Off-Grid Devon Holiday Cabin – “The Withywindle”
The stunning off-grid holiday cabin in Adam and Tina Clarke’s field is the icing on the cake of their relocation to rural Devon two years ago.
“I’m obsessed with the finer details of design and Life Space Cabins were totally on the same page.” Tina Clarke
The couple moved to the picturesque village of Cheriton Fitzpaine from Brighton after spotting a Grade 2 listed farmhouse up for sale. Tina had first seen the property advertised a few years previously but the Clarkes weren’t ready to make the move at the time due to the demands of running their own catering business. When the farmhouse reappeared on the market, it felt like fate had lent a hand. After one viewing, they’d fallen in love. The farmhouse itself feels like something out of a fairy tale, situated in the bottom of a valley surrounded by trees and a stream. The Clarkes also own two fields 10 minutes up the lane and they decided that one of these would make the ideal peaceful spot for an off-grid holiday let cabin.
Cabin Design Brief:
The Clarkes wanted a holiday cabin that would blend seamlessly into the environment which is a rural, farming area. They wanted it to look like an old farm building when spotted from the surrounding lanes and to use sympathetic and natural materials.
They decided to go for an off-grid cabin for a more sustainable approach, and so that guests could embrace a slower pace of life during their stay.
Why Life Space Cabins?
After researching cabin builders in the South-West, the Clarkes felt an affinity with our Life Space Cabins design values and attention to detail.
They wanted something much more interesting than a simple shepherd’s hut and they felt that we could bring their creative vision to life.
Off-Grid Cabin Design
We designed the off-grid cabin in close collaboration with The Clarkes. As it will be used as a holiday rental, safety was paramount and, as always, we created an exceptionally high-quality design that is built to last and evolve with them.
Based on our iconic Dart design, the cabin has a high, curved roof making it feel exceptionally spacious and airy inside.
The cladding is one of our favourite design features – on one side we used rusty tin, reclaimed from old farm buildings and on the other side we used beautiful wooden cedar shingles. Both materials will change colour and mellow as they age. The Clarke were also pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous smell of the cedar – an unexpected added bonus!
Outside on the deck is a large Swedish wood fired bath (also connected to the water if guests want to heat it up more quickly)
The off-grid cabin is heated via solar panels which are hidden unobtrusively behind a bank in the cabin’s small parking area. It has lighting and USB sockets and the cooking facilities and fridge are powered from a gas tank. With no phone signal, it’s definitely the place to switch off from the hectic pace of normal life, slow down and get back to nature.
Inside the Clarke’s cabin
Large doors and windows on two sides of the cabin have beautiful views over the fields, while three quirky little windows by the sleeping area each have a different style of shutter on the inside to shut the light out.
As well as a sleeping area for two, inside the cabin there is a bathroom with a shower, a small kitchen, seating area and a log burner. Thanks to the high ceiling, The Clarkes also have the option to add in an additional mezzanine sleep deck in the future should they wish to.
Tina Clarke was pleased with the amount of storage we were able to fit under the bed and in other nooks and crannies around the cabin. She said “although its off-grid, we wanted the cabin to have a touch of luxury for our guests – a cosy comfy bed, a nice warm shower and plenty of practical storage were very important”
The Clarkes have named the cabin ‘The Withywindle’ in tribute to the many willows on the site. Withy is the old English name for willow and windle is an old measurement for a bundle of willow sticks.
Creating and installing the cabin was definitely a learning curve for ourselves and The Clarkes as we jointly navigated off-grid considerations; costs; the rural location and a few materials shortages due to Covid-19. But with perseverance, attention to detail and a fantastic working relationship, we have designed and built a unique cabin that we are incredibly proud of.
Tina Clarke says: “We are thrilled with The Withywindle, it has exceeded our expectations. As a designer myself, I’m obsessed with the details and Life Space Cabins were totally on the same page. They were particularly good at carrying the small details all the way through the design, from the outside to the inside. They are exceptionally creative and had some wonderful ideas for playful and unique features”
Stay at The Withywindle
The first guests arrived at the Clarkes off-grid Devon cabin in late autumn 2021 and they are now running at 94% occupancy. The cabin sleeps two and has its own parking area and plenty of open space for dogs to run wild.
Find out more and make a booking at The Withywindle. The cabin is located halfway between the Devonshire towns of Tiverton and Crediton. During your stay, you’ll be able to explore the beautiful Devon countryside, while being within easy reach of the vibrant town of Exeter. Fabulous beaches are an hour away on the north coast.
The Clarkes supply guests with locally sourced ingredients for breakfast on the first morning of each stay. Good food is a passion for the couple and in the future their guests might get a few homemade cakes or scones, a bottle of sloe gin or perhaps even a delicious chef-cooked dinner at the farmhouse. The couple are also considering providing electric bikes for guest use.