paneled bedroom window casts light on one of five Sports Emmy Awards won by Susan’s husband, Trent, who does camera work for NASCAR.
“We didn’t know how to do a Bed and Breakfast, but Airbnb’s tips said we should share something interesting about us. And the guests love it. They take pictures with it. They often don’t realize it’s real until they show up!” said Susan Dyer.
There is a kitchenette with a french press, Chemex, auto drip, electric tea pot and toaster. And there is a cocktail bar in the bedroom.
“We don’t have a kitchen because we don’t want you to spend all your time cooking Enjoy using our grill or eat out at one of our favorite restaurants!” says the listing.
That’s just the beginning of the property’s extravagance, from its hot tub to its fire pit. The Dyers hope that the amenities will help guests relax — and bring them closer together.
Underneath the drywall and plaster, the framework of the house is covered in bible verses and prayers for their guests’ marriages. The Dyers started dreaming of the treehouse in 2015 as Christian missionaries. After years of staying in strangers’ homes around the world, they knew they wanted to reciprocate the world’s hospitality in a creative way.
Since it opened in February 2019, the wooded 19-acre property surrounded by five state parks has been booked almost every single night, with bookings into next year.
“We can’t hardly get a handle on it… We are so bombarded, we can’t see straight,” said Dyer. “We are so blessed, and we’re strong in our faith, so we know where it comes from.”
Editor’s note: The costs of a one-night stay was updated to $259 to reflect fees and taxes.
Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter
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