What weird looks like

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - DEBBIE TRAVIS -

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.

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