Roundhouse Project - Leicester
Updated: Mar 20
Emily and Chris had been running their glamping site for a year when they started looking for a creative way to expand on their existing cabin accommodations. With a nearby paddock sitting empty, it made sense to diversify by adding two exclusive units that would offer a different experience and generate higher rental fees. Wanting a different design to their existing cottage-style cabins, they settled on something curvy or circular that also offered a more boutique experience.
Initial conversations established that for the budget to hand we could supply two 5 metre diameter roundhouse units, plus some carefully designed features that would provide the boutique effect they were looking for. We took a stock structure design and created a simple but efficient interior layout that facilitated an open-plan sleeping and dining / kitchenette, plus a generous en-suite shower room.
Several roofing and exterior material options were available, from which Emily and Chris chose cedar for both the cladding and roof shingles, with anthracite-grey windows and doors. It's a popular combination and for good reason as they do look rather well side by side.
Curvy structures do not lend themselves to wall radiators so underfloor heating was installed with touchscreen control, as well as LED ceiling, bedside lighting, sockets with USB ports, 1200x900 shower enclosure, toilet / basin vanity unit, and a heated towel rail. The kitchenette includes a sink area, microwave combi oven, hob, extractor and integrated fridge.
The interior spec was created from a combination of stock flooring, bathroom and kitchen unit choices, along with a bespoke bed and headboard feature. Outside, the cabin is finished with a natural oil and a fanned deck curves around each cabin creating a spacious outdoor area for patio furniture and a hot tub.
We created a different interior colour scheme for each roundhouse from one colour palette that included blues, reds and greys. A carefully curated style with a bold feature wall provided the boutique finish - not to mention striking marketing images.
Given the current trends, choosing a retro, mid century fabric design would have been the predicable route, but given the proximity to the village church, we felt that here, a nod toward something more traditional would add some contrast the contemporary style of the roundhouses. The chosen fabric echoes the essence of a classic William Morris design yet in a modern style, from which curtains and bespoke feature cushions were made. In particular, the feature cushions on the beds created striking marketing photographs, especially in combination with the backlit headboard. After all - it's all about images and Instagram these days!
The kitchen shelves, bed, headboard and side tables were all hand-crafted on site from timbers that had been salvaged from the demolition of an old school, and the resulting finish had the most beautiful colour and patina. Our initial idea of putting a rustic paint effect on the headboards was quickly dismissed when we saw that the rich tones of the wood sat so beautifully against the bold feature-wall colours.
To ensure the maximum sense of privacy, use of views, and light, for each roundhouse cabin we spent some time on the orientation of each, and where they would sit within the paddock. Paying particular attention to the use of the hot tubs, the decks on each roundhouse were laid out to ensure maximum privacy. In between the roundhouses, a bank was created and planted with copper beech to provide an immediate earth and green boundary between the two structures, as well as adding interest to an otherwise reasonably flat landscape. Several hundred trees, shrubs and bulbs have been planted to create a semi-wild space that increases biodiversity and creates habitat and food sources for insects, birds and small mammals.
To echo the shape of the roundhouse, the paths from the parking area to each cabin curve out and separate from each other as soon as possible, creating a sense of individuality even though the cabins sit in the same paddock. And finally, just a few metres from each roundhouse, the paths lead the guests through their own circular 'gateway' that completely encircles the path... planted with fragrant climbers and flowers, taking them to their own little retreat.
These roundhouse cabins are being marketed through an agency with projected rental revenues indicate a remarkably healthy return on investment for the site owners. I was delighted to have been chosen to facilitate the project, and wish Emily and Chris every success with their developing glamping business. You can find out more about these cabins on the roundhouse page, or if you're looking for something bespoke, please get in touch to talk through your ideas.
"Kate Morel is an energy source, she listens to your needs and uses her wealth of knowledge to provide creative and workable solutions to your accommodation requirements - with enthusiasm. Chris and I worked with Kate in 2019 to add two more units to Mallory Meadows and she came up with a superb Round house design to suit our site and budget. Working with a fantastic build team she delivered with style. Kate is willing to offer fresh view points and encourages you to step outside the traditional, mixing old with new to produce a unique and personal blend for your customer experience. We were delighted with her professionalism and commitment to the project and the end results speak for themselves, our customers love the round houses "Jenny Wren and Robin’s Retreat”.
Chris & Emily-Jane Tams, Mallory Meadows, Leicestershire.