AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you find yourself with some free time Saturday, you may want to check out some residences keeping with Austin’s eccentric reputation.
The Weird Homes Tour allows people to observe the accommodations of local artists and collectors embellished to reflect their own unique sensibilities. There are seven homes on the tour this year on Oct. 29 and tickets are available for $40.
The organizers of the event allowed KXAN to check out three of the seven homes before the day of the tour.
A Mermaid’s Oasis of Color
Filled with vibrant colors and murals of a mystical underwater landscape, this Zilker home may have you forgetting that Austin is hundreds of miles away from the ocean.
The artist behind the house is Lois Goodman. She’s been slowly decorating her home for the last 30 years.
“It started off with white walls,” she said with a laugh. “And then everything changed.”
Goodman hasn’t kept her creative pursuits to the confines of her property – parked in her driveway are decorated mermaid-ified cars too.
Throughout the home, are collections of salt and pepper shakers, goofy hats, comically-large sunglasses and matches.
There’s also a sink with a disco-like strobe light that may have you dancing while washing your hands.
Walking up to Carl McQueary’s north Austin home, at first glance you might not think there is anything weird about it. That is until you see the doll heads on poles in front of his side gate.
He named his place “Morningwood,” after the light that shines through his trees in the morning, he said.
Inside his home, there are large quantities of art McQueary has collected over the years. And there is a lot of it – one would struggle to find a spot in his home left bare.
Unsurprisingly, McQueary once collected art professionally as a curator.
“(My home) features art from the University of Texas – University of Texas faculty and students. So there’s quite a bit of art to be seen,” he said.
“All of the artists I collect are dead… Except for one,” McQueary continued.
The spectacle does not stop inside. In his backyard, McQueary has what he calls his “Man hut” – a structure filled with collectibles and art that he has picked up over the years. The hut’s collection includes a piece of the Berlin wall and many porcelain dolls.
McQueary did take umbrage with the fact that his home might be considered weird. Conversely, he thinks homes with austere walls are the weird ones, he said.
The Earth Bag House
In the Guadalupe neighborhood is Bill Stone’s Earth Bag House.
Stone said it took two years to construct this 8-dome interconnected structure.
“The structure itself is just dirt and cement in a sandbag,” Stone said. “So I thought it would be fun to build.”
These structures are designed to keep it warm inside when it is cold outside and vice-versa. Stone purchased the design plan from an Iranian designer in Southern California.
The walls are two feet thick and have a skylight at the top.