Style & Design

A First Look at Austin’s Weirdest Homes

Weird Austin Homes
Casa Neverlandia has been a work in progress since 1979.

A South Austin compound with a rainbow exterior, secret passages, rope bridges, and a solar-paneled observation tower. A 33-square-foot dumpster turned into a hip pad. A home made out of pounds and pounds of literal bags of dirt. These unusual abodes fascinate local couple David J. Neff and Chelle Neff so much they started an annual self-guided Weird Homes tour in 2014 to celebrate outrageous and creative structures. And now they’ve written a book that comes out later this month, Weird Homes: The People and Places That Keep Austin Strangely Wonderful (Skyhorse Publishing, 224 pages), with photos by Thanin Viriyaki.  “Austin has always been a hub of creativity, energy, art, and weirdness,” says David, a digital strategy consultant (Chelle is the founder of Urban Betty hair salon). “It’s full of artistic people who would rather be pirates than join the Navy. But Austin is rapidly changing. And, although we are proud of our growth, we want to fiercely guard what makes Austin unique.” Giving back is also important to the Neffs, who donate 10 percent of the tour proceeds to affordable housing nonprofits. This year, they will launch similar tours in Houston as well as Portland, Detroit, and New Orleans. Here is a sneak peek into some of the weird and whimsical homes featured in their book, which hits stores February 20.

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Tags: Style, book, casa neverlandia, chelle neff, david neff, home tour, spaces, weird austin homes

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