How to Create Your Own Yard Hobbit Home
By: Meghan Belnap
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
Those immortal words open the classic high fantasy novel The Hobbit. J.R.R. A cozy nook in the ground is an appealing thought for readers in need, like the hobbits, of a place of peace and quiet. However, these little homes aren’t just for hobbits anymore; anyone can build a hobbit home right in their own backyard. Here’s how any Tolkien fan can get their own hobbit hole with just a little yard space and some creative construction.
Build a shed
Essentially, your hobbit-hole is going to be like a fancy yurt. These are squat, round structures with either a domed or triangular top. While any shed can be altered to be an effective base for your hobbit home, the shape and structure of a yurt is excellent for the aesthetic of hobbit holes.
The wooden structure will need to be fortified with stronger wooden beams and insulation in order to properly hold up the add-ons later. Of course, unless your yard is particularly large, you won’t be able to have the winding tunnel that the book describes for Bilbo’s home, but as a quiet place to eat and read, a standard shed-size should do just fine for most fans.
“They love peace and quiet and good tilled earth.” – The Fellowship of the Ring, Concerning Hobbits
While it is not often overtly stated in the books, it is mentioned time and time again how much hobbits love a quiet life with a nice garden. If you’re of a similar disposition, then you’ll want to make space for your own garden in front of your hobbit hole, or as Bilbo was said to have it, along the left side where the window can overlook it. Of course, as a hobbit hole is built into the side of a hill, some grass will be an important part of the Shire-like appearance. Pack in the sides of the shed with dirt to create the perfect hill shape. Then, purchase rolls of lawn and let those grow in place on top.
To prevent the grass roots from damaging the structure of the shed, you can line the exterior of the building with stone or brick. Because the laying of the dirt and crafting of the lawn over the shed can get complicated, this would be a good time in your construction to consult with an expert. A landscape architect or contractor is a good resource when looking at what materials will best support both the grass above and the hobbit hole beneath.
Heat it up
In order for your hobbit hole to be a place of comfort, as the book says, you’ll want it to be comfortably heated in the colder months. While an electric heater may not exactly fit the Tolkien world aesthetic, a wood heater installation can give you an old-fashioned heating source but without the fire risk of an open fireplace. Modern wood heaters have filters that minimize the carbon release from the smoke into the atmosphere, as well, and the heat from the furnace is perfect for a small space like a hobbit hole without having to burn too much fuel.
Because the home will be covered in earth, the most that will be needed to keep it cool on hot summer days is to have a round window or two installed on the sides to open up. As anyone who spends much time in a basement will know, earth walls are excellent at keeping a cool temperature, as the heat of the sun is absorbed by the ground and surface plants long before it can travel down to the interior structure. This heating and cooling combination will make it the perfect, energy-efficient escape from reality all-year round.
Customize the outer door
“It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle.”
A hobbit-hole wouldn’t be complete without that iconic round center door. While Tolkien’s description is very specific, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your own embellishments on the design. Try sketching out your ideas so you can start imagining what the outside of the hobbit hole will look like. Do you want curlicue patterns in different-colored wood? This customization honors the spirit of the novel while also making it your own, and any custom door builder should be able to accommodate your design.
Fantasy novels help transport us beyond the realm of the everyday. Having your own backyard get-away built like a hobbit home can make for an extra magical reading nook or a place to watch the movies. All it takes is a little imagination and you can have the hobbit-hole you always dreamed of in your own backyard.
Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.