Devon LivingIssue #06

Get some space

We discover the Life Space Cabin ethos and what inspired Jamie Wilson to start building unique outdoor spaces.

In a recent interview with owner and founder of Life Space Cabins, Jamie Wilson, we discovered the story behind this innovative business and what creating unique outdoor spaces means to the team.

What’s your background and how has it helped influence your business?

“For nine years, I was responsible for Sales and Marketing at Carpenter Oak, the makers of beautiful green oak homes. I could see that there was a growing demand for people wanting smaller spaces to suit their ever-changing work and life balance, and that’s what I wanted to tap into with Life Space Cabins.”

Did your travels in Europe in a campervan inspire you to launch the company?

“The sense of fun that living in a small space creates has definitely influenced our cabin work, our VW campervan has many quirks to make it function, from a pop-up roof to a ‘rock and roll’ fold down bed. We love how the van transforms from a car into a tiny home. It’s this thread we enjoy introducing into our cabins – fun features that through their dynamism can transform a space. For example, in the cabin we have just completed, we included a large drop down window shutter. The shutter effortlessly lowers by a series of winches and pulleys and becomes a look out for the family to sit and admire the amazing Dart Estuary view.”

What is the most out-there project that you’ve worked on so far?

“The luxury shed that we’ve just completed near Dartmouth was a real knock out, in more ways than one. The location is stunning and our clients wanted to combine the natural site with great architecture that disappears into the landscape. One major challenge however was constructing the luxury shed on a very steep Devon hillside, and building during the worst winter we’ve seen in a long time. It was all made worth it for the end result though, which encapsulates everything that we stand for at Life Space Cabins: amazing design, attention to detail and of course, the sense of fun that we want to include in every project.”

How have people used their small spaces?

“At Life Space Cabins, we want to give people the opportunity to commission a small quirky space that they might not have considered possible before. We are currently working on a project inspired by a grain storage tank; this design will be used as a family craft space. Another project follows a common theme where
the cabin is used as an extension of the family accommodation but doubles as a home office or Airbnb to generate additional income.”

Do you have your own small space at home?

“In 2014 my wife and I bought a 1920’s renovation project in south Dartmoor and much to my wife’s delight, I built a cabin at the bottom of the garden as our first project! The space is currently a shed with an al fresco dining area but could easily become a future office or even a teenage den for our son Ned.”

What materials do you favour and how do you source them?

“Our spaces are built to a super high spec. We believe in delivering responsible, pragmatic, ‘eco’ construction alongside considered design and material choices. Wherever possible, we source materials responsibly and help balance environmental requirements alongside aesthetic desires. We also design and build our spaces for the maximum life expectancy and firmly believe in the old adage, ‘you buy cheap, you buy twice’.”

Do you work closely with other local businesses?

“Working with local businesses and contractors is absolutely a part of our ethos at Life Space Cabins. The West Country has a plethora of skilled businesses and craftsmen and we actively encourage collaboration.”

We love the concept behind Life Space Cabins, and their projects so far stand testament to the company’s attention to detail, craftsmanship and skill. The Life Space Cabins ethos for creating dynamic, fun and quirky spaces is inspirational and makes you realise that any outdoor space you have can be utilised in an innovative and resourceful way to give your family more room to spread out, or even to act as a side-line money maker.

“Working with local businesses and contractors is absolutely a part of our ethos at Life Space Cabins. The West Country has a plethora of skilled businesses and craftsmen and we actively encourage collaboration.”