House Tour: Marcella’s Miracle Cob House

updated May 9, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Marcella de Boom
Occupation: Artist
Location: Cullinan, South Africa
Type: Cob house
Size: 970 sq.ft.
Years lived in: 9


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Marcella de Boom is no ordinary woman, she has built her entire home with her own two hands. The inspiration was “creative poverty”, a wild dream of building a home, without spending more than $5000! The dream started to materialize when she met Interior Architect and Cob lover; Dawn McAdam by coincidence. Dawn is a conceptual genius and the two creative souls masterminded a plan in no time.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

>> dream. Marcella accepted gladly since painting is her bread and butter. They soon realized the only way of fulfilling this dream was to invite help — unskilled help. Any hands were welcome! The building commenced with many enthusiastic volunteers, but as the months passed and the novelty wore off, the volunteers thinned out and Marcella and her daughter were the last women standing!

One year later the building was complete — a beautiful organic home — crafted with love and hands from all around the country. Marcella and Dawn made the unthinkable happen, they built an entire house and gallery for under $5000! If that wasn’t enough they almost immediately started on a next project, building a 3 bedroom house for Marcella’s daughter! Ladies we salute you!

To see more of Marcella’s art visit: Marcella de Boom.

AT Survey:

What are your dreams and desires?: To make good paintings

What inspire you?:Creative Poverty

Favorite Element: All elements

Biggest Challenge: To survive financially!

What Friends Say: It`s warm and welcome

Biggest Embarrassment: Dog pee on the carpet

Proudest DIY: When the house was finished

Biggest Indulgence: A warm bath, a glass of wine and good music

Best advice: Follow your dream

Dream Source: I will buy all the materials and make everything myself.


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Kitchen Hardware: Inherited

Kitchen furniture: Inherited

Accessories: All gifts

Rugs and Carpets: Inherited

Window Treatments: I made all the stained glass-windows myself

Beds: Inherited

Art: Made myself and inherited


Thanks, Marcella!