We talk to designer Cath Caesar about her contemporary take on the classic shepherd’s hut, designing for maximum space and light, and her new off-grid offering
What do you do?
We design and make contemporary shepherd’s huts and shepherd’s hut kits. The huts provide the perfect accommodation for those looking for a vacation with character and modern convenience.
Why do you do it so well?
Here at Plain Huts we love tradition but also love good design. We have kept all that is good about the shepherd’s hut, investing in casting our own cast iron wheels and using the traditional curved corrugated iron roof, for example; while improving on other areas that really do not ‘cut the mustard’ in today’s society, such as letting in more light, and creating more space.
Please give us a potted company history
I founded Plain Huts in 2012 having been inspired by the old shepherd’s huts on a nearby farmer’s land. I had been developing my own property using galvanised steel and cedar, and the idea of updating an old traditional design with these materials was born. Over six years the company has grown steadily, supplying kits, glamping units and bespoke huts.
Describe your brand proposition
We aim to design modern contemporary spaces that work well for the customer. In the case of our glamping huts we provide a space that is comfortable to stay in and encourages guests to use the hut as a base for their holiday. We pride ourselves on considering carefully how the space will be used and designing accordingly.
For the glamping market the Romney is the most popular size. It is 5m long and 2.4m wide. This gives enough room for an en-suite, kitchen facilities and double bed. It can be powered using an electric hook up or we can fit solar panels to the roof making it an off-grid solution.
What are you most proud of?
Our new Off-Grid hut. Last winter we decided to build an off-grid shepherd’s hut. The challenge was to build an off-grid hut that incorporated all the signature elements of a Plain Hut, the only service allowed was a supply of cold running water. The finished hut has achieved just that and is, in our opinion, the perfect balance of traditional and contemporary.
At the centre of the kitchen is a wood burning stove with a large flat top and an oven. On either side there are oak worktops and storage. Above the sink is a classic but practical plate rack and on the other side we have incorporated a gas hob for those times when you just need a quick cuppa.
We really wanted to install one of our signature en-suite wet rooms. To achieve this we have developed a compost toilet that is able to sit alongside the thermostatically controlled shower. The water for the shower is heated by LPG. The compost toilet is simple and convenient to set up and use. At first glance you wouldn’t know that this is an off-grid wet room.
On top of this there are the flexible solar panels on the roof, the storage area at the back, the integral blinds in the doors, and the rain chain above the platform.
Why should a customer get in touch?
We love what we do and are keen to work with our customers to make their ideas a reality. Since starting our business we have built 25 shepherd’s huts for our customers. Because we build bespoke our knowledge continues to grow and we stay energised and enthusiastic. Our huts combine craftsmanship and innovation, and there is nothing else quite like them on the market.