Building these homes is like kneading dough.
“We spend so much of our lives in boxes,” says Alexis Borsboom, owner of this cottage set among the trees on Mayne Island, BC.
The unique shape is just one reason she and her husband moved. The rest of the story lies within its walls – and begins with the walls themselves.
This is because they are made of cob: a combination of clay, sand and straw mixed with water and then carved by hand. The couple fell in love when they met in a workshop; later, they bought the home and built a life by building structures together.
With soft edges along and a wooden staircase, the interior of their home looks like something out of a dream – but subtle nods to the 70s decor make it familiar.
A virgin is a bit like adobe. But unlike adobe, which is formed in bricks and hardened before construction, virgin structures are sculpted while the mixture is still wet.
Working with rough ground means that not much equipment is needed on a sword site. And because most necessary materials can be collected from the surrounding region, building a sword has very little environmental impact.
This building style also informs the natural, organic shapes you will find through a horse home, such as arched doors and a space perfectly measured to match the wood stove.
The kitchen, which is located right next to the living room, is a comfortable space with enough space for the essentials – in addition to a breakfast nook to enjoy a morning cup.
Above, a gently sloping ceiling gives the bedroom and workplace a uniquely homey feel. And just above that ceiling sits a wide, hilly roof. It’s core – it protects the home from wind and rain. With a strong foundation and the right roof, a cob-style home can last forever. But “if it stays out of the elements, it will become dirty after one year,” Borsboom says.
The second floor door leads to a small deck that is perfect for capturing the magical sunsets off the west coast of Canada.
Alexis describes stylish homes as “a gentle and beautiful lifestyle.” We couldn’t agree more.