When hippies retire among the waves of Baby Boomers, where do they hang up their tie-dye? Because not everyone wants a condo on golf course in Hilton Head, or fits the Florida lifestyle where mall walking is a daily form of exercise to beat the heat and humidity.

Not that there is anything wrong with either of those, but perhaps the answer for anti-establishment types is an off-beat home. Perhaps a dwelling that can fit so seamlessly into the landscape, it’s tough to tell it’s there.

Whether the brainchild of an artist, architect or just someone with a penchant for unusual design, we rounded up some of the most unusual examples of offbeat real estate, with homes that vary from a grass-covered dune to a rotating dome.

Art Meets Architecture

3331 Erie Ave, Cincinnati OH
For sale: $349,000

This Cincinnati home for sale took architect Terry Brown over 10 years to pull off. Brown and students from University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning sculpted the home from a variety of mixed materials, including wood, colored glass. shell, and ceramic. See more photos of the home.

Mushroom Home

142 Park Rd, Pittsford NY
Recently sold: $799,900

Actually, the home’s inspiration wasn’t mushrooms, but stems of Queen Anne’s lace. The delicate flower’s underside gave a blueprint for the five interconnected pods that make up this Pittsford home. The pods are 30 feet in diameter and weigh 80 tons. Two pods are sleeping areas, the center pod contains the kitchen and sitting room and a fourth pod is a living and dining area with a fireplace. The fifth smaller pod serves as the deck. All together, the home has 4,168 square feet of highly unique living space. See more photos of the Mushroom Home.

Dick Clark’s Yabba Dabba Doo Home

10124 Pacific View Rd, Malibu CA
For sale: $3.5 million

Who would have guessed that the late Dick Clark loved unique architecture? The long-time TV host and mega-producer’s home is far from the Malibu‘s typical mock-Mediterranean houses. Built to replicate Fred Flintstone’s own prehistoric pad, the property sits on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Boney Island, Channel Island, the Serrano Valley and LA skyline. See more photos of Dick Clark’s home.

Eye of the Sun

2746 Mathews St, Berkeley CA

This 2,000-square-foot home in West Berkeley gets its name from the massive eye-like window on its south side. Finished in 1995 for only $250,000, this house is built to last: Its walls are made of recycled Styrofoam and cement, which — coupled with its rounded design — make it all but impervious to water, fire, termites, and even earthquakes.

Spin Me Right ‘Round

116 Canaan Rd, New Paltz NY

This home for sale really turns heads — in more ways than one! Not only is the structure an unusual dome shape, but the house itself actually turns. All it takes is the press of a button and off this house spins on a giant axle. Designed to take advantage of passive solar energy, the New Paltz home can make a full 360-degree rotation in a span of five minutes. See more photos of the rotating home.

Cave House

Festus, MO

Not all cave living was created equal. And with over 15,000 square feet of living space, modern glass windows, this cave home bears no resemblance to the dank, dark spaces of our forebears. This place combines modern finishes with the cave’s natural sandstone walls. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the cave isn’t just a unique dwelling; it’s naturally energy-efficient, too.

Home for Hobbits

75 Old Stage Rd, Granville VT
For sale: $260,000

Designing and constructing your home is one thing, but what about hand-sculpting your abode? This “Hobbit” home in Vermont features two straw and clay yurts with energy-efficient windows and radiant floor heat. The property continues the “Lord of the Rings” theme by being situated on 25 acres of forest, complete with organic gardens and two ponds. See more photos of the “Hobbit” home.

Musical Manse

119 Wilkins Rd, Fayetteville GA

From the street, this Fayetteville, Georgia home looks like an other ranch. An aerial view, however, reveals its guitar shape, complete with electrical wires strung along the roof to mimic strings. The story goes that an avid country music fan decided to make the ultimate dedication to his favorite genre when he built it in 1978.

Ballard Big House

2007 NW 61st St, Seattle WA
Pending sale: $789,000

A turn-of-the century church was transformed into an eclectic, art-filled place in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. From a cast-glass window, bowling ball installation and giant swing hanging from what was once the church sanctuary, the homeowners put their distinct mark on the property. And the best feature of the former church? A bell tower-turned-lookout with views of the city skyline, mountains and sea. See more photos of the Ballard Big House.

Grass Dune Home

Atlantic Beach, FL

Hate mowing the lawn? Then this house may not be for you. Not only does the Atlantic Beach property have a grassy front yard, the entire home is covered with the stuff! Built in 1975 by architect William Morgan, the oceanfront dome home is actually a duplex, with two separate living spaces, each with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and 750 square feet of living space. The home is two concrete shells dug into a sand dune, “like giant sea shells in the sand dune,” explained Morgan. See more photos of the dune home.




About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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