Austin couple transforms Driftwood dream house into impromptu music venue
Everyone knows that fun couple — two people who have been married forever who still seem to enjoy each other immensely. Keri and Randy Barfield are such a couple. So when they decided to move from Austin to Driftwood, the Barfields knew they wanted a home designed to entertain friends and family. What they couldn’t predict, however, is that the home would transform into the site of regular house concerts.
Working closely with Lévy Kohlhaas Architecture, the Barfields wanted an aesthetic that combined their playful spirit with the property's natural landscape and epic Texas Hill Country views.
“Kimberly [Kohlhaas] is more like a psychologist than an architect. She’ll look deep in your eyes and ask ‘how do you feel about the kitchen?’” Keri laughs. "The house is so us — exactly what we were looking for. Simple, beautifully designed, energy efficient, and lots of wow when you walk in.”
Much of the house is meant to bring the outside in. “It’s so green out here — we wanted to take advantage of the beauty of the outdoors.” To that end, the floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors provide a clear view of the backyard and wildlife (and occasional musician) congregating around their pool.
One Sunday afternoon, when Keri and Randy were sitting in camp chairs, listening to music, surrounded by construction materials, they noticed the house had fantastic acoustics.
“We were just sitting there, dreaming of what the house would look like,” Keri explains. "Then we looked at each other and said 'what if we hosted house concerts?'”
And so they joined the growing number of people hosting house concerts in the Hill Country, a network of invite-only events becoming increasingly common in Central Texas.
“It’s a great way to have folks come over and socialize while supporting Austin music.” For $20 and a potluck item, people get up close and personal with live music. The music is wide-ranging, everything from the Damn Torpedoes, a Tom Petty tribute band, to Flamenco Symphony, a seven-piece band whose violin version of Kashmir will give you goosebumps.
“The really great thing is that everyone wins,” says Keri. “The musicians enjoy playing for and connecting with a smaller audience. The guests discover new music and can interact with the artist. Plus, there’s parking.”
As long-time music aficionados, Keri and Randy love meeting and supporting Austin musicians and even have a musical bucket list, including one artist in particular they’ve been pursuing for almost a year. “Now that I know some musicians, I’m totally going to make it happen.
In between hosting house concerts, Keri and Randy find joy in the calm. “Our favorite days are sitting on the patio with a glass of wine in hand, watching the deer come to feed,” says Keri. “But with music. Always with music.”