Austin, TX

Unique Austin, Texas vacation rental looks like a woodland creature, feels like a peaceful cave

Ellen Eastwood

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The Bloomhouse in Austin, TexasAirbnb

Austin's slogan is "keep it weird," and the Bloomhouse may just be the weirdest, and coolest, short-term rental on the market today.

With its arresting curvy lines and design straight out of The Jetsons TV show, staying at The Bloomhouse is a unique experience.

Its bright white color makes the home stand out against the forested background, and yet it somehow seems right at home in nature. That's by design. "The building is supposed to look like some sort of creature," says its current owner, Dave Claunch. "You ask the architect what it is, and he's very clever, he won't answer. He'll say 'what do you think it is?'"

Bloom House was designed in the 1970s by Dalton Bloom and built over the course of 11 years by architect Charles Harker. Harker spent 11 months carving the sweeping waves into the polyurethane foam by hand. As Claunch says, "he's a sculptor and an artist as much as he is an architect."

The inside of the home feels both trippy and calming at the same time. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom rental has an open concept, but the curvy lines and grooved ceilings make it feel cave-like. This is supported by the earthy brown tiles on the floors which suggest a natural path, and the many different levels which echo uneven terrain. The insulating polyurethane also makes the home feel cool in the Austin heat, much like a cave would.

The furnishings can be described as modern meets mid-century modern. The color scheme is kept muted and natural, to underscore the feeling that the home is at one with the elements. This is echoed by the fireplace with a curved top that suggests the movement of smoke.

The cherry wood cabinetry was all custom-fitted and the curvy designs were hand-carved in place.

Claunch added no artwork to the walls because he feels "the building is artwork," and he doesn't want to detract from that.

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The living room at The BloomhouseAirbnb

The house has two patios, one on the upper level and one on the lower level. Each gives a great view of the neighborhood's plentiful green space. The Bloomhouse feels secluded even though it's not.

When Claunch bought the home in 2017 it was a fixer-upper. He spent two years working weekends to restore it and fix leaks before listing it as a short-term rental.

It was worth the trouble. The fanciful, one-of-a-kind home has won the hearts of locals and guests from all over. Claunch reports it only had an 8% vacancy rate in 2021. So the only problem is being able to get a booking.

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