The project in a nutshell
Who lives here? Vineyard owners and winemakers, America and Nick Brewer
Location: Bodiam, East Sussex
Property style: Hobbit House
Designer: Julian Bluck Designs (exterior), the occupants (interior)
Year/decade property was originally built: 2018
Creating a house from scratch is never for the faint of heart, especially when one you want to build is based on a fictional home found in J.R.R Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’. America and Nick Brewer explain that they “wanted to keep true to the hobbit heritage but also to create a unique space that brought in some experimental elements.”
The Brewers worked with local craftspeople and Ace Building to create the space. “For the bathroom we wanted something very different. With lots of natural materials, such as pebbles on the floor, and bricks on the walls and exposed pipes.” The main materials used in the bathroom were oak and brick. To add an extra touch of colour, large amounts of the copper pipework was also exposed.
The Brewers took inspiration from the favourite places they’d visited. “For the bedroom we wanted a warm space with lots of light oak and a vaulted ceiling that you might find in an old Mediterranean villa.” All the furniture was chosen carefully to compliment the oak theme running through the house. It was purchased from local suppliers Blooms and Flimwell antiques.
The oak-themed kitchen has been created to be open-plan, but is partly sectioned off by a zinc top bar. “The kitchen was within a large vaulted space and again we used light oak with a zinc bar area, panelled with hat cut logs to create a rustic feel."
The ceiling of the living room is a real wow-factor. “We painted the ceiling sea blue and stencilled trees of Gondor and stars into the spaces to give a contrast with the warm hues of the oak, we hung a large rustic chandelier from the centre point. We painted the walls in off white hue to again give contract and for the floors we used wide boarded engineered oak so we could employ underfloor heating throughout.”
To accentuate the woody underground feel they furnished the living space with a circular oak table and chairs alongside a chaise longue and coffee table made from teak roots. A sofa with patchwork quilts was added to bring quirk and extra colour to the room. While the wood stove in the corner keeps the space homely and warm through cold winter nights.
But the knockout feature, the Brewers’ favourite part and the thing they absolutely had to have, was the solid oak circular front door – essential in any good Hobbit house. It’s adorned with detailed ironwork which matches that of Bag End.
The only thing they say they wish they’d known before starting was “how much over budget it would be."
For anyone wishing they could spend a night here, don't despair, it's is now available on Niche Retreats and Kent & Sussex Holiday Cottages.
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