Rick & Jill Stein unveil shepherd's huts in Cornwall, perfecting tiny house design

These are the lessons in designing tiny spaces we'll take from this new venture by the Stein family

Rick Stein shepherd's huts
(Image credit: Rick Stein)

Everyone knows Rick Stein's restaurants, but did you know that the Stein family are also run a successful hotel and accommodation business on the Cornish coast? Now,  Jill, Ed and Kate Stein have collaborated to create shepherd's huts on the grounds of The Cornish Arms near Padstow. The result is luxury accommodation on possibly the smallest scale we've ever seen. 

The hand-built huts nestle in a gorgeous Cornish location surrounded by woodland and grassland, but it's the design choices in these huts that have really captivated us. These are perfect modern homes in miniature, complete with individual terraced areas. These are the style lessons we'll take from this experiment in compact coastal living. 

1. Maximise natural light

Rick Stein shepherd's huts

(Image credit: Rick Stein)

Natural light is the single most important thing when making a tiny home inviting. Here, the tongue and groove wooden planks have been painted white, reflecting as much light from the windows (which have been added on all sides of the huts) as possible. White living room ideas truly translate into a space of any size – even if it also includes the kitchen and dining area.

2. Opt for high-end fixtures and fittings to elevate the look

Rick Stein shepherd's huts

(Image credit: Rick Stein)

Small doesn't have to equal basic – in fact, the smaller your space, the more likely you are to notice the smaller details like kitchen fixtures. Gooseneck taps, Nespresso coffee machines, and full-sized porcelain sinks give the interiors of these huts a refined and relaxed feel – anything but cramped. 

3. Pay attention to soft furnishings and accessories

Rick Stein shepherd's huts

(Image credit: Rick Stein)

Soft furnishings and in-hut amenities were designed by Jill and Kate Stein, and they add uplifting pops of blue to the otherwise neutral decorating scheme. From the nautical-themed cushions to the abstract-painted dinnerware, these are the touches that add a je ne sais quoi touch to these tiny interiors. Using bright cushions as a way of enhancing small bedroom ideas is especially inspiring. 

Rick Stein shepherd's huts

(Image credit: Rick Stein)

4. Don't neglect bathroom materials

Rick Stein shepherd's huts

(Image credit: Rick Stein)

Where it comes to making small bathroom ideas work in a really tiny space, going for a dark, dramatic colour scheme is often the best solution. Rather than allowing the small en suite to blend in, the Steins have opted for a striking grey interior that is instantly visible and intriguing. We like the way the finish has been kept rustic, echoing the planks throughout the rest of the hut. 

5. Make the most of any outdoor space you have

Rick Stein shepherd's huts

(Image credit: Rick Stein)

Finally, the easiest way to make a tiny indoor space more enjoyable...is to maximise  the possibilities offered by the great outdoors. In a sense, the whole ethos of the Stein huts is about enjoying the Cornish countryside. The huts may be tiny, but each offers its own relaxing outdoor space perfect for enjoying an evening glass of wine – and looking at the stars. As this latest Stein creation proves, a good holiday (or a good life, for that matter), isn't about having the most square metres. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future home titles; she has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s; she has written about literature, architecture, and photography, and has a special interest in high-end interior design.