Do you have a dream house?

I’ve just got back from a wonderful weekend in Peterborough with the Scattered Authors Society where I got into conversation with several people on the topic of dreams.

The first thing two of them mentioned was that they sometimes dream about a house. This is a house they recognise from previous dreams, but have never seen in waking life.

Lots of people have a dream-house, and when they dream about it they are usually finding a new door or room, which they have never noticed before.

I’ve heard these house-dreams interpreted in a number of ways, but I prefer not to interpret. What is interesting to me is the house itself, and the experience of exploring it.

My dream house is big and old, on three storeys. It’s long rather than square, and grows longer as I discover more and more rooms. Once, to my surprise, I discovered a complete self-contained appartment with a squatter who had been living in it for ages!

I always enter my dream house with feelings of excitement and anticipation. ‘Here I am again! What will I discover?’ I always come away feeling as if I’ve been given something wonderful.

There are slight variations  in my dream house, but it’s always the same sort of style and age, and I don’t think I’ve ever been there in the dark.

Some people’s dream-houses may not be recognisably the same building but have a strong theme which alerts them to the fact that they are in their familiar dream house. One of the authors told me his dream house is often mixed up with other people’s houses, so he has to go through someone else’s living room to get to his bedroom, for example.

Do you have a dream house? Is it old and labyrinthine, like mine? Is it always the same, or variations on a theme?

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21 thoughts on “Do you have a dream house?”

  1. I don’t only have a dream house, but a dream town, and even a dream country. It’s so strange. They always look different, yet I know, somehow, that they’re the same place. I love it when they appear in my dreams because it’s like visiting old friends.

  2. Yes – that’s the same for me – that lovely feeling of familiarity. Someone in my workshops had a familiar beach she visited in dreams, and someone else a dream-district in a dream seaside port. Now my dream house is starting to feel a little small…

  3. I have several dream houses, sometimes they are houses we have lived in but they are always slightly different and sometimes someone else is living there and we feel we shouldn’t be there. Sometimes it is other people’s
    houses, like my brother-in-law’s and we have moved in and I feel perplexed
    as to why we have done that. Unlike you I always wake from these dreams
    feeling disturbed and then relieved that I am in my present house. It’s
    all interesting stuff isn’t it, this dream world? Thanks for the post – really enjoyed it and it’s made me think!

  4. Hi Alex – thanks for your comment – it’s made me think, too. One difference which might account for the very different feeling of your house-dreams is that they seem to be about actual houses you know or have known in your waking life. My house of dreams is familiar because I’ve visited it lots of times in dreams, but as far as I know it doesn’t exist in the ‘real’ world.

  5. When I move house I often find that houses or rooms from childhood appear in my dreams. But what about a dream school? I used to find that my grammar school appeared in my dreams whenever I was in a period of change or turmoil. It was particularly the staircases – the school was in an old house and the main staircase was one we could go up, the servants’ spiral staircase was the the way down.

  6. School staircases – that’s a new one on me – how curious! Your comment has made me realise I have never had a single dream that I remember about school.

  7. Oh, I love this post! I have two. One was the inspiration for Buttercup Magic, which you know about, but I have another, which is a real WOW house and which I’ve dreamt about twice. It’s old, huge, almost like a cinema in its size and different floors, and has deep red velvet drapes. It has a real magic to it. I never go through any doors, it is all balconies and corridors. I’d love to visit it every night and explore!

  8. I can feel the excitement when you talk about your dream house, Abi! It’s just how I feel about mine. Yours sounds incredibly grand and luxurious. If you want to visit it again, you could always incubate a dream 🙂

  9. I adore those dreams – it’s the feeling I wake with that I love the most! Whether it’s the rediscovery of the familiar beach which is just a stone’s throw away or a familiar house with far more rooms and corridors than I recall, it’s the joy of discovery. I agree with you Jen, I too feel like I’ve been given something wonderful and it carries into my waking life because I usually feel so optimistic – as if my life is about to change in a very beneficial way! Oh I’m going to try to have one of those dreams tonight!

  10. This is so cool – everyone’s comments are really focusing my thoughts – it is optimism, yes, and a sense of expansiveness… Let us know if you get one of those dreams tonight, Pat. I’m going to blog about incubating dreams next week – I know you already do, but I think a lot of people would like to have a go too.

  11. I dream of houses all the time. Some I dream about once and others multiply times. They are always large old houses that need lots of work done. Some still have furniture and paintings left by previous owners. Ghosts have appeared in a few of these dreams. Once I dreamed about a four story house where the fourth story was still under construction. A friend told me the first story represents my physical self, second emotional, third intellectual, and the fourth story my spiritual self. I thought it was an interesting way of looking at it.

  12. Your dream houses sound amazing – with a real sense of the past – the old furniture, previous owners, ghosts… And also the future, with parts under construction. I personally prefer not to interpret because I feel that reduces the power of the dream as experience on its own terms, making it a reflection of waking life.Thank you so much for your comment!

  13. Lovely to hear about your dream-house, and to hear about others’ as well! I have several dream houses, some of which I’ve been exploring for decades. Since our last transatlantic move, however, I seem to have a new dream-house that is a peculiar amalgam of British and American rooms (some from real life, some that exist only in dreams). It’s only now that I’ve read this, however, that I’ve really stopped to think about that!

  14. This is new Amy – a mix of rooms, some of which exist in waking life and some only in dreams. I’ve been exploring mine for decades too – I like that word! It sounds more purposeful somehow than just discovering new rooms.

  15. I used to have about 3 different dream houses. One in particular had a very scary room in it. I would feel myself paralysing with fear every time I went into it. I kept trying to overcome it, but it aways ‘got’ to me and I’d have to get out. The other houses always needed loads of work to be done on them. There were always several nice rooms, but the ones needing attention seemed to pose such vast expense and insurmountable work that I just got used to the idea that perhaps they never would be completed. I haven’t had those dreams for a decade or so which is quite a relief, and a good sign I’d say. I did interpret my dreams but I won’t burden you with my conclusions!

  16. Thank you for your comment Tessa – it’s introduced a whole new element – the scary room. You could use creative dreaming techniques to conquer that fear and have a proper look around, but it sounds as if you’d rather not! I’m interested that several people seem to have dream houses in need of some renovation work – that’s intriguing.

  17. We’ve wanted to move house, we’ve needed and wanted to live in a different area for some time. We will be downsizing a little but I don’t have the energy or the willpower to have a good sort out and get rid of the things that are holding me back at the moment. I keep dreaming that we move to our new house and as I am go from room to room and I am getting disappointed, no eventually distraught , they are too small, not as nice when we looked at it etc… I step outside and we are in the middle of a built up area or it’s not even the same house. I wake in a panic. Maybe it is fear of making the wrong decision that is responsible for my inertia or perhaps the fact that the house I live in has a wonderful outlook and I don’t know if anywhere else would be as lovely. Hey, anyone want to buy a family home on the beach in North Wales???

  18. Interesting – this is the first ‘dream house’ we’ve read about here which sounds directly related to a waking-life-house-dilemma. I think the only really safe dream interpretation is when you wake thinking ‘Ah ha – I know what that’s about!’ and it does sound as if your house dreams at the moment are part of your process around moving. Thank you for sharing them 🙂

  19. HI, Jenny,

    I love synchronicity! I have a dream house that only appears in my dreams, and it changes over time. I did a presentation about it to the IASD a couple of years ago and have since turned it into a chapter for a book I am writing. Would you be willing to let me quote some of what you have said here about your dream house in the chapter? I would of course give you credit and you can tell me if you’d like me to use your name or not.

    thanks for this interesting blog!

    Best wishes,
    Laurel Clark.

    Laurel

  20. Hi Laurel – I wish I could get to the IASD conferences but they’re usually so far away. Of course, I’d be delighted for you to quote from this post in your book, as long as you attribute it – ideally mentioning the URL as well as my name. Let me know when your book comes out – I’d be happy to review it 🙂 Jen

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