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Image: Round house
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Called Monte-Silo, this round house in Woodland, Utah, sits next to the Provo River The dwelling, which is made from two corrugated metal grain silos, is just 27 feet in diameter.
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updated 6/17/2012 12:54:16 PM ET 2012-06-17T16:54:16

Living inside four walls isn’t always all it’s chalked up to be. Take, for example, the Round Home in Wilton, Conn., which eschews square corners for a smooth, circular perimeter. Not only does it balance at the top of a 12-foot tower -– think Seattle’s Space Needle -– it slowly rotates over the course of the day. Sound futuristic? It isn’t. Architect Richard T. Foster designed the house in the 1960s.

At 72-feet in diameter, the house is as spacious as it is space-age. And it feels even bigger inside thanks to its copious windows which look out onto the surrounding New England landscape. And thanks to the rotation of the house, views from the sofa, the dining table and the kitchen vary constantly, offering glimpses of rolling farmland one hour, meadows and forests at another, and a distant lake at still another. Though it’s currently off the market, the house was, at one point, listed for $2.3 million.

Still up for grabs, however, is the Orcutt House, another mid-century marvel. The Worthington, Ohio, masterpiece, which is listed for $624,900, was designed by architect Theodor van Fossen and built in 1958. With two overlapping circles that result in multiple curved walls, it evokes a decidedly modern-art feel. These are accentuated by expanses of glass, a curved lounge area and a horseshoe-shaped lawn. Beyond the interior, a three-season porch makes for a relaxing destination and its porte-cochere, designed to suit the home’s distinctive shape, makes coming home easy in any weather.

Forbes.com slideshow: Impressive round homes

For a completely different take on round living, look to the hills of Asheville, N.C. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cloud Hidden is nestled among the trees, its domed roof and curved walls giving the sort of awe-inspiring authority of a temple or a spaceship. Designed by Jim Kaslik, the sculpted concrete house is delightfully serene, in part because of the predominance of curved windows and wood millwork throughout.

The 7,000-square-foot house features a sunken living room with a towering fireplace and floor-to-ceiling arched windows. A curved mezzanine provides views onto an expansive living space. The grandeur of this area is delightfully offset, though, by cozier curved rooms elsewhere. The home’s spiral staircase is a perfect fit, emphasizing the meandering interior walls and although seeing the home from the outside might suggest dark quarters inside, the opposite is true. The home is filled with natural light and designed to provide views of the natural world beyond.

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© 2012 Forbes.com

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