I think one day I would like to build a house. It’s always been a little bit of a fantasy for me.
I’m sure it all started with a children’s book. Early dream house inspiration:


Barbapapa’s organic abode from Barbapapa’s New Home. This was my fantasy c. 1978. How cool is that art studio over on the left?

Surely this was inspired by or inspired this bizarre modern home from 1968 which is not too different really.


Designed by Antti Lovag, photographed by Ken Sparkes, via Paleo-future .

And today on Ohdeedoh there was a post about this beautiful Hobbit-like low impact house built into a hillside in Wales.





As the children grew up and needed more space you could so easily just add on a new wing, Barbapapa style. Honestly, I would have a problem with the bugs. Perhaps I would get used to it, but it reminds me of some of the houses we visited on a holiday to Nimbin when we were small. (speaking of Nimbin, here’s another cool house)

Good stuff for the imagination anyway.

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31 Responses

  1. anj says:

    I can totally envision having elevensies in any one of those cozy abodes.

  2. Lisa says:

    Oh my gosh! I discovered (and became duly obsessed with) Barbapapa when my folks took my sister and I to Italy in 1978. I’d forgotten all about him until now. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  3. leigh says:

    The Barbapapa house has always been my benchmark and a favourite. Nothing will ever compare.I suspect we will always feel like the Barbapapas when they are crammed into the apartment building.

  4. Lara says:

    Wow, Barbapapa! I had completely forgotten about it until your post – thanks so much. What a brilliant house.

  5. ceels says:

    I’d love to live in a hobbit-like house here in Victoria, only mine would have less places for the dust (and your bugs, and spiders) to hide.I shall have happy house dreams tonight.

  6. Cherry says:

    We go camping every summer, and when we return home I am always surprised by the excess with which we surround ourselves (and we live in a 2 bedroom 30’s Cal bung!). I think I should move to Nimbin.

  7. Lucy says:

    Thankyou so much for reminding me of these 😀 I had some sort of activity book in the 70’s when I was little and I can still remember it had instructions to make a Baba necklace out of coloured clay or something…wish I knew where it was now.

  8. suzanne says:

    I’m a bit slow off the mark as I see you’ve been back here for a couple of weeks but I’d still like to say ‘welcome back’! And I’m so glad I visited today as I too was a huge Barbapapa fan and have held an image of that house (and more specifically Barbabeau’s studio) in my mind for (gulp!) almost two decades. It was great to see it again – thanks 🙂

  9. Oh, Barbapapa! Your wonderful blog is good stuff for the imagination as well. So glad you’re back!

  10. Spencer says:

    I want that 2nd house… and I want it bad! I saw a playhouse that was similar inside only it was in a tree. Still managed to have power and running water.

  11. Francs says:

    I love that low-impact house, not sure if I’d want to live in it all the time but it would be like living in a fairytale. Very inspiring. I enjoyed your post on Milly Molly Mandy too. I like the illustrations especially the maps on the inside covers of the books showing where everyone lives.

  12. wow, these were the kind of ideas my childhood mind was filled with! i remember wondering why people wouldn’t build more roundish houses. i also (still) love the idea of underground dwellings. thanks for the beautiful inspiration.

  13. Melissa says:

    Wow! The Antti Lovag design is like something out of Forbidden Planet. And I could definitely see myself living in the Hobbit house on holiday/weekend getaways.

  14. I had forgotten about the Barbapapa! Thanks for sharing – you know our little home in Eaglehawk is a Welsh stone cottage – although not quite built into the side of the earth – definitely reflects the local materials here! I am sitting in our stone cellar right now

  15. Jodie says:

    Oh, I love the hobbit house- what a cosy place it would seem to be.

  16. Crystal says:

    What a fantastic little house!

  17. pip says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen that Barbapapa-esque house! It’s very pink… and tunnelly, like a giant mouse run! Only it’s for people.We only have one Barbapapa book – and it doesn’t have that bubbly illustration in it. It’s ace! Thanks for a super-interesting post today, super-blogging-LoobyLu!

  18. i still have my barbapapa annual from 1976 and my favorite story from it is the one about them moving out of their old house and going off and building their own!, i always loved the room with the telescope in it. can’t believe how much those books go for nowadays!

  19. barbapapa! love it/them, and brings back such memories. will have to track down some barbapapa books soon. something about all those lovely soft shapes is really endearing isn’t it?i want to build a house one day too.

  20. Kirsty says:

    I love this post Claire. My cousin is right into all this sort of thing. It’s really good.

  21. read me... says:

    Aah, Barbapapa’s house. I thought we’d all dreamed about living here.I love the house in Wales. If my husband saw this picture he’d say that it’s the kind of place I’d like to live in… without hesitation!

  22. Di says:

    I used to love the Barbapapas! The little black hairy one was always my favourite! I remember once painting a stone to look just like him!!I also love those wooden houses!! I would want to live in something that resembled a hobbit house!!

  23. simmone says:

    oh – ME TOOO!!!! I used to try and make underground houses when I was kidlet and it was all because of Barbapapa – that hobbit house is fantastic!One day, I want a house with grass on the roof …

  24. erika says:

    I had forgotten about Barbapapas, too! Thank you for the reminder! That hobbit house is amazing, I agree.

  25. jacqui says:

    Oh loobylu, how nice to be reminded of the barbamama’s and the barbapapa’s I religiously borrowed their books from the school library and sometimes bring them up in the course of a conversation and no one knows what I am talking about -Love the housethankyou for the reminder Im off to look at the barbapapa family website!

  26. French Toast Girl tipped me that you were back and I’m thrilled! Woo!Fantastic find this little hut house and so perfect for me to see for my film inspiration. Thanks, Loobylu!

  27. Carrie says:

    Aren’t cob structures beautiful? We had the opportunity to sit inside one recently for tea,they are magical…..

  28. Elizabeth says:

    What wonderful houses Barbapapa’s & the Welsh hideaway are…and glad to see you back, only foundout tonight but have always loved your blog.

  29. Terra says:

    Thanks for sharing and I’m so glad you’re back!

  30. Rachel says:

    For the longest time I have been trying to remember the name of this book !!! It was one of my favorite books as a child thanks now I can find it for my daughter. Thank you

  31. aileen says:

    Omg… ur dream house is very unique.. its such a lovely home…

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