Inspiration where you live

December 8, 2011 / Beautiful / 2 Comments /

We all like pretty things. We may have different definitions of what we find pretty, but the fact remains: we like beauty. Dustin Hoffman’s character Raymond in Rain Man sums this up rather well: “Very sparkly. Very twinkly.”

A cob house is a small piece of beauty, carefully crafted out of clay, straw, and sand, sometimes taking a year or more of construction, but finishing off into a residential gem. What does cob house have to do with design? Imagine being able to come home or even work in such a cozy and inspiring place. What kinds of ideas would you have if you got to live in such a home? Think about how fun the mundane would become, if you could just sit and sip coffee in a living room with designs carved into the wall.

Go on, have a look:

This has to be the cutest house ever. Just look at it! How much fun would it be to come home to this little gem?

Now that Christmas is coming, I just think of how adorable this home would be, decked out in gold lights. Right now I live on a sailboat, but I think I’d love to live in a cob house in the future, nestled in with a family, baking cupcakes for Christmas.

Cob houses don't fit a mold or expectation. They can be whatever you want. Look at the curves and the colors.

The over-used expression “Thinking outside the box,” was probably tossed around a lot when building this home. The curves and colors are out of a fairytale.

cob house in the snow

Because the walls are so thick, cob homes are well insulated and stay nice and warm.

Who says you have to have a pitched roof? The rolling rooftop conveys playfulness and fantasy.

Square doors? Why?

When you get away from a square frame and a rectangular door, the mind is forced to be creative. What results is something like the doorway above. The owners of his home are greeted with creativity before even walking inside their home. And guests can’t help but feel delighted while wiping their feet.

This home reminds me of the older European cob houses. I love that fireplace.

We live in a modern world with a ton of gadgets. And hey, I like that about our world. Communication is instantaneous. But there’s no rule that says everything has to be spiffy and new. It would be fun to just kick back and relax on this couch while reading a book (on your Kindle, Nook, or iPad), and playing music (Bach anyone?) while the fire warms this rustic room.

If my kitchen looked like this, I might cook. Or bake. Or just chill out just because.

And here is where my fabled baking would commence. In a kitchen like this, how could I not bake? I think I’d make friends who’d just want to come over and spend time in my kitchen.

A bathtube! How neat is this?

I love my boat and living inside it, but I do miss the occasional bath. Though if I had this bathroom setup, it might be hard for me to pull away from the tub, especially if I built a fireplace in the same room. So warm!

I'm betting that the owner of this house has lots of visitors. Who wouldn't want to hang out in this place?

Wood, wood, wood galore. It’s such a gorgeous room, it would be impossible not to just sit around and stare.

I love the wood ceiling and floor. So warm and cozy.

This fireplace area would be perfect for a cob house in the Pacific Northwest.

Windows of different sizes, yellow walls, art built in.

A large coffee cup on the table, the plush pillows in the corner, and even though the room is somewhat disorderly, it’s still beautiful.

More Photos


cob entryway

cob kitchen

cob house

cob stairs

Below is a video of a man discussing the different ways to build a home from natural materials.

About the author

Courtney: Courtney Kirchoff is a published novelist and web designer. She lives and works in the greater Seattle area.


  1. MarshallNo Gravatar

    July 15, 2012
    / Reply

    Ahoy!, I just wanted to drop you a line, I love your site. I used to be a livaboard sailor for many years, but am ashore now. Not to worry, my home is very small, has a wood stove, and is setup like a small ship regardless (brass oil lamps, etc. ) so I still sleep at night. I am working toward getting back afloat full time, and have a smallish traditional boat building shop, and do historical sailing charters in the St. Augustine / Green Cove springs FL area. I will soon be looking to setup a website, as well as rework my logo's a bit in preparation for some clothing to come out in the fall. - So I will certainly be in touch!

    BTW- your post about the sardine stove brought me to your site I was researching a stove for my 28' Sharpie Egret replica.

    - Cheers. just wanted to tell you your awesome!
    - Marshall.
    Lowry Ship & Sea, Green Cove Springs FL /USA.

  2. sharon millerNo Gravatar

    December 18, 2014
    / Reply

    absolutely beautiful full of Sunshine , working on ideas with my husband now for our own cob home thank you for sharing your work

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply