Dan Phillips Tree House recycled picture frame ceiling

Driftwood railings line the rickety bridge leading to the cattle-bone numbers next to the front door of this unique recycled home – featuring far more than the sum of its scraps and parts, a beauty that emerges from the textured materials of which it was made (by hand).

Dan Phillips Tree House recycled exterior

It starts with stacked corks and bottles, old newspapers, scrap wood and recycled metal … and culminates in layered color-sample ceiling tiles and shards of mirrored glass arranged piece by piece to assemble an amazing interior wall mosaic.

Dan Phillips Tree House bottle wall

Old t-shirts form the floors in one room while an antique wood-burning stove adorns the next and glass wine bottles allow light and distorted views from one space to another.

Dan Phillips Tree House workshop

Less an interior design or decorating project and more a work of collaborative art, it is clear that each contributor to the construction process added their own custom (and often unplanned) elements.

Dan Phillips Tree House exterior

The exterior, of course, has to meet certain minimum functional requirements and thus the restrictions on materials were greater – yet recycled roof tiles and cork-based walls make for a durable but colorful and animated set of outside surfaces.

Dan Phillips Tree House branch railing

If the aesthetic is different from anything you have seen, it is because the attitude and approach here are as well. This is not about a fixed step-by-step home planned from start to finish, fixed layouts or amounts of materials, but about creative evolution, participation and community construction.

 The designer of this gorgeous, nature-inspired treehouse-like home is Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion.  Dan is known for his quirky, eco-friendly creations that are always one of a kind.

Dan Phillips Tree House rear

“The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes unique. We target single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. We require the homeowner to be involved with the planning and construction of his or her own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the useful knowledge of building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.”

“The Tree House, located in Huntsville, Texas is Dan Phillips’ first artist compound complete with main house, efficiency apartment, working studio, and large outdoor patio area. The main house sits in a Bois d’arc tree thirty-five feet above Huntsville’s Town Creek. Artists must have a legitimate portfolio in order to rent the Tree House.”

“Just outside of the tree house itself is a multipurpose art studio. The ceiling is covered with discarded frame samples from frame shops. It includes lots of power for sculptors, mirrors for dancers, lots of natural light for painters, and a sink with a trap for potters.”