When I visited Free Spirit Spheres, Tom Chudleigh the creator of these unique dwellings, took us to his workshop which was an oversized barn that housed a mustard yellow fiberglass sphere that he was working on. When I stepped inside the sphere, it felt like I was in a spacecraft. It was interesting to see these spheres all over his property as he had another one hanging outside the workshop. The sheer size of these livable spheres was breathtaking and unbelievable.
We walked down a grassy trail surrounding a pond. Tom was going to show us the spheres he rents out. As we came to an open space, I was mesmerized to see two huge spheres, Eve and Eryn, suspended from the trees in mid air. Eryn was a bigger sphere than Eve. They both had wooden stairs that spiraled up the trunk of the tree toward the sphere’s entrance. Inside, there is a built in bed, sitting area with a table and a galley with storage spaces, mini fridge and electricity - all you could ask for in an accommodation except for the bathroom, which you had to go to a separate trailer. Tom custom built everything in the sphere because the structure that he was working on was so unique. Sitting in the sphere reminded me of being on a sailboat, where every inch of space was utilized. I was so impressed with the creative design in the sphere.
The trees that hold up the spheres are not harmed in any way. Tom carefully secures the spheres with multiple ropes and regularly checks and re-ties them so they are not in one permanent position of the tree. He is mindful of keeping the forest environment as pristine as possible when placing the spheres.
Tom marries the sailboat and tree house technology, and suspends the spheres from old-growth trees. There are two spheres available for rent:
Eve, which was Tom’s prototype, is quaint and simple. She sleeps one, with a sitting area, 2 windows, a counter, cupboards and a small electric heater.
The second one is Eryn, which is 1.8 times the volume of Eve. She can sleep 3; there is a sitting area, a sink, small refrigerator, microwave, 5 windows, a large skylight and is insulated.
Tom’s future upgrade will include a washroom, shower and sauna sphere. And his personal dream is to create a spiritual retreat of 10-15 spheres. Can you imagine, a community of spheres in the middle of a forest?
I admire Tom’s vision, hard work and creativity in making his spheres a reality because it involved a lot of risk and sacrifice. For Tom, seeing his guests enjoy an unforgettable tree house experience is enough reward. Thanks Tom for the unique tree house experience I had, set among the tall trees of the west coast rainforest in Vancouver Island.
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Telephone: (250) 757-9445 or (250) 951-9420