Tucked away in the Westlake Hills neighborhood of Austin, Texas, sits Bloom House—a home literally like no other. The saying “Keep Austin Weird” is almost an understatement for this organically-shaped work of architecture, with its fully curvilinear design intended to connect its inhabitants to the nature that surrounds it. Designed by architect + visionary Charles Harker, construction of the home began in 1973 and was completed in 1984, with an award of merit from the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects that same year.
But what’s this livable sculpture made of you ask? – It’s sculpted out of a polyurethane foam covered with concrete stucco for energy efficiency. Because of the irregular curves and strong attention to detail, all the interior woodwork is hand-sculpted and the floor tiles hand-cast in varying sizes.
This 1,101 square-foot home sits on 2.7 acres of wooded land and has seen various owners throughout the years, often facing larger developers who talked of leveling the unique structure to make way for new homes to keep up with Austin’s growing housing market. Thankfully, Bloom House was recently purchased by Dave + Susan Claunch who have restored the home to its full glory—and turned it into a vacation rental destination, managed by Top Trip Rentals.
To complement the newly renovated structure, the home owners sought out the expertise of Kara Olson, of west elm Austin’s Design Crew, to help create + complete the interiors of the home. “The two main goals when creating the concept for the design were creating a functional space while keeping with the character + fluidity of the architecture,” mentions Kara.
Talk about a design challenge—working with an organic structure that literally has no straight lines or flat walls. “I really wanted the furniture selected to almost feel as if it was an extension of the architecture itself. Taking special attention to the details and playing with organic lines, natural textures, a monochromatic color palette and—of course— plenty of greenery really helped achieve this goal,” says Kara. “We also created a playlist tailored to the ‘feel’ of the house to really complete the entire experience.”
Because the living room didn’t have any structural lighting elements in the space, Kara opted to use some of west elm’s statement LED lighting pieces—most notably the Linear Metal LED Floor Lamp and Revolve LED Table Lamp. “I wanted to use pieces that were the perfect amount of adjustable light with a tone that creates a warm, inviting feel. This turned out to be my favorite element in the house, because it so nicely highlighted the architecture and furniture selections,” notes Kara.
Take a peek inside this home that’s like no other, and see how the work of west elm Austin’s Design Crew married seamlessly with the organic statement characteristics of Bloom House.
Dining Room + Kitchen
Below: Kara Olson, Lead Stylist – west elm Austin, TX