The second annual Detroit ‘Weird Homes Tour’ is the sixth leg of a network spanning America that showcases dwellings on the fringe of what most would call ‘normal’. YAY, for not being normal – praise for all the weirdos who are just ‘out here’ with it!
Last week, I took a minute to chat up the 5 W’s with ‘Weird Homes’ producer Kevin Shaw and this is what my man had to say …
Julien: What makes the weird homes in the ‘Weird Homes Tour’, weird?
Kevin: The homes have to be unique and out-of the box is some way. That can be someone who’s likes color so they’ve painted or bedazzled their home lavishly. Or maybe it’s someone who’s really into collecting something like hippos and have filled their home with ten thousand purple hippos. The common denominator is that they’ve all ignored traditional convention of how a house “should” look.
Julien: Anything special or unique that you’ve seen in Detroit that is different than other cities?
Kevin: Detroit has this really great DIY spirit and people don’t shy away from hard work. A lot of this spirit can be seen in the use of recycled materials. I think there’s a lot of pride here in using reclaimed materials rather than just buying new stuff. And maybe it is not a choice for some, but either way the output always seems to be beautiful and unique.
Julien: What made you guys want to be charitable, specifically regarding affordable housing?
Kevin: Myself and the founders, David and Chelle, all come from nonprofit backgrounds so the idea of giving back has always been built into our DNA. And affordable housing is such a vital issue. We’ve noticed the struggles with rising housing costs personally with some of our neighbors. We wanna help keep people in their homes. We are more than happy to give 10% of all the profits from the Detroit tour this year to Southwest Solutions to directly help them in their continued efforts for affordable housing. Every bit helps.
Julien: What will we attendees be surprised by this Saturday, on the 2nd Annual Detroit tour?
Kevin: We have a really great mix of eight amazing homes this year. Including some places you might have heard about like Hamtramck Disneyland or MBAD African Bead Museum. We also have a few I guarantee you’ve driven past and never realized that there was anything out-of-the-ordinary. I like to leave an element of surprise for our guests so I’ll leave it at that.
Julien: Ever have a homeowner take it that extra mile, or maybe a bit too far?
Kevin: I think taking it the extra mile is what being on the tour is all about! A lot of the homeowners take something like color, art, or a collection and take it to the EXTREME. We always show a variety of homes so some people may not love everything but everybody’s going to love something.
Julien: Any inspiring stories you’ve heard from past attendees that struck you in some way?
Kevin: The most common feedback we receive is that people walk away feeling inspired to do something out-of-the-box with their own living space. Our homeowners are very passionate about their homes and I think that passion is liberating. People see someone else who takes their space and just ‘goes for it’ and I think that empowers them to do the same . . .
. . . it’s your space, you should be able to get weird with it.
The Second Annual Detroit ‘Weird Homes Tour’ is set for this Saturday, August 24 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The public can buy tickets right here.
Featured Image | Hamtramck Disneyland by Thanin Viriyaki Photography