Monday, December 26, 2011

Real Life Fairy Tale Home

I am still digesting the panful of cinnamon rolls I digested Christmas morning...and the plate of gingerbread cookies I ate the day after Christmas. And the bag of cheesy popcorn I devoured whilst watching movies. And the mac 'n cheese. I'm still in holiday bliss mode. Thus, I thought this was a wonderful way to begin the week.


That is someone's real home. No, I'm not kidding. This home belongs to a man named Simon Dale who built it for his family of 4. Also, he built the entire house in 4 months. Now, you might think, Ok...he built a dirt mound in 4 months. Big deal. Wait til you see what it looks like inside.



Now, how much would you pay for a home like this? A home made with a single man's two hands, using recycled, green materials...? His cost? $4,700. 

I'm not kidding. $4,700. 

Some key points of the design and construction:
  • Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
  • Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
  • Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
  • Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do
  • Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
  • Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
  • Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
  • Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
  • Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring...)
  • Woodburner for heating - renewable and locally plentiful
  • Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
  • Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
  • Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
  • Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
  • Water by gravity from nearby spring
  • Compost toilet
  • Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.

Now, the Dale family has since moved on - apparently this house was built a few years ago - but he is nearing completion on their new home. It looks a little something like this:


This is simply one of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen. It's also completely green. A marriage of modern thinking and construction from days gone by. People talk about how homes these days go up and last for a few decades before they need to come down. But, somehow, there are still buildings, homes, etc. from hundreds of years ago that are still usable today, if not for some minor upkeep. Why is that? 

Now, I have neither the resources nor the know-how to build a home like this. But, if I had the opportunity, you bet I'd pay the $4,700 or the $47,000 for a home like this. 

Either way, isn't it just pretty to look at?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

6 comments:

  1. I actually found this house online earlier this year, when I decided to search "Hobbit Homes". I'd always wanted to build a house in the ground, because it just made so much more sense when you consider structure and environment. A "Hobbit" style house seemed to be the perfect design. When I saw this house, I fell in love. So much that I sat and designed the layout of my own home and I have pictures of it on my wall. Come on universe, send it my way! :D

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  2. Yeah actually viewed this earlier in the year, and discovered they have a whole low impact living project, going on in Carmarthenshire, Wales ( used to live there, live in Canada now).http://www.lammas.org.uk/
    I also found out about this wonderful home while listening to Druidcast one day, there is a page on FB, ( Friends of Talliston) which is a working project, they have so far taken 25yrs to build, the amount of thought that has gone into this project is outstanding, it is a very special place ;- well worth a look. OBOD/RDNA Bard

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  3. Wow! I thought it was in "The Shire" Really reminds me of the Art Nouveau movement, all those beautiful, organic, flowing lines. A feast for the eyes!

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  4. This home is beautiful and amazing! :-D I remember taking a look at it a little bit earlier, during this year, as well. But thank you for bringing it back. I am certainly going to add it to this year's "Vision Board". I showed it to my partner and, being huge LOTR fans, we thought it would be a dream to have a house like this! Ah, to live in a Hobbit home...!

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  5. A friend of mine who works at http://www.grist.org/ posted about it. How awesome would it be to live in a home like that? Not just Eco-friendly, but beautiful!

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  6. I love these homes! If you like this you should check out the Land Project http://www.facebook.com/TheLandProject

    Alicia
    http://livingthepath.blogspot.com/

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