What weird looks like
The most poignant lines of the author David Neff’s dedication in the book that he and his wife Chelle Neff have so lovingly created are their mission statement that “the book is dedicated to all the affordable housing groups/nonprofits we invest in”. Their story is laudable. The Neffs, who are co-founders of Weird Home Tours in Austin Texas, embarked on a journey to look inside weird houses to satisfy their curiosity, and then organized a house tour so that the public could join in. Part of the profits from the tours is directed to community improvements. Many communities around the world have homes that stand out as strange, irreverent, innovative or just plain fun. These homeowners are artists who reject the “normal” status quo, and pour their heart and soul into their personal living spaces. What can we learn from such innovation?
Casa Neverlandia, shown here, is home to artist James Talbot. He and his family and friends have been working on this magical abode since 1979. You’ll discover secret passages, fire poles, an elevated foot bridge, rope railings and ladders. The shell of the A-frame is part of the overall artistry constructed of basic building materials that have been given fresh colour and form. Rainwater collection tanks and solar panels are used for maintenance - there is no air conditioning or heating systems. The following three examples are not pictured here as space does not allow, but my guess is that you will want to see the book if weird is your thing.
Nestled in the classic Austin weirdness zone, artist Lois Goodman’s home literally overflows with bold colours and eclectic collections. The bathroom is uniquely lit by 109 dichroic glass tiles. Titled Under The Sea, the home’s walls shimmer in shades of blue. A hand-painted sign nestled in some outdoor greenery near her “rock star” rock garden states “Be Strange, Not a Stranger.”
“When we learn to realize the uniqueness and beauty in
From Weird Homes, what wonderful things can happen when imagination and artistry decorate a home!
Community First! Village in Austin Texas includes micro homes with heart for men and women who are coming out of chronic homelessness.