Erin and Ben Napier of “Home Town” usually update homes with their signature Southern style—but their latest clients have a unique request: a hobbit house.
In the Season 5 episode “Woodland Wonderland,” Erin and Ben help Kathy and Isao Fecudas find a run-down but charming 1938 home in Laurel, MS, for $40,000. However, these two have unconventional tastes, and want a house with “shire style” as Kathy puts it. They have a healthy budget of $160,000 to make it happen.
While hobbit houses are awfully cute and quite popular these days, there’s a fine line between adorable and feeling like you live on a Tolkein movie set. How do you design a hobbit house without going overboard? Here’s how the Napiers pull it off, which might inspire you to make some changes around your own abode, too.
Can’t swing a rounded door? Use rounded windows instead
This home needed a fresh look.
Kathy would love her budding hobbit house to have a round front door, of course. However, the house she and Isao buy has a traditional, rectangular door, and unfortunately, a custom entryway isn’t in the budget.
Still, Erin gets an idea to give these homeowners the next best thing.
“We could give them double doors that allude to that shape with the curve in the windows,” Erin says.
This larger front door completes the look.
Erin and Ben’s team creates a larger entryway and then installs double doors with arched windows. The wood-tone doors give a natural, woodsy feel to the entry. Plus, the rounded windows give off a subtle hobbit vibe.
These doors still have a traditional look, but when combined with the tree-filled yard and new green siding on the house, they feel wonderfully whimsical.
These double doors aren’t round, like the ones on hobbit houses, but they’re the next best thing.
Use stone floor tile as a backsplash
This backsplash tile is usually used for floors.
Erin and Ben want to make sure they give Kathy and Isao’s kitchen an earthy feel, so they choose a stone backsplash with lots of texture.
“I wanted it to feel like a cottage that would be buried in the woods somewhere,” Erin says of the choice.
Their tile installer, David, is excited to install the unique tile, but he points out that this specific design would usually be used for flooring.
This backsplash is a unique choice, but it looks great.
While this may be an unusual backsplash, it works well with the hobbit theme. This stone, combined with moss-colored cabinets, give the kitchen a soft, natural look, which makes the house feel like a cottage. It’s a beautiful backsplash that proves no tile, even floor tile, is off-limits.
A copper sink brings color to a kitchen
The copper sink is a nice addition to this kitchen.
Erin thinks some copper accents will look great with the natural look she’s created in the kitchen, so she decides to use a copper sink in the island.
“I love copper—and it’s one of those materials that’s relatively inexpensive, but it looks like a million bucks,” Erin says.
The copper sink is a big hit. Not only does Kathy love the look, but the copper also complements the green kitchen cabinets and proves that there’s more to kitchens than just plain white sinks.
Use live-edge furniture for a more natural look
This natural-edge table gives the house a woodsy feel.
Ben knows that some wood furniture will also help this house feel warm and nature-inspired. So he gets a slab of redwood and makes a small entryway table with a live edge.
“We’re going to just let the natural figure of this wood tell the story,” Ben says, admitting, “I don’t do a lot of live-edge furniture. I don’t do any hobbit furniture.”
Still, the table ends up looking beautiful. The redwood is elegant, and the natural edge adds an organic touch to the space.
Build a wood fireplace (yes, it’s possible)
This fireplace is unique and whimsical.
These days, it seems that most fireplaces either have a classic brick look or feature a more modern tile. However, Erin and Ben prove that wood fireplaces are also possible, and may be the next big thing.
Isao and Kathy have had a wood fireplace frame in storage for years, so Ben and Erin decide to build a new fireplace in the home so they can finally bust that frame out of storage. When it finally comes time to install it, the Napiers are pleasantly surprised. With carved leaves and uneven lines, this fireplace frame is certainly unique—and it works perfectly with the home’s style.
“It’s whimsical, it’s a natural wood color, it works with the copper tones that we love, too,” Erin says,