A rustic retreat in the English countryside becomes a space for reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from the hustle of everyday life.

The original brief for Makers Barn, located on a hilly and secluded site just outside of London, was to design a holiday home for a hard-working couple seeking an escape to the countryside. As the project evolved, however, they were captivated by its profound sense of calm and chose to make it their permanent home. Realised by London-based architecture and design studio HUTCH, the project involved an architectural overhaul of the barn, including demolishing some parts of the building while altering others and redesigning the interiors, including sourcing all the furniture, objects and lighting.

HUTCH’s design approach involved a considered blend of inspiration and originality. “Rather than simply replicating the other homes in the area, we wanted to create a bespoke English hideaway – a contemporary interpretation of the local vernacular,” founder Craig Hutchinson says. “We drew inspiration from the traditional English Tudor cottages by incorporating a concrete chimney, pronounced timber columns and a timber-clad pitched roof.” These elements are complemented by contemporary design features such as textured plaster walls, deep skylights and extensive floor-to-ceiling glazing.

The glazing, which frames views of the landscape from almost every point, represents a broader theme of connecting with nature, which HUTCH have also expressed in their use of materials throughout the project. “The materials are designed to harmonise with the surrounding landscape of grass-covered hills and woodland forest,” Craig says. “We also like to contrast soft and hard materials in our projects to highlight their inherent textural qualities; in this project, it’s the Brutalist concrete fireplace and clay-plastered walls juxtaposed against the refined English elm joinery.”

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The living space, which boasts panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, features the B&B Italia Camaleonda sofa chair, a handmade plant fibre pendant light by Pinch, and an origami-like metal coffee table.

With only a small footprint to work with, HUTCH took a creative approach to the layout, arranging the spaces around a central concrete wall housing a fireplace, storage, and on the side containing the bedroom and bathroom, an open shower. The result is a functional, free-flowing house that the couple can live in all year-round, boasting self-sufficient features such as a wood-burning stove and solar energy.

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The spaces are arranged around a central concrete wall housing a fireplace, storage, and on the side containing the bedroom and bathroom, an open shower. 

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The bedroom features a Ercol pale oak bed and natural linen bedding by By Mölle.

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Referencing traditional English Tudor cottages, the home features a timber-clad pitched roof and concrete chimney.

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Home Tour | The Makers Barn by HUTCH
Swisspearl Willy Guhl Loop Chair

The home is enveloped by wildflower garden beds and tall grass. Resting on the patio is the Swisspearl Willy Guhl Loop chair.

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