How Do You Spell 'Fan'?
You're not a true geek until you eat, breathe, and live your geeky obsession--the key word here being live.
How do you display your geekiness at home? Do you have a poster? A few figurines? Perhaps even Space Invaders wall decals?
Well, a few people out there have gone a step further in expressing themselves: They've transformed their homes into übergeek havens, sometimes at great personal expense.
Here are some of the geekiest homes and apartments we could find, from a low-impact Hobbit house to a 3.3-million-brick Lego house to a Star Trek apartment.
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Hobbit House, aka The Low-Impact Woodland Home (Wales)
Cost: $4560, and 1000 to 1500 hours of labor
Simon Dale's "Low-Impact Woodland Home" looks like something out of Tolkien's Shire.
Carved out of a Welsh hillside, this home was built by Dale and his father-in-law (as well as some friends and passers-by). The house, constructed with "maximum regard for the environment," features a frame of spare wood from the surrounding forest, straw bales for insulation, a plastic-sheet and mud/turf roof, and solar panels for "lighting, music, and computing."
Though it may not be billed as a Hobbit house, the dwelling bears such an uncanny resemblance to the structures of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies that you wonder if Jackson didn't get his inspiration from Dale (or vice versa).
All this house is missing is round doors and Gandalf peeking through the window.
Star Wars House (Korea)
All right, so owner Cho Woong may not have re-created the deck of the Millennium Falcon, but he did manage to collect just about every single piece of Star Wars memorabilia that has ever been created. This is not an exaggeration.
His house features hundreds of figurines, a sweet home theater setup with blue ambient lights, and a bathroom wall tiling of Darth Vader. Woong is no Star Wars snob, either--he accepts the first three episodes--and he owns what appears to be a life-size version of Watto the Tatooine junk dealer.
Aside from the creepily obsessive amount of memorabilia on display, the house is actually pretty cool--the living room, for example, is modern with a black leather couch, a gray shag rug, and simple decoration. The Millennium Falcon in the coffee table and the AT-AT on the side table, though, kind of kill that modern vibe.
Lego House (Formerly in Surrey, England)
Cost: The building efforts of 1000 volunteers
In August 2009, British TV presenter James May constructed a house entirely out of Legos for his TV series Toy Stories. The house took 1000 volunteers and 3.3 million Lego bricks to assemble.
The Lego house--not the most attractive house, clearly--was 20 feet tall and featured a working toilet, shower, and sink, as well as a comfy Lego-brick bed. The initial plan was to sell it to the Legoland theme park in Berkshire; that idea fell through when Legoland determined that the house would be too hard to move and would cost too much to take apart and rebuild.
May suddenly found himself with a Lego house that nobody wanted--including the wine estate that it had been built on (those folks needed their land back for grapes). May's Lego house was demolished on September 22, 2009--just weeks after its completion. The 3.3 million Lego bricks used to construct the house were donated to charity.
Spaceship House (Signal Mountain, Tennessee)
Why stop at redecorating the interior of your home to reflect your geeky personality, when you can build an awesome-looking (from the outside) spaceship house?
That's what Curtis King decided in 1973, when he had this $250,000 spaceship house built for his son.
The out-of-this-world abode features over 2000 square feet of living space, including three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a bar and entertainment area, and a retractable staircase at the entrance.
Star Trek Starship Voyager Apartment (Hinckley, Leicestershire, United Kingdom)
You're not a true Trekkie until you've gone bankrupt transforming your apartment into the Starship Voyager.
Tony Alleyne started transforming his living quarters after his wife left him. He started with the refrigerator, and didn't stop until there was a command console. The apartment features touch-panel blue lighting, molded walls, and a transporter room with porthole windows and vertical lights (to give the illusion of being "beamed up").
Unfortunately, such Star Trek awesomeness does not come cheap: Alleyne maxed out 14 credit cards, accumulating over $175,000 in debt. The initial plan was to sell the apartment on eBay for $2 million, but there were no takers.
Alleyne now runs an interior-design business, 24th Century Interior Design, for other dedicated Trekkies who want a touch of space in their homes.
Tree Houses (Costa Rican Rainforest)
Have you ever dreamed of living in an Ewok-like tree commune? Or perhaps living in a tree in general (à la Avatar)? Well, you may not be lucky enough to reside on Endor or Pandora, but you can certainly live as if you did (sort of).
Finca Bellavista, an Ewok-esque tree community in the rainforest of Costa Rica, is just one such habitat. The community features treehouses, a bath house, a stone-lined swimming pool, and, of course, high-speed Wi-Fi. It's also conveniently located just 30 minutes from an airport, in case you get fed up with Endor life.
If you'd rather not live in Costa Rica, you have a number of other options for tree-dwelling, such as staying in Free Spirit Tree Spheres on Vancouver Island, building your own, or renting space in the Na'vi Home Tree.
La Casa di Libri (Tambre, Italy)
How many avid readers have wanted to curl up not with a good book, but in a good book?
Not too many, I'll bet, but for those who do, Venetian artist Livio De Marchi has you covered. De Marchi, a renowned sculptor, created La Casa di Libri (literally, "House of Books") for book lovers around the world.
Of course, like any true bibliophile, De Marchi didn't want to ruin real books for the sake of constructing his house--so instead, the house incorporates book-oriented designs in everything from the furniture to the outer walls.
The house features walls and doors carved to look like bookshelves (with books on them), tables and chairs made of books--even a bed that rests on the pages of a giant book. The fence around the house consists of colored pencils, and the gate is a giant pair of reading glasses.
Britannia Manor (Austin, Texas)
What, we ask, could be geekier than the house of a video game designer? How about the house of the video game character that's based on the video game designer?
Welcome to Britannia Manor (featured on MTV's Cribs), home of game designer Richard Garriott. The house is named after the castle of Lord Cantabrigian British, a character in Ultima, a series of fantasy computer role-playing games. Lord British also happens to be an in-game personification of Garriott.
Britannia Manor features traps, hidden passages, secret rooms with valuable artifacts (such as dinosaur fossils and a human skeleton), an observatory, a working cannon, an indoor grotto, and a scale replica of an Elizabethan outdoor theater.
It is also famous for playing host to an elaborate haunted house designed by Garriott and put into action by volunteers. Garriott created the haunted house--really, more of a "Halloween adventure"--as a fully interactive role-playing game in which users had to solve puzzles and quests and avoid dangers in order to escape. The haunted house is now held at Garriott's unfinished second residence, which is located about a half a mile away and called Britannia Manor Mark 2.
CSS House (The Internet)
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a computer language used to describe the semantics, or presentation, of structured documents. CSS is used most often in HTML and XHTML pages to affect presentation elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts.
But CSS's limitations didn't stop designer Chris Hester from creating his very own CSS house--a depiction of a house designed exclusively with Cascading Style Sheets (no HTML).
Sure, you can't exactly live in Hester's CSS house (or in his second CSS house), but true geeks don't need functionality. After all, you're looking at a picture of a house created entirely without the use of images.
Geeky Decor for Your Home
A Space Invaders Cutting Board, anyone? It's only $130!
If you want to geek up your home without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars (hey, we don't all have the bandwidth to go bankrupt), you have ways to display your obsession without transforming your living room into a command deck.
ThinkGeek sells a number of suitable home products, including a Microbe Liquid Soap Dispenser ($10). If you're looking to splurge (but still, not at the $100,000 level), check out the geeky Periodic Coffee Table ($8,550), which features samples of each element embedded in clear acrylic (okay, not the radioactive ones).
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