On his birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien inadvertently sparks an architectural trend


When J.R.R. Tolkien, who was born today in 1892, first wrote about the homes of his Hobbit characters, he probably didn’t think he would spark an architectural trend.

Hobbit homes, as they are called by their owners, have a relatively loose definition, but most are made through simple construction out of natural materials to seamlessly blend with their surroundings.

Some are quite literally underground, like this ”hobbit hole” in rural Oregon or this house in Wales. They have the grassy, green roofs of Tolkien’s titular character Bilbo Baggins, star of “The Hobbit” book and films. Both were constructed with natural materials, and the one in Wales took four months and a little less than $5,000 to build.

Some like this Welsh home (that sadly had to be demolished), incorporate the warm wood interiors that filled Bilbo’s home, while others incorporate the circular door and beautiful butterfly windows of the homes, like this replica created from Tolkien’s sketches.

Then there’s places like The Hobbit House of Montana, which exists in green, rolling hills that harken back The Shire. The small resort pulled architectural details from Tolkien’s work to recreate the atmosphere of the Hobbit homeland.

Despite their differences, they all are affectionately called Hobbit homes by the owners.

For more photos, check out this gallery of Hobbit homes around the world.

Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.

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