Have you ever thought: What kinds of homes are in Austin? I’m not talking about looking for a new place to live. I mean the unique and weird types of homes that fit the Keep Austin Weird vibe. Fortunately, there’s a tour for that.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the unique and weird homes in our city, check out Weird Homes Tour. It’s a local company that gives you an inside look at these fun homes on an annual tour, usually in the spring.
This year, there were eight homes included on the self-guided tour located everywhere from south Austin to Pflugerville. I received a complimentary press pass to visit each of the houses. Check them out!
1/ The Music House
It’s only appropriate that the first stop on Weird Homes Tour jives with the Live Music Capital of the World. Just inside the entrance lies several records, including a gold album from Ozzy. More than a dozen guitars sit in the living room, surrounded by sparkling string lights.
With an event planner and live music producer as one of the owners, we wouldn’t expect less. The other owner is a makeup artist for television and film.
One of my favorite rooms in The Music House is a blacklight lounge with a huge plush chair and neon paint-splattered fireplace. In order to get into the space, you need to pass through a giant picture frame.
The fun continues in the backyard with a greenhouse, aviary, and grotto! The owners have several animals on the property, including a cute cat, several chickens, and some rabbits. There’s also a fish tank inside.
2/ OMG House
You’ll be able to see a piece of the Berlin Wall, functioning Seth Thomas Mantle Clock from the mid-1800s, large collection of arrowheads, and much more at Sandy and Randy Robertson’s OMG House.
A live, saltwater aquarium named Reefer Madnezz sits on the other side of the fireplace. Upstairs lies a Hollywood museum displaying Sandy Robertson’s collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and vintage newspaper collections.
This theme also bleeds into the beautiful she-shed Sandy has in the backyard. But that’s not all that’s in the backyard. The couple also has several chickens and their luxury condominium named Coop De Ville.
Fun fact: Randy Robertson is a member of local band Hourglass, which performs 1970s music!
➡️ Keep reading: One of Austin’s Weirdest Homes: Casa Neverlandia
3/ The Keep
The next home on the tour immerses guests in a world of art and creativity. Owner and environmental artist D. Warden has turned his home into a beautiful gallery, covering the walls with breathtaking paintings and artwork. Warden’s home also features a Special FX Studio, a bedroom with a giant tree painted on the wall, and a translucent bullet-proof front door.
The creativity doesn’t end there. Step into the backyard and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a medieval-themed mock moat and drawbridge (one of my favorite features of the house). This fun element was entirely crafted by Warden. Just beyond the drawbridge are two small buildings, each set up to be artist studios for his craft.
Another cool fact about The Keep is that it’s a green project and uses a lot of upcycled materials, including recycled glass from Garden-Ville, paint and materials from Austin Recycle & Reuse Drop-Off Center, and boulders and rocks acquired for free on Craigslist.
4/ Under the Sea
I’ve always been a fan of anything mermaid, so this next home brought out my inner child. From the moment you pull up to Under the Sea, it’s easy to tell the theme. A beautiful art- and mermaid-covered car sits outside in a blue driveway. Just beyond, a gorgeously crafted door has a giant mermaid on it.
The backyard continues the theme with a blue deck, hot tub, blue building, and fantastic ocean fence with mermaids, killer whales, and other ocean creatures.
The inside of owner Lois Goodman’s home is just as fun as the outside. There are multiple collections through the house, including crazy hats and sunglasses, salt and pepper shakers, and miniature shoes.
The kitchen is a blast of colors with photos displayed under a glass countertop and the phrase, “If tea can’t fix it, it’s a serious problem,” written on the side. Some other cool features include a wall of Trollz dolls and a bathroom fit for a party with 109 dichroic glass tiles.
5/ Earthbag House
Tucked away in the backyard of a one-story home is this extraordinary and jaw-dropping earthbag home. While it looks like adobe, it was built with different materials. The walls and ceiling were constructed using earthbags: long, tubular bags of locally-sourced dirt that can stack on top of each other.
These types of homes are well-known for being cost-efficient, and they require minimal skill to build. Earthbag homes are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Not only that, but they are strong and sturdy, with high resistance to natural phenomena like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires.
Fun fact: home owner Bill lives out of the Earthbag house and rents out the home up front.
➡️ Keep reading: One of Austin’s Weirdest Homes: Sharon’s Folk Art House
6/ Home of the Mysterious Planchette
Brandon Hodge owns two of the SoCo stores we all love and adore: Big Top Candy Shop and Monkey See, Monkey Do. Take a step into his home and you’ll find yourself immersed in quite a different world–that of the spiritual and mysterious.
Hodge has a passion for learning about the history of planchettes, spirit writing devices used by Victorian-era spiritualists. Throughout his years of research, he’s gathered quite the collection of automatic writing planchettes, Ouija, séance relics, and other occult antiques. Many of his pieces line the walls of his homes or sit in several cases throughout the space.
7/ House of Wonder
The House of Wonder is owned by a local magician, mind reader, and hypnotist named Brad Henderson. His house is filled with a variety of items that encapsulates the three main influences of his childhood: Disney, the Addams Family, and magic.
Each of the rooms in the house speak to each of these influences. The entryway, for example, is covered with giant, old magic show posters that were created by using several stones to press the colors onto them. Frames of Disney scenes and animation art line the other hallways and walls throughout the home.
Henderson’s office holds magical memorabilia, along with automata that show illusions. There are also many magic memorabilia in the entry room and living room of his home. One of my favorite features in the house was the library, containing around 3,000 books on magic–some dating back to the 1600s.
One of the fun additions to the day at this location was Henderson’s son opened up his room to share his amazing collection of dinosaur figurines and items.
This last home was featured in the VIP portion of Weird Homes Tour. It’s obvious why Bloomhouse is such a special building. The designer Charles Harker “sought out to experiment with materials and explore organic shapes and architecture to seek harmony with the natural world.” Every piece of the home flows into another. In fact, Bloomhouse was designed to avoid straight lines.
Instead of a normal construction process, Bloomhouse was more of an artistic creation, sculpted by Harker as he shaved away at every feature of the home until it met his personal requirements.
Bloomhouse was recently purchased by Dave and Susan Claunch. They have worked to do a complete restoration on the home and rent it out, in order to share the art with others.
You can learn more about Weird Homes Tour on the official website.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you been on Austin Weird Homes Tour before?