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Kitschy-Kitschy-Koo: Audacious Homes
Audacious homes aren’t so uncommon these days. The beach-themed rumpus or movie room is rampant on Pinterest, and kids’ themed rooms have become a competitive industry unto itself. Sometimes, it seems, a theme can be taken perhaps just a little too far. Today, C&G takes a look at a few of these unusual residences.
You may have heard of America’s ‘Versailles House’ – it featured in recent award-winning documentary ‘The Queen of Versailles’. It’s the country’s largest single-family home, and is due for completion in 2015 after a whopping 11 years of construction. Sculpted of course after France’s 17th century royal chateau, billionaire owners David and Jackie Siegel boast a home theatre modeled on the Paris Opera House, a roller-skating rink, a 10,000 square-foot spa, a 500-person ballroom and custom-made stained glass oculus. The house will be worth a reported $100 million.
Continuing on with grand look-a-like homes -a White House look-a-like surfaced on the property market in Virginia, U.S.A. a couple of years ago. Built over a period of seven years, the house is said to be an homage to America as the country that took the anonymous owner in during the Vietnam War. It features “The Oval Office, the Lincoln Bedroom, the Portico, everything” – as well as a few extra furnishings like a home theatre, wine cellar and party room. Sadly, after ten years living in the house, empty-nest-syndrome drove the owner and his wife to move on. The asking price was a mere $4.65 million.
Rather than real-world inspiration, a family in Wales looked to the fantastical creations of Tolkien to build their new home. Despite no building or architectural qualifications, Simon Dale and his father-in-law dug into the Welsh hillside and created a cosy hobbit-hole in just four months and approximately $5,500. Powered via solar panels, insulated with hay bales, watered via gravity-fed pipes from a nearby spring and furnished entirely with natural and found items, this one is perhaps as green as they come. The home now houses Dale, his wife and two children. If you’re planning your own Middle-Earth abode, however, you should probably make sure you’ve got the right planning permits – another family’s hobbit-hole is slated for demolition by Pembrokeshire Country Council due to “harm to the character and appearance of the countryside”.