It was a simpler time, in 2000, when MTV’s Cribs first aired. Beginning a decade before the stock market crash of 2008, those early episodes each featured a house pimped out with the best, most senseless additions that pre-recession money could buy. We saw Moby’s Scrabble table, Ozzy Osbourne’s inexplicably endearing devil’s heads collection, and Sisqo’s ‘dragon’s lair,’ and ‘monkey room’ - places where, in hindsight, little (if any) magic happened.
Our eyes also preyed upon Tony Hawk’s hundred-disk CD changer (sick), his skate park, guest house, and private beach. Lest we forget, there was also 50 Cent’s palatial 19 bedroom, 35 bathroom house in Connecticut, flush with a basketball court, a cinema, multiple pools, a recording studio, and a designated strip club area. Oh, that sweet, sweet pre-recession cash flow, friends. It was good while it lasted. But hey, on the bright side, there are still plenty of video games universes not subject to the crushing failures of capitalism.
One such universe? Tamriel, baby! In the land of magic, thieves, and adventures, there’s still a lot of room for ostentatious displays of wealth. It doesn’t matter if you earned your gold through might, or through the counter-intuitively more frowned upon (and less lethal) approach - stealing, there’s a cozy, no-expenses-spared corner of Tamriel waiting for you. Handy, after a long day of stealth and/or slaughter. So, without much further ado, here are the 15 most pimped-out homes in Skyrim - get ready for ALL the tasteful medieval accents!
16 Prime Real Estate In Solitude’s Artsy Suburbs
There are many ways to experience Skyrim, but we bet all of them have Solitude as a sight for sore eyes. It doesn’t matter that Riften has Black-Briar mead at local prices, Markarth has a firm hold of the silver trade, and that Whiterun’s home to Skyforge. Solitude is hands-down the best place to spend your many days in Skyrim.
Nestled in the heart of Solitude is Proudspire manor, a mere stone’s throw from the imminent Bard’s College. You know what that means. Theatre-on-demand. It’s the closest thing to Netflix for a few thousand years in every direction, and it’s just the beginning of Proudspire’s perks. You’ve got an alchemy table, an enchanting table, a patio, a Stone of Barenziah (only six million more to go!), plus you’re also looking at more room than any other house in Skyrim. Presumably. It may just be the lush furnishings giving it a spacious feel. Either way, we’re down.
15 Better Than A Ski Lodge In The Alps
Skyrim modders, you did it again! Damn, gang! Just look at this place. To quote the genius behind this gem, ‘Mörskom Estate is a large player home located in the harsh lands of The Pale in the city of Dawnstar.’
It’s less of a complete house than it is a model, giving individual players freedom with how their Mörskom turns out. People have not disappointed, using the workbench and store provided to craft the splendor you see above. The mod includes ‘immersive features such as the passing of time,’ and players have the freedom to personalize everything from the ‘drapes to the background music you’ll hear as you marvel at your display room full of treasures.’ It’s unlikely that even your deluxe, Mörskom abode will convince you to push for a well-rested bonus, but then again, be honest - nothing ever will.
14 A Pizza Oven? YES, PLEASE!
No, your eyes are fine, we really said ‘butler.’ And he’s got some bad-ass features himself, including the ability to conjure up or hide rooms at your beck and call. Neat, huh? What’s more, this massive Clockwork City manor is said to be perfect for magic-based characters, and also hides a bunch of ‘secrets, treasures, custom objects, and lore’ within its hallowed halls.
13 For That Old School Cool
Then again, what does a pizza oven have to hold up against a sturdy place to lay one’s head in Windhelm? Nothing. Unless you like pizza more than history, which is fair play. That aside, Windhelm’s Hjerim does have a lot to offer. There’s an arcane enchanter, an alchemy lab, the biggest armoury of all the available houses in Skyrim, and a very cozy kitchen. Think of all the home cooked meals!
Plus, you can’t really beat it for location. It’s super close to a smelter, smithing facilities, a general merchant, a fence, and an alchemist’s shop. There are only two downsides. One, it’s not an easy place to get, considering how you’ll have to fork out 12 000 gold on top of doing the Jarl a million favours. Two, it’s within walking distance of the Grey Market, so there will always be a crippling reminder of Tamriel’s dire and abysmal race relations, while simultaneously being no way for you to help.
12 Make Skyrim History - Sleep Under The Bed!
‘Cozy little house, breathtaking 360° views, all amenities, modern appliances, garage for two, romantic sunsets, lovely garden, large sundeck. Perfect for a young couple looking for animation, not afraid of heights, dragons, or mysteries.’ That was a sublet poster for modder, Hoamii’s fully-animated player house, Clearsky Hideout. We’re big fans.
Check this out. It’s a gorgeous mountain top villa near Whiterun, with over a hundred animated interactions. Followers can cook, craft, smelt, mine, tan, and store their own craft supplies. You can plant your own crops, sleep under the blankets (it’s cold, ffs, Bethesda!), change many of the furnishings, and look for treasure left behind by others who, it’s assumed, weren’t as good with heights as you are. Not enough for this discerning buyer? Okay, well, did you know that you can read in the bath? IN THE BATH, PEOPLE!
11 This View Tho!
Of all three of the houses available for purchase and renovation in the Skyrim Hearthfire expansion (a.k.a Sims: Skyrim), Lakeview Manor is unequivocally the best. Near Pinewatch in the (admittedly somewhat barren) area of Falkreath Hold lies this quiet plot, hidden among thick forest.
It’s Lake llinalta that you’ll be viewing, for the most part, in between your busy improvements which may or may not include a beehive - a Lakeview Manor-exclusive feature. The neighbourhood isn’t much what with all the wolves, and that creepy mage, but if you’re not worried about losing your children to either, you’ll be as happy as a mudcrab in mud. As a bonus, there are also multiple mineral deposits (clay, iron, corundum, silver, stone) in the surrounds. A good bet for the blacksmith hobbyist.
10 Where Everyone Knows Your Name
True, if you’re looking for glamor, the cistern of The Ragged Flagon isn't the place for you. Hidden in the depths of Riften, this thieves’ haven isn’t easy to get to. You’ll also need to share it with a dozen other people literally best known for stealing. Good luck keeping your prized possessions here!
But, hey, if you’re more about a place’s character than its ability to provide the shelter and safety portions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this might be your lucky day. Yes, sleeping in a single bed in a damp chamber gives off a Saw feel, but it’s better to think of it as backpacking through Europe. The parts of Europe featured in the Taken films, that is, but it has its charm. In any case, you’ll be right next door to a pub. Cheers!
9 The Perfect Holiday Home
Need to get away from the hustle and bustle of a dragon infestation? Look no further. White River Cottage is for you. Perched on the the riverside, this adorable sanctuary can be found in Whiterun, alongside to Riverwood Bridge, with the help of a mod by Gentester.
A dream home for anyone who like to fish, the cottage also includes a kitchen, lounge (with actual sofas), a master bedroom, children’s bedroom, follower’s bedroom (not a sad one, like the usual faire), a plunge pool, a relaxation room, and plenty of smithing, crafting, and enchanting facilities. You’ll also find a beehive, a cow, and some chickens. All of this sprawled out on the cottage’s green surroundings. Really, all you need for a quiet country break.
8 This Is What You Call Immersion
Tired of seeing a lack of authenticity in player homes created by the modding community, LeanWolf and MasterOfShadows created one that could form the base of a truly immersive Skyrim experience. It’s named ‘Aemers Refuge’, and it’s gorgeous.
Sure, sure, there are all the usual amenities. But then there’s also a fast travel portal (like in Howl’s Moving Castle’) that connects the five player homes, the Dark Brotherhood sanctuaries, High Hrothgar, the Ragged Flagon, and the Archmage’s chambers. Not bad. The hook? It’s called The Refuge Spirit. It’s a character you can summon to help lighten your load if you’re journeying while overburdened. She can also teleport you home, and allow you access to storage. It’s almost too good to be true. Almost. Last thing before we move on, Aemer’s Refuge boasts a fully-functional Dwarven lift (!). So, good, you guys!
7 One For The Dawnguard Fans
Fantastic news for anyone who never grew out of their goth phase! Raven Castle by Cirena is all kinds of dark magic. Based on the Castle of Orlok, Raven Castle quickly became its own thing as it grew in size.
It’s now a behemoth bit of stone atop the mountains near Falkreath, just the place for any aspiring vampires. One negative is that there isn’t much storage space, and nor are there any mannequins to use to show off the mountains of dragon armour you’ve amassed after the slaughter of these sentient creatures. There are also a fair share of load screens, which we all know is the worst. Still, the castle has its draws. It’s colossal, for one thing, and two, it does give off a distinctly old-timey feel. A good option for fans of the aesthetic.
6 This Is Kanye’s Skyrim
Wow. Wow. This prolific palace is a remastered Ayleid Palace by Lazz. It’s situated in the Rift, near Fort Greenwell, and it is straight-up wonderful. We’re talking views. We’re talking saunas. We’re talking indoor and outdoor pools. That’s a level of boujee few have ever reached. Are you into crafts? There’s an entire hall for that. A HALL. Smithing, alchemy, and enchanting - you could craft all day if you want. Guess how many bedrooms it has. Wrong, guess higher.
Nope, it’s eighteen. One, eight. And that’s not counting the master room, or the children’s rooms. The house is also decluttered and neat AF, which you can see best in the display hall. There’s a caveat before Ayleid can be yours. Namely, you’ll have to fork out 50, 000 gold if you want to cross the threshold as its owner. Yikes.
5 A Quaint Tamriel Abode
We’re not big hunters, but if we were, this modified Breezehome would be a pretty awesome place to come home to. Crackling fires, wooden finishes, chairs that have put all their skill points into comfort - Breezehome has what your soul needs.
It also a healthy dose of storage, plenty of displays, and loads of mannequins. Then there’s the basement with a smithing station, a bath, and a follower room. Your children will be happy to know they have a room that ‘actually looks like a kid’s room,’ and what’s more, the master bedroom has access to an underwater hot spring. Super romantic, if you’re into that type of thing. Budding astronomers are going to relish the telescope fixed to the roof, while the religious among us will find various shrines for worship. Praise Talos!
4 Hippie Haven
Do you like doing yoga, and drinking green tea voluntarily? You’ll love Elisdriel; a treehouse based in Hjaalmarch (one of the few things that are). This green-all-over hub looks like it grew from a tree, rather than being built, and inside you’ll find a strong supply of mod exclusives - a new Elven arrow type up for crafting, as well as a new glass bow. Cool, huh?
Also on the property is a clear spring with healing properties, making it arguably the most useful water feature ever contrived. You can also harvest new types of mushrooms (okay), and plant and harvest tomatoes, too. Need some organic ingredients for a potion? You can grab them from your very own underground grotto. No need to go GMO. Your neighbors are quiet (yay!), and you’ll also be #blessed with some animals that roam free in your yard.
3 We’re On A Boat!
Not a drill, people! This is not a drill! The house you see before you is, in fact, a ship being suspended in the air. Given Skyrim’s gravity logic, this wouldn’t have been unthinkable as a vanilla feature, but this amazing piece of work was done by modder, Deapri.
Called Airship - Dev Aveza, this ship can initially be found behind the Blue Palace in Solitude. Thereafter, it can move across the map. Hi, yes, operator? We need to report that someone just blew our minds. Thanks. But, seriously. This mod is incredible. The result of an epic blend of Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and Peter Pan, the ship is fully inhabitable, with rich finishes in mahogany, and tasteful Dwarven storage units.
2 Basically Lothlórien, But In The Sky
Dorn Heven by dignityBlade has got to be the prettiest place in the whole of the Skyrim modding universe. Take that picture in. How could something so beautiful exist in the same universe as the skooma trade? We are not worthy.
This ‘unique, flying fortress’ sits high above Riften (it’s for the best, really), and comes complete with a pool area, a wine cellar, a living room, an arcane enchanter, a view-friendly terrace, and a baller bedroom. There’s also plenty of storage room, as well as some weapon plaques, and a blacksmith. No need to ever leave. Ever! No, for real, there’s a war being waged, stay inside. And, just as a reminder, you’re in the sky the whole time. That’s insane and wonderful.
1 Perks Of The Job
If you started Skyrim by selecting the Mage Stone after your narrow escape from the claw-like clutches of death, the Archmage’s Quarters at the College of Winterhold may be the first living space you’ll ever own, and this makes it kind of special.
Granted, you may not be the sentimental type. That’s cool. But we know you’re into that alchemy garden. It’s your own private garden! Inside your room! Forget what we said earlier about the two pool situation at Ayleid. A garden in the centre of your room is now the litmus test for how swag your life is. You’ll also see some enchanted boots up for grabs (shock resistance), a Staff of the Frost Atronach, a huge selection of soul gems, and one Stone of Barenziah. All the more worth it when you realize that being Archmage of Winterhold means almost zero in terms of responsibility once the title is yours. Whoop, whoop!