Summer Getaway in a Teepee

Teepees seem to be all around me right now. It started a year ago when I was looking at a book on gardening with children and saw the idea of a living teepee using bamboo rods and nasturtiums or morning glories. I grow snap peas with the kids every year, so we used snap peas instead as suggested in this a post from Joyful Toddlers.

Joyful Toddlers suggests pea plants as well!

Then a client’s kids had made one with their babysitter out of painted pvc piping and canvas fabric like this one, from

a DIY kid's teepee

KidsTeepee teaches your kids to build a tepee like this

I was looking at the site of a favorite fabric company and saw this great teepee out of patterned fabric that matches the wallpaper, for some fun, private space indoors. Galbraith & Paul has great prints and patterns that come in all kind of fabrics, wallpapers and really well-made area rugs.

At the Decorators Showcase this year the rec room, named “Danger Zone” by Martha Angus, had tepees as well, in super bright colors.

Martha Angus, Danger Zone at SF Decorators Showcase

Eclectic Family Room by Menlo Park Media and Bloggers Janet Paik

I just got Serina and Lily’s catalog and guess what is on the cover for this month…

cover of Serena and Lily summer 2013 catalog

…a teepee

Why Are Teepees So Hot This Summer?

It got me thinking about how teepees are great ways to create a place of your own. Whether adult or child we all need to have our own special places that we can escape to. This is best done by defining the space and allowing the user to give it a character of their own aesthetic. Just as children have tree houses and dad’s workshop is called a “man cave,” teepees also allow us to turn inward. The cozy sense of being enclosed, and being surrounded by a purposefully-designed space can both help us focus on whatever schemes we’re hatching and inspire us to think more freely.

This is important in office design. With the trend towards open workspaces and mobile stations we’re defining people’s “zones” by a work mat and a pin up board. This is great for creating an interactive, expressive workplace, but it does little to let our minds go. We need to have privacy to let our dreams take root, so that we can twiddle our fingers and talk to ourselves and stare out into empty space without worrying about interruptions. The benefit of the open plan is collaboration. Could Teepees be a way to set aside some space for individual thinking?

We can all learn a lot from the teepee, to see how inviting it is to have a space that we can mark as our own. It doesn’t have to be a whole room or a whole house. You can go there and it can be truly your own time. Kids need teepees but maybe even more, just ask Virginia Woolfe, moms need teepees too.

This summer break, why not set aside some time for a summer escape…at home? We all need to take some time this summer to get away even if it is just to our backyard! What better way to get away than with a teepee in your own personal style?

Here are some cool teepees to get your imagination going. (Click on the picture to be taken to the source and find out more about each teepee.) Happy summer!

About alden miller

Designer, Nature Lover, Mother, Planner, Maker

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