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Everyone has dreamt of spending time in or owning their own secluded cabin or retreat tucked away from all the distractions of modern life.

All great cabins start with a dream.

In 2017 Martin and Ness Turner decided to shake their lives up a little. They sold their busy Cafe in the centre of Totnes, Devon and having already bought a piece of their own woodland they decided to build a small cabin there. A place where  their family, two teenage boys could escape to and reconnect with each other and nature away from the everyday stresses of life.

The woods are a mix of douglas fir, sweet chestnut with some huge specimens of oak and beech trees on the perimeter. The 4 acres of woodland was purchased via Woodlands.co.uk

"We are custodians of this little piece of England"

A Stripped Back Family Space

This woodland cabin envelopes the rustic charm and local craftsmanship of a traditionally made foresters cabin of old.

The family designed a 5×5 m2 space, with a 5×2 covered veranda where they could read, whittle, chat, and dangle their feet over the edge whilst taking in the view over the fields afar and listening to the flowing stream below and the wind in the trees above..

Essentially the family wanted to keep it simple, after all it is in the middle of a wood and they have two dogs and two children. This is not Egyptian cotton sheets, it’s muddy boots and bonfires!

The cabin was built by carpentry geniuses Robin Milne and Duncan Passmore. They used locally sourced horizontal larch cladding, the cabin is fully insulated with double glazed windows and doors. There is also have a wood burner for those cold winter days. The uprights that support the roof on the front veranda are sweet chestnut from the wood that Martin felled himself and stripped back with his son.

Exterior Finishes

Larch feather edge vertical cladding was specified as a robust, UK sourced finish with a low cost. Freshly milled Larch starts out being quite orangery pink but quickly silvers back to a natural silver hue which settles into any natural surrounding, summer or winter

In terms of the roof, one option would be to use a galvanised corrugated tin roof for its agricultural hints. This can be further enhanced by specifying the amazing Corten corrugated sheet - when left this well create a rusty surface of beautiful oranges and browns. Have a look at the Woodcutters Refuge

Or you could give the cabin a contemporary twist by introducing a crisp lined zinc roof.

Interior Finishes

Painted sawn interior cladding would give a beautiful texture and interest to the interior surfaces and could be used throughout. Alternatively, you could introduce a veneered plywood (ash, oak, douglas fir or birch) or we could simply give the boards a lime wash, giving a lighter appearance while retaining the natural grain character of the timber.

The Woodland cabin is very adaptable for a variety of future uses from making an ideal Airbnb style letting space, a teenager's den, summer house, artist's studio, garden home office or reading room.

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Sun peering through woodland
Read more about their story here
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Top elevation of Life Space Cabin
Planning Permission to use the cabin was given in support of their activities in managing the woodland.
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