Out of the Valley

Out of the Valley

It started with a single cabin, built in a deep wooded valley by the river Teign, on the edge of Dartmoor in England. Driven by a desire to embrace off-grid living in close connection with nature, Rupert constructed the cabin as a home for himself, where he could enjoy a simpler way of living.

Word soon spread, and others were interested in similar sanctuaries for themselves. And so Out of the Valley was born.

The time he spent inhabiting this idyllic spot between moorland and river sparked an urge to share this way of living with others, leading to the journey of his work ‘out of the valley’ – where its roots will always remain – and into the wider world.

Comprising architects, designers and craftspeople, the Out of the Valley team are experts in timber construction and have a wealth of knowledge in off-grid technologies and the principles of biophilic design – that is, the design of structures that invite their inhabitants to connect with the surrounding natural landscape.

We bring this specialist knowledge and wisdom to every project we undertake.

We hold to a conviction that less is more, and that low-footprint, clutter-free living is not only more environmentally and economically sound, but good for the soul.

Wood, sourced locally, will always be our primary material – its organic, tactile quality, its smell, its warmth and beauty are a constant source of joy for us, and inspire everything we make.

wooden cabin with oak panelling and wood burning stove overlooking an estuary
cabin model on a rock in a dartmoor river

At Out of the Valley we believe that we can only thrive if we treat the earth with kindness, and give back what we borrow from it. This is why we dedicate ourselves to replenishing and nurturing the landscape in our little patch of Devon.

beech forest

4000 native trees now surround our founding workshop, planted by us to offset our timber use. In harmony with our efforts to rewild our surrounding land, this reforestation will help biodiversity to flourish along the riverside and in the fields. The coppiced timber from our fledgling woodlands also provides a renewable fuel source for our activities.

off grid tiny wooden nomad cabin with black cladding in a sunny field

We plan to build more cabins in our future woodland, and welcome guests for courses in self-sufficiency and green construction techniques. Please contact us to be updated when these are ready to launch.

Rupert McKelvie Founding Director

Rupert spent much of his childhood playing with wood shavings and offcuts in his parents’ workshop in the Gloucestershire countryside. (He still has the first table he ever made.) It was this love of the material that led him to study sustainable design in Falmouth and then classical boat building in Dorset, where he learned centuries-old woodcraft techniques from the masters. After four years spent working for design houses and furniture workshops in London, Rupert relocated to Devon in 2015, where he built his first cabin. He founded Out of the Valley in 2016.

Dave Young Operations Manager

Dave has been working within the high end furniture industry for over fifteen years, successfully launching Young and Norgate and more recently Husk kitchens. He brings a great depth of experience to Out of the Valley, he manages our team across multiple projects and trades to deliver our signature high quality work.

Rob Morgan Architectual Designer

Rob sought to follow his passion for hands-on designing and making. He found the right place. A keen runner and outdoor lover who enjoys nothing better than being at the mercy of mother nature, Rob’s championing of organic materials in his projects made him a perfect choice for the Out of the Valley team.

William Holland Workshop Manager

Will heads up workshop production, a highly skilled maker that can turn his hand to almost every material and process. He ensures  his construction team are always happy and busy.