Many of us have harboured secret fantasies of living in the shire from The Lord of the Rings, but Kristie Wolfe actually made it happen. And she didn’t just throw a round door onto a pre-built home. Instead, she built her shire home from the beginning — the very beginning. The first step? Searching the countryside for an appropriate parcel of land to buy in order to establish her own shire, and, using scavenged and second-hand materials, building a hobbit-inspired abode.
For $18,000, she bought five acres of land in Washington state, and “with a lot of help from family and friends,” she built the mini-home in just a few days. The house itself is built directly into a hillside, which gives it an authentic hobbit-hole feel, though its placement meant she had to build on (and carry materials up) a fairly steep slope. But she rose to the challenge, building a water-resistant and extremely sturdy structure that could survive being driven over by a backhoe.
Her parcel of land is entirely off-grid, so she created a solar-panel structure to power her home, since the area sees abundant sunlight. The home is 288 square feet, but even at that tiny size, it required a permit, which Wolfe applied for by going to the county and showing them her sketches. Her vision won them over, and she was given the go-ahead to build.
Aside from general amazingness, the home’s features include sloped ceilings, a stone fireplace, a woven-branch fence, a cordwood floor, wooden fixtures, and one spectacular view.
Wolfe took her inspiration from several versions of The Hobbit, including a 1970s cartoon, but when it came time to build the home, she re-read the books to ensure her hobbit home was as authentic as possible. Perhaps the most important feature (aside from the iconic round door, which she built from the top of a cable spool), is the home’s overall sense of coziness. As Tolkien himself put it: “It was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
It’s an extremely impressive achievement, especially considering how quickly it was built. Check out the video to see how she pulled it off.
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