First there were the email entries – professional-standard computer modelling, video walkthroughs and even treehouses ingeniously created in Minecraft. Then the amazing pictures and drawings began arriving, from colourful collages by little ones to intricate, detailed blueprints.
Then came the sculptures – every day for weeks, our desks were slowly submerged under giant boxes of beautifully crafted, 3D models of the most imaginative treehouses – from one made of sweets and gingerbread, to an ‘under the sea’ themed creation.
They were all amazing, and as ever, we were blown away by your creativity and commitment.
But one entry had the whole office talking, and staff making special trips to our corner to admire it. It was the clear winner.
The Stevenson family created their ‘Four Seasons Treehouse’ over five weeks. It was painstakingly assembled from dead branches. “Then we made the little houses from lollipop sticks, and the idea just kept on developing,” explains mum Kate.
“Our inspiration came from our breaks at Center Parcs. We’ve been to Sherwood Forest twice – last summer and last Christmas. We loved how different each time was, and thought how amazing it would be to be able to change the season when you wanted.”
There are four miniature Lodges on their creation, each one themed around a different season. Spring is covered in colourful blossoms, and autumn in golden leaves. There are sea shells and rolled up ‘beach towels’ in the summer Lodge, and a tiny, fully decorated Christmas tree in the winter Lodge.
But the detail doesn’t end there. There’s a library with miniature versions of some of the family’s favourite books – including Harry Potter and Robin Hood, an outdoor dining table, set for dinner, a water slide, a hanging bench made from balsa wood and even a tiny sail boat for venturing out on the lake.
The whole thing is decorated with artificial cherry blossoms and the overall effect is, well, breath-taking.
Kate and husband Scott created the work of art with their two children, four-year-old Molly and two-year-old Tom. Although they did most of the structural work (of which there was a lot!), the little ones helped out where they could.
“Molly did most of the painting and flower gluing,” explains Kate, “and the playing with it when it was finished, of course! She came up with lots of ideas too – she wanted the water slide and the Christmas tree in the winter Lodge.” Little Tom, meanwhile, mostly played with the shells and did some painting of his own.
We’d like to thank every single guest who entered our competition – it was such a joy to open all of your wonderful entries.
For their incredible effort, the Stevenson family have won a family break at Center Parcs this summer. The Four Seasons Treehouse, meanwhile, will be going on display in the reception area of our Head Office.