A rustic, luxurious barn design for farm diversification in Somerset
Based in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the Quantock Hills, our clients wanted to create a unique and stunning holiday let barn, situated on their expansive farmland.
Life Space Cabins founder, Jamie Wilson, met Karen and Simon Walker at The Farm Innovation Business Show. The couple, who come from long-standing farming families, had already converted an existing barn on their land into a successful holiday let. They were keen to draw on their experience to diversify further and create a second rental property. This time, they would build it from scratch, allowing them the freedom to design it exactly as they wanted it.
At the heart of the brief was the guest experience with a focus on achieving a peaceful, private sanctuary and maximising the stunning views over the Somerset levels. The Walkers wanted something rustic, romantic and in keeping with the rural landscape but with architectural design features that would elevate it to something truly special and memorable.
Why Life Space Cabins?
Our Woodcutter’s Refuge project resonated with Karen and Simon due to its sympathetic agricultural-inspired design. They wanted to create something similarly authentic and knew that we understood the subtleties of their brief while being able to bring fresh and innovative ideas to the process.
They had a long-running relationship with a local builder who would construct the barn, so our role was to design it. We decided on the name, ‘The Shepherd’s Linhay’, which seemed fitting as it reflects the simple, spacious farm buildings that are typically found in Somerset and the south-west.
The Shepherd’s Linhay would be situated on the edge of a field, tucked into a dog leg in the hedge. While close to their existing barn conversion, it was vital that the two properties didn’t overlook each other in order to retain privacy for guests.
Our solid, simple, timber-framed design celebrates vernacular farm buildings. The one-storey Linhay would be clad in Western Red Cedar that had recently been felled on the Walker’s farm and planed at the local saw mill. Corrugated tin was used on the gable end and on the roof. A covered veranda supported by oak beams, provides an option to sit outside in all weathers.
We added flair to the design with full height windows at either end of the property to give a view through the building. In the bedroom, a protruding oriel window with a seat creates the wow factor, allowing guests to feel connected to the arable fields beyond. Outside, the wood-fired hot tub is the perfect secluded spot to star gaze on a clear evening or take in the extensive views in the daytime.
Inside, a rustic metal truss is a striking feature in the vaulted roof space and the galvanised steel corrugated tin behind the log burner reflects the light in the room. Pendant lighting in the spacious, open plan living space creates a contemporary sense of grandeur.
We created a bold design for the en-suite shower room in the form of a fully glazed wall that gives far reaching views of the surrounding farmland through the picture window. This idea was inspired by a holiday the clients had taken to the Dominican Republic.
As with all good design, the use of the building was always in the forefront of our minds. In this case, guest comfort and enjoyment were the priorities. The Shepherd’s Linhay is exceptionally well insulated and the acoustic roof lights are triple-glazed and rain sensitive. The Walkers decided to heat the barn using a low-carbon air source heat pump.
The Walkers are delighted with The Shepherd’s Linhay and have already received wonderful feedback from guests who have stayed in it.
Karen Walker says: “From the very beginning we had a brilliant relationship with Life Space Cabins and we were inspired by the passion Jamie clearly had for our project. The team have an incredible flair for design and they came up with some amazing ideas and architectural features. I would recommend Life Space Cabins to anyone looking to create a building with a real difference, for business or personal use”
Stay at The Shepherd’s Linhay
The first guests arrived at The Shepherd’s Linhay in May 2021. The barn, which welcomes dogs, is proving extremely popular. You can find out more and make a booking here