Housing Week in Middle-Earth #8 – The final fifteen !
Housing Week in Middle-Earth #8 – The final fifteen !

Housing Week in Middle-Earth #8 – The final fifteen !

Housing Week in Middle-Earth #8 – The final fifteen !

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At last D&Co presents the Final Fifteen of the 8th Bi-annual Housing Week in Middle Earth contest !

It’s time for everyone to sit down with a pen and paper (and maybe something to drink/eat) and tally up the points for their favorite Kinship Houses in this edition of Housing Week in Middle-Earth contest.

First of all I want to warmly thank every single one of the entrants who decided to participate in this winter’s contest ! There were 30 total entries this time around !

Again, thank you to everyone who participated (and sorry for being late) !

Unfortunately, as is always the case, choices had to be made. After reflection I decided to present a list of 15 homes with descriptions and pictures. As always, it is very complicated to organize a contest with numbers beyond this.

However, I want the home owners whom I could not select to know I appreciate their participation very much. As always, my decisions are often based on a number of different criteria but everyone had some nice and unique things to show. The unselected houses will be presented at the end of the competition.

So here they are, 15 houses from which a single one will be chosen to rule them all ! As always, a photo report has been created for each house but I strongly encourage you to visit them all yourselves if possible. Take your time in exploring them, tally up the numbers, cast your votes, and enjoy !

Note : the name of the neighborhood is not necessarily very similar depending on the language used in the game, so the language of the client (launcher) is specified each time under the address.

The Final Fifteen

#1 : Alea Jacta Est
Bree-land Homestead – Arkenstone

#2 : Atomic Dog
Thorin’s Hall Homesteads – Landroval

#3 : Domaine de Glaceroche
Thorin’s Hall Homesteads – Sirannon

#4 : Fool’s Paradise
Bree-land Homesteads – Arkenstone

#5 : Fortes Fortuna Adjuvat
Shire Homesteads – Brandywine

#6 : Haflith
Thorin’s Hall Homesteads – Crickhollow

#7 : La Maison Durefer
Cape of Belfalas Homesteads – Sirannon

#8 : La Maison Fermarteau
Thorin’s Hall Homesteads – Laurelin

#9 : Noldorin
Falathlorn Homesteads – Arkenstone

#10 : Ragnarmir
Bree-land Homesteads – Brandywine

#11 : Sightseer of Untamed Lands
Cape of Belfalas Homesteads – Laurelin

#12 : Stay off the grass
Shire Homesteads – Gladden

#13 : The Country of Towns
Bree-land Homesteads – Brandywine

#14 : Treasure
Bree-land Homesteads – Gladden

#15 : Vasin and Hlifa
Thorin’s Hall Homesteads – Laurelin

With regards to the voting….

Housing Week in Middle Earth would not be what it is without your (the public’s) thoughts and participation. Thank you for your time in considering the final candidates and submitting your votes.

The voting system :

  • Each house is given an average score from 1 to 10 made up of the public’s and the jury’s votes
  • The weighting is as follows : 30% for the Jury, 70% for the public
  • The Jury determines the winner of the Jury Prize : Free Peoples Gardener
  • The Rewards are listed here.

The rules :

  • You have until Wednesday, July 31th, 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Savings time, to vote.
  • You can rate each house anywhere from 1 to 10
  • You can vote for one or more houses, there are no restrictions
  • One vote per person (I’m watching you :p!)

You can vote for yourself if you like.

Play fair !

  • Votes like “I give myself a 10 and everyone else a 1” will be refused. You can give yourself a 10 but intentionally lowering the average score of other houses will not be considered.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask !




D&Co du Milieu

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Explorer of unexplored places and collector of decorations, Yao offers you a whole range of items brought from the four corners of Middle Earth. If you like what I do, or I’ve helped you in some way please consider buying me a coffee.

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  1. Rhuangar

    I really hope I can get my internet set up and game fixed so that I can visit the houses before the voting deadline!
    Thank you to all of the participants and especially to Yao!!

  2. Shatterbone

    Need Neighborhood and Address for #14 Treasure and #15 Vasin and Hlifa. I love visiting in character. Gives me a better feel of how well the house is decorated and how well the spaces are used.

  3. Shatterbone

    Thank you for the address info on the last two. I have visited 9 of the 15 (before servers reset), and need to create characters for the remaining 6.

    These are kinhouses, correct? 7 of the 9 visited thus far have all items bound to only one character, which makes the kinhouse feel more like a private house, as if there is only one character in the kinship.

    And yet again, someone needs to take away the purple rugs, the purple wall and floor colours, and the lava floors. We’re more clever than that, right?

      1. Shatterbone

        I would love to visit your kinship house! I have characters on most of the servers, and am more than willing to make a new one if needed to visit your kin house. Address? 🙂

  4. Shatterbone

    Over the years of LOTRO, I have decorated over a dozen personal homes and kin houses for clients who have received a housing trophy. I work with each client to achieve a residence that they love and one that fulfills the use of the property. I often spend time visiting homes to collect clever ideas, and to broaden my decorating skills. So, here’s my take on these 15 selections.

    I have visited all 15 “kin houses”. Of the 15, only 3 felt like an active kinship owned the kin house. The remaining 12 were single owner “private” kin houses, and I feel that defeats the purpose of having a contest for “kin houses”. The following points system applies to kin houses only.

    So, everyone starts at 10.

    Minus 1 if all of the bound items belong to one character.
    Minus 1 if there is a purple rug. For multiple purple rugs, there is a possibility of going into a negative score.
    Minus 1 if the wall colours and floor colours make my eyes bleed.
    Minus 1 if there is a room blocked off. Multiple blocked off rooms could drive the score into the negative.
    Minus 1 if there are not functional groupings and good use of space.
    Minus 1 if it is gimmicky.

    Now I start adding back points for the positive things.

    Plus 1 if the kin house reflects the activities of the kinship. Raid loot? T3 housing items? Crafting stations?
    Plus 1 if the kin house is arranged for social activities. Beer nights? Holiday feasts? Hanging out chatting?
    Plus 1 if there is a quiet reading corner or space.
    Plus 1 if there is an attention to colours and furniture styles.
    Plus 1 if something makes me laugh, amuses me, or is a particularly clever use of a housing item.
    Plus 1 if there is a nod to Lore.

    And of the 15 selections, only 1 received a 10 from me. There were no 9s. There was only one 8. And the rest received 7 or less. There were no negative scores, because I took pity on the poor soul who had so many purple rugs.

    If anyone would like to discuss their particular submission with me after the contest concludes, please send an in-game mail to “Shatterbone” on Landroval. We can then work out the details of meeting at your location. Please have a working headset and mic.

    1. Shagrat

      This kind of housing elitism is what turns off the average player from entering. You should be ashamed of yourself! I love seeing how creative people can get. It would be boring if everyone followed your narrow view of what a good house should be. It is ironic that you have so many rules, but are ok with letting others submit your work as their own to win a contest.

      My rules are simple: Be creative, Have fun, Submit your own work.

      If you use a decorator minus 10!

    2. Oay

      Where to start…

      First, I have decorated more than 50 houses since I started on LotRO, 12 years ago. On the other hand, I do not have any “clients” …;)

      Then, I think that people will be rather happy to know that my selection criteria are a little more open than yours!
      For example, I do not like taxidermist items, but it has never prevented me from selecting people who like it.
      “Tastes and colors”, as we say in French! 😉

      The blocked rooms are blocked for a reason: increasing the number of decorations in one room. If you prefer to see empty rooms with 3 decorations, free to you, but I always rewarded the creativity behind that and the general appearance.

      Regarding Kin houses.
      Indeed, some houses belong to one person. But this is by no means a concern (besides, rules are allowing it) because what interests me is the place, the “kin house”, and not the kinship itself.

      “Plus 1 if the kin house is arranged for social activities. Beer nights? Holiday feasts? Hanging out chatting?”
      So, kins that only have a well decorated house, for RP purpose like a home where you can drink, eat, and sleep are out of your league ?

      But to be fair, your house was great. I really like what you did there even if I had to make choices 😉

      1. Shatterbone

        Thank you for your positive comment on Rukes Bartleby’s Legion of Yule kin house. Even by my standards, it is not a real kin house. I haven’t seen any of the other members for over two years. It was a great idea that ran its course, and now I have a nice storage for Yule decorations.

        I entered that kin house, because I had played with some rather challenging positioning of items, like the elevated rugs over the library nook, the bunk beds upstairs, and the beeswax candles on the antlers of the Rohirrim chair. And the carved posts in the wall beams. Those are decorating ideas that someone might be interested in trying for their own home.

        I also like the ambience of that kin house. We do a lot of RP on Landroval, and have had rather exciting snowball fights in the yard. We’ve also hung out around the fireplace and played music or told stories. There are good memories in those pixels.

        So, thank you for your kind comment on this rather average “private” kin house. 🙂

        1. Haflith

          All you took from that rebuke of your narcissistic, pejorative grandstanding was a marginal compliment about your house? Come on; a little self-awareness wouldn’t kill you.

          1. Shatterbone

            I’m not the one who placed a “Best House In The Neighborhood” trophy in my front yard. LOL!! What were you thinking? -50 DKP!! 😀

  5. Mal

    Wow, Shatterbone, you are pretty full of yourself aren’t you? I have no intentions of clogging up this chat with the wall of things I could say right now, so let me just say, very simply, if you do not agree with the way this contest is run, or how people vote, how bout you just stay away from the event. All of these people have worked so hard on their creations, I seriously doubt any of them had to “hire” someone to do the work for them, and they do not deserve your derogatory comments.

    I congratulate each and every one of the finalists. I can tell that you have all spent a ton of time and put a lot of love into your houses. Best of luck to everyone!

  6. Shatterbone

    To whom it may concern:

    Yes, I am elitist and arrogant when it comes to decorating. Decorating is my Endgame. I hold myself and my clients to the highest esthetic standards. And yes, I am good at this. Very very good.

    And yes, I can see how clever you all are, and how much “love” you spent making a corridor of treasure chests and bookshelves, or not being able to express your design without utilizing the entire space. Or decorating “your” kin house to the exclusion of any contribution by any other kin member.

    And I have no issues with how this website or contest is organized and facilitated. Yao/Oay does a brilliant difficult job, a volunteer job I might add, dedicating her/his own real life time and energy to do this. Please notice that I am not the least bit interested in doing the same. I am certainly not tactful enough. 🙂

    And I do not care what system or method or algorithm any of you use to arrive at your final score for each selection. I am simply describing my scoring system, and describing what I value in a well-decorated kin house. I am not demanding that you do likewise. You do not have my eye and design experience.

    And yes, I have clients. I am paid in the opportunity to decorate a bare house as part of a team. There is no “end boss that drops loot”. I derive great enjoyment and satisfaction of working with a team to achieve a defined goal.

    Oh, wait, I was paid once. The client gave a bearskin rug to me. I happened to mention that I needed a bearskin rug, and the client rolled a character and leveled it to 15, and got a bearskin rug for me from the housing item quest, and gave it to me as payment for the excellent job I did on his Deluxe Bree home. I then promptly placed the rug in his house where I needed it. Done and done. 🙂

    So, gentle hobbits and Free Folks, take a deep breath, /pick that wedgie, and accept that another real human being on the other side of that flashing screen has an opinion and focus that is different from your own. Have a great day, and keep on decorating.

  7. Shatterbone

    The Elephant In The Room: Large Purple Rug


    Okay, I propose a contest to address the decorating use of the Large Purple Rug. One room only. As many purple rugs as desired. As many additional decorating items as desired. Wall pattern and color, floor pattern and color, and anything else that makes it work are included.

    And we talk SSG into making a housing trophy to honor the use of the dreadful purple rug. Maybe the same as the Best House trophy but with a vivid purple house instead of the gold one, and with the trophy title of “Best Purple Rug”. That is a simple coding change to the ASCII value of the color of the house, and a simple text change to the title, and drop it in the database. No biggie.

    And I think we should all visit the finalists’ homes to see the submissions for ourselves. I have characters on most of the servers, and am more than willing to make new ones on the remaining servers.

    We would be doing the LOTRO Community a great service. 😀

  8. Shatterbone

    Dear #9 Noldorin (Arkenstone, Falathlorn Homestead, Muinnor, 4 Waterbank Road),

    Over the last two days, a dear friend has wrenched my arm up behind my back, and is making me re-visit all of the finalists’ kin houses with her. So far, we have re-visited four servers, and 8 kin houses. It seems that she understood the acceptance of “private” kin houses, and she is making me reexamine my failure to score these appropriately. That is what good friends are for. sigh

    I came here to offer my apology to you specifically for not giving you full marks for your expertly decorated kin house. Moreover, I would like to offer you my score for the other three homes clustered near your kin house. Ten. Honestly, a 10 for each one.

    I have not seen those tiny Falathlorn standard houses decorated so well. You have made them functional, and charming, and a place worth visiting. I am humbled.

    Thank you for allowing us access to all of your properties. Certainly worth the visit.

    At your service,

  9. Cil

    Hi Shatterbone ! So, I’m glad to invite you to visit our place, 4 Myrtle Court, Clodhallow, Shire, Sirannon.
    I was also desappointed to see that our kindship house was not selected, as it’s actually just a kinship’s house. There’s no particular theme, it’s just a lovely place to have some rest in peace, and to prepare our next raid ! I agree that in some other houses, there are quite nice ideas of decoration (by assembling), but I’m also glad to see that I’m not the only one to regret that the biggest part of the selected ones are owned by a single resident, (cf. to the description), and that most of them follow a particular thematic (theatre, horror’s hall, pub, lore area…). But this contest forced us to change our garden, a winter one since november, to a nice place for summer, as we though it was important to be fully in line with the current season ! So participate was a good way to push ourselves to do some effort to keep straightening up our house.

    1. Shatterbone

      Dear Cil,

      Thank you very much for your invitation! I have raids this weekend, but as soon as possible, I will visit your kin house. My friend and I are looking forward to our visit, and would love to offer our comments.

      Shatterbone 🙂

    2. Shatterbone

      Dear Peuples Libres Kin,

      My friend Noedahl and I visited your kinship house this afternoon (California time), which was late evening your time. Cil was doing an Anvil raid, but was able to whisper to us. Thank you for the invitation.

      We loved your yard when we first walked up the path. It is the perfect hobbit summer yard! A huge picnic table, a party tent, lovely trees, and a mushroom tent! Bilbo would have loved to have a party there.

      We stood in your front hall for a long time, discussing the subtle patterns and colors of the walls and floor. I was quite pleased that your choices allowed all of the housing items to be more important, like good art in a quiet frame. We also both admired the use of the Rohirrim shelf as a bench. So simple, and what a good idea! Frees up a large item hook, always a good thing, and it makes a good bench. 🙂

      We were delighted by the functional groupings in the main hall. Clear defined areas for raising a few brews, sitting around a brazier to chat, or catching a snack before a raid. I liked the vase on the small red stool. That works. Clever idea! And the fish on the back wall! I thought they were chasing the lure of the rune-stone, but Noedahl was convinced it was the goldfish. We again loved the subtle colors of the walls, floor, and rugs allowing the housing items to be the focus.

      The side room with that is the Armory is very well done. We knew immediately what that room was for. And that was when it occurred to me to run back to the front hall, and start writing down the names on all of the bound items. This is a kinship house, and a collaborative effort in raiding and decorating says a lot about a kin.

      We went down the hallway into the wing, and I can honestly say that I loved the dark purple on those walls. It just works so well with that wallpaper, and with the rest of the housing items. And Noedahl was laughing at me because she knows how I am about the misuse of purple. 🙂

      Of course, we loved Draigoch’s Fireplace, and we agreed that we needed to make a point of farming that instance so that we could each get one of those. Every kinship house needs a baby dragon who represents the determination and teamwork of a kinship.

      And then we turned around, and we honestly gobsmacked that your kinship had a Red Potted Huron!! We stood there in reverent silence for quite a while, watching the little tree go through its animation. Those are so rare!! And no longer are available, even on the Legendary servers.

      I mentioned to Noedahl that I was willing to bet that your kinship had tons of cool housing loot from raids over the years in storage, and that only a very select few items where placed in the kinship house at any one time. And again that whole idea of subtlety was discussed. Your kinship house was not decorated “in your face”. It was cool, confident, subtle. Very very nice.

      And you have a lovely library, with a nod to Lore with the Gondorian Knight and Stars Tapestry in a prominent place. That always sells a decorating scheme for me.

      So, to Cilaran, Cilraen, Jozenduil, Franito, Cilgon, Cilswith, Cilikhat, Fangnar, Filonwen, Filonwe, Frangipan, Ciltherod, Sentigenial, Geraltderiv, Adunaeth, and the rest of the kinship Peuples Libres, BRILLIANT kinship house!!! Well done, very well done!!

      Thank you again for the invitation to your AUTHENTIC COLLABORATIVE kinship house!

      1. Cil

        Thank you so much, Noedahl and Shatterbone !

        To be honest, many of the decorations which are bound to account are mine (Cil~), because the kinships members are trusting me about the whole decoration, so it’s easier so switch theirs for mine. But I always try to keep the original ones, when I can. Or I ask my friends to move their items. Some members came back after 3 years away from Lotro just to do that. They’re so nice 😉 And for the yard… Well… It just took about 4 hours with 2 friends to choose and find the perfect place and orientation for… 10-12 items ?… XD

        Two members, who are not very fond of housing, have bought the 2 little houses just next to the kinship house to give us more space. They gave us all the permissions.
        The right one contains some trophies from raids. So you’re right about it : we’ve got many of them in storage, but we prefer to keep the peaceful atmosphere in the main house ! So all those horrific things are somewhere else, in this little house that is like our “dark cave” ; but it’s still in work. And it’s going to change regulary… At least, we hope so ! (We still need the unwelcome mat !!!)
        The left little house is going to be the dorms, but not yet finished also. Maybe, we will also try to buy another little one, to make a bathroom…
        Wait and see !

        Again, thank you !

        And thanks also to Decodumilieu and Yao for the whole organisation, and to allow us to share our houses accross the ocean ! 🙂
        That’s wonderfull !

  10. Chris Miller

    #9 Noldorin

    Wow thank you so much for taking the time to go back and revisit my all my homes Shatterbone 🙂 I really try to make them nice for when others come to visit, I want them to feel like they have just walked in to a place they could call home.

    1. Shatterbone

      Oh, no, thank you! I have always loved that kinship house at the edge of the river, and my first home was beside the bottom of the waterfall. Before we had crafting at home, I found the location inconvenient for my alts going up and down the hill to get to the vendor and vault area, and eventually upgraded to the deluxe home at 1 Twinfall Path. Your kinship house and other three houses are a lovely useful haven within the Havens. 🙂


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