Designing luxury cabins fit for elegant country estates

A photo of a Boutique Modern home built in partnership with KOTO architects.
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Interview with
Johnathon Little
July 2024
July 2024
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Did you know Boutique Modern’s modular build system is capable of delivering permanent dwellings, caravans, leisure accommodation and more?

We’ve worked with architects on hundreds of projects throughout our history. Over the past few years, we have seen real success working with architects who we are on our third, fourth or fifth collaboration with. We refer to these repeat collaborators as our Partner Architects.

One of these Partner Architects includes KOTO, an architecture and design practice based in Devon, who we work with to design and build beautiful luxury cabin projects which blend in perfectly in some of the UK’s finest country estates.

Most recently, we worked with KOTO to deliver luxury visitor accommodation for Leeds Castle in Kent, a stunning medieval castle set across two islands in the middle of a lake, as well as lakeside cabins at Fritton Lake, a family run private holiday club in the heart of a thousand-acre rewilding project on Norfolk’s Somerleyton Estate.

These Partner Architect collaborations work perfectly, as is the case with KOTO. The architect can design with their own signature style and brand, using the Boutique Modern build system as a guide for their creations, and BM use our expertise and market leading build system to deliver their designs and bring their vision into reality.

These collaborations deliver a fantastic service to our shared clients, who receive the best of both worlds in award winning design and expert modular delivery.

Our modular and flexible build system can be adapted for architects’ bespoke requirements and as a result we’ve been the chosen manufacturing partner for some award-winning architects and design studios.

We thoroughly enjoy working on these projects with KOTO, which deliver exquisitely designed luxury cabins, seamlessly blending the stunning natural surroundings with KOTO’s Scandinavian and Japanese inspired sustainable design philosophy.

KOTO’s design-led, high-quality modular homes provide a modern and sustainable alternative to conventional housing in the UK, Europe, and USA markets and specialises in luxury cabin accommodation for hotels and visitor destinations. KOTO also works with clients to design the interiors and curate furniture packages which BM build into our package for delivery.

We caught up with Johnathon Little, co-founder at KOTO, to find out more about his inspiration behind Koto and his design philosophy. Here’s what he had to say.

Boutique Modern: Tell us about the design behind Koto’s luxury cabins?

Johnathon: “Koto’s design philosophy is deeply rooted in minimalism, functionality and a harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor living.

“Our designs feature clean lines, natural materials and large windows that maximise natural light and views.”

Boutique Modern: How did you come up with the idea for Koto?

Johnathon: “Having spent ten years living on the shores of Norway’s Fjords, I returned with a deep appreciation of the local aesthetic and environment.

“Koto was born from an inspiration to create beautiful, functional spaces that connect people to nature.”

Boutique Modern: What is it that you love about Scandinavian and Japanese design?

Johnathon: “I appreciate the emphasis on simplicity, functionality, and natural materials in Scandinavian design.

“From Japanese design, I am inspired by the focus on minimalism, the use of natural light, and the importance of creating spaces that promote tranquillity and a connection with nature.”

Boutique Modern: What kind of clients does Koto work with?

Johnathon: “We work with a diverse range of clients, from individuals looking for a luxury bespoke home to hoteliers, estates and developers interested in creating high-end residential multi-unit projects.”

Boutique Modern: How did your clients react to the projects delivered in partnership with us?

Johnathon: “Our clients have been delighted with the projects delivered in partnership with Boutique Modern, appreciating the balance between design, build quality and sustainability.”

Boutique Modern: We’re looking forward to working with you on future projects we have planned together! What made you decide to partner with us?

Johnathon: “Our decision to partner with Boutique Modern was driven by our shared commitment to design excellence, sustainability and innovation.

“Boutique Modern’s expertise in modular construction aligned perfectly with Koto’s values, making them an ideal partner for bringing our visions to life.”

Boutique Modern: Koto aligned perfectly with the work and principles at Boutique Modern too. We are passionate about creating beautiful buildings that make people happy and which are sustainable. So tell us, what has your experience been like of working with Boutique Modern?

Johnathon: “Our experience working with Boutique Modern has been very positive, characterised by collaboration, quality and a shared commitment to excellence.”

Boutique Modern: We’ve partnered with architects on projects including luxury visitor accommodation, caravans and homes, who find our flexible build system really easy to work with to deliver their creative vision. What do you see as the benefits of our build system?

Johnathon: “For architects, Boutique Modern’s flexible build system offers several benefits, including the ability to customise designs to meet specific client needs, faster construction times, and a reduced environmental impact compared to traditional building methods.”

“BM take the time to understand our brand and what’s important to KOTO, as well as what we are looking to achieve on each project, so we trust they are going to stick to our design intent as the project is built”

Boutique Modern: What’s your favourite project at Koto?

Johnathon: “It’s too difficult to pick a favourite project! We view each one as a unique opportunity to craft something extraordinary.”

Boutique Modern: What makes Koto homes special?

Johnathon: “Our Koto homes are special because they combine innovative modular design with a deep respect for nature and the environment.

“Each home reflects our dedication to simplicity, functionality, and beauty, creating not just a living space but an enriching experience that complements its surroundings.”

A photo a Boutique Modern home built in partnership with KOTO Architects