13th February 2014

Open plan living with volume and light, natural finishes, contemporary design, indoor-outdoor flow, underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove – and all wrapped within the characterful shell of a converted barn: what’s not to love about The Cob?


Situated on a 7-acre farm in Devon and nestled between two nature reserves 4 miles from Bude, this is the kind of holiday let that I’d love to escape to for a week, both for the area (Bude has some of the best beaches in the region) and for the opportunity to experience this building in the flesh.


The conversion of this cob barn by the award-winning architectural practice Feilden Fowles has, as the architects’ say, added ‘another layer of history to a building that has been expanded and stitched together over the last 200 years. The project celebrates the rich material patchwork of cob, stone, concrete and brick, keeping much of the existing fabric while inserting a new load-bearing timber frame inside.’


The new elements of this building have been clearly defined from the old. New openings are framed with precast concrete surrounds, while a clerestory pours light into the rooms on the upper level. The internal spaces feel beautiful in their sense of volume and in the natural light that floods through this interior. Bi-fold doors open from the dining area onto an east-facing terrace, so you can spill the living space outside on warmer days.


There are nice touches – touches you don’t always find in a holiday let – including the Bose sound system, and I particularly like the pops of colour, from the Eames chairs to the graphic framed prints.

tumblr_n0wgpeMkyj1sij10fo8_1280 tumblr_n0wgpeMkyj1sij10fo7_1280

The house sleeps 9 and three of the bedrooms are upstairs along with the family bathroom (with REN toiletries – another nice touch). There’s even a vegetable plot.

This is the kind of house that makes me long for summer. And if The Cob is too big for your needs, there’s always its sister property, The Red Barn, which sleeps 4 – again, a barn conversion with cool design features, but simply on a smaller scale.


The Cob is let from £1,300 per week by The Modern House.

See the Steller story on The Cob.