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Eco-friendly housing, Frodo-and-Sam style

House in Wales is carved out of a hillside, as low-impact as possible.

Simon Dale

When I first saw the pictures of this house on Make Magazine's blog, I thought they were straight off the sets of one of the Lord of the Rings movies. Seriously, doesn't it look like the kind of place where you could open the door and expect to see see Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan inside sporting prosthetic foot fur? But, no, it's actually a "low-impact woodland home" in Wales that was built at a total cost of 3,000 pounds (a little under $6,000) and 1,000-1,500 man-hours over a period of four months. The end result is not just environmentally friendly, but also lovely to look at.

Simon Dale

The creator of the house, who built it with his father-in-law and the help of visiting friends, was dug into a hillside and is heated by wood burning. Natural light comes in through a skylight, and additional power comes from solar panels; water is brought in from a nearby spring. More specs on this creative housing solution are available on the builder's Web site. He now lives there with his wife and two small children.

Looks like a nice and cozy place for enjoying all six meals of the day.