Artists have unique tastes, curiosity, vision, a sense of adventure and — nine times out of ten — a daring willingness to embrace color. When it comes to the homes they choose to live in, there is usually something unique about the property — something that the average person may not at first appreciate. Maybe it’s a connection to the outdoors. Or open space. Or perhaps it’s more about the details, like authentic craftsmanship and original artistic touches. With that in mind, we found three cheerful, one-of-a-kind properties in three different Northern California neighborhoods that embody the artist lifestyle.

633 Lupine Valley Rd | Aptos, CA 95003 | $2,490,000

If you ever dreamed of living in a home with a connection to the outdoors and awe-inspiring views, this sprawling 3,799 square-foot Aptos retreat provides the perfect canvas for living (and creating). Located in a sought-after area just five minutes from Aptos Village and the beaches of Monterey Bay, the home unites a casual beachy atmosphere with a private country setting where you can have your own playground with a tennis court, koi pond, dipping pool, hot tub, wine cellar, plus lovely gardens including 23 fruit trees and an irrigated vegetable garden. Indoor/outdoor living is made easy with floor-to-ceiling windows and large bi-fold doors that open up to expansive decks and an outdoor kitchen. It’s easy to imagine writing that novel or painting that masterpiece in this effortlessly flowing floorplan, which comes complete with four bedrooms, including two master suites — one located on the main floor. And it’s a self-sustaining slice of Zen too, thanks to a solar power system, whole house standby power generator with dedicated propane tank, whole house water filtration system, 8-foot perimeter fence, and an automatic driveway gate.

1440 White Oak Dr | Santa Rosa, CA 95409 | $1,595,000

Artists often need open spaces that give them enough room for wild creativity and experimentation. Resting on 1.2 usable acres with close access to Santa Rosa’s Annadel State Park, this remodeled oasis has openness in abundance. Take the open concept floorplan, for instance, which was enlarged and updated in 2008 with a family room that leads to a generously sized breakfast room with French doors leading the deck highlighted by an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space. The formal living and dining rooms also have French doors to the rear entertaining area. Another example is the gourmet kitchen with a large center island — sure to spark the imagination of the epicurean in the household. You also have multiple places to recharge and reset. Soak in the hot tub or sit around the fire pit with your favorite glass of wine. The beautifully manicured grounds will fill you with an instant feeling of peace. A chicken coop may provide you with a much-needed daily mindfulness exercise as you tend to your homestead. Meanwhile, the lush surrounding landscaping is given a whimsical quality when outdoor sculptures and artwork are added into the mix. Best of all? It’s located just minutes from local golf courses, wineries, and tasting rooms, and close to the revered hiking, mountain biking, and trail riding of Annadel State Park.

508 Escalona Dr | Capitola, CA 95010 | $2,490,000

Some artists prefer to be surrounded by original architectural detail and timeless craftsmanship — and this colorful Capitola Craftsman offers such an opportunity. Set in the Depot Hill neighborhood, the sunny 4-bedroom house features a unique floorplan that offers separation of space and room for all, thanks to extra spaces like the office, bonus room, and piano room. Entertaining is still made easy with a well-designed kitchen, featuring dining with banquette seating. A masterfully lit outdoor setting encompasses a large backyard with spa, outdoor shower, large turf area, and trellis with breathtaking tropical landscaping. And don’t miss the built-in fire-pit with driftwood sculpture, sand and smooth stucco cement couch that seats 14.  The best part about this special and unique home is that it was updated “down to the studs” in 2006 with a recent significant refresh, including a new roof, hardwood floors, paint, and more — meaning you can move in and start your creative life right now! Another plus is its location. While it gives the artist a sense of privacy and solitude, it also allows the social butterfly to easily walk to surfing, restaurants, Capitola Beach, and Village for the countless fun annual events and festivals.