Angelo Mastropietro worked in business, had a high-flying (and high-stress) career, and was working hard to make money when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 29. The diagnosis made him realize that he needed to rethink his life if he was going to be healthy and happy.
Carving out a cave to turn it into a house might not seem like the typical way of going about this, but that’s exactly what Mastropietro did.
The project involved moving about 70 tons of stone.
The house was eventually featured on an English TV show called Grand Designs.
Everything looks pretty natural from the outside.
The home in question is believed to date back about 800 years, and is part of one of the oldest complexes of cave homes in England, located in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire.
The cave homes in this area, which have been more or less continually occupied, are said to be the inspiration for the Shire in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mastropietro’s home was last occupied in the 1940s, so it was in need of a serious upgrade.
Inside, Mastropietro painted the sandstone walls white, which kept it from feeling too dark and heavy.
Mastropietro expanded the home and carved out some extra closet space. Oh, and he did it all by himself. His form of MS manifests in a series of flare-ups, which means that he’s still capable of demanding labor at other times.
Although MS can be debilitating, the condition has inspired him to reach his goals.
Not only did the home get a facelift, but it was also fitted with modern technology, including WiFi, radiant underfloor heating, and a fully equipped kitchen.
In all, Mastropietro spent about 100,000 pounds on the project.
But to him, the chance to live a more peaceful life was worth it.
The excavation was grueling. Mastropietro spent hundreds of hours carving out sandstone.
Here, the host of Grand Designs helps out with renovations.
Watch some of the incredible labor that went into turning this cave into a home:
So the next time you think “man cave” and envision a dark, dank, beer-soaked hovel full of sports paraphernalia, remember that some cave dwellers actually have a pretty great sense of style!
(via AOL UK, Daily Mail)