I came across some ideas about dream houses in a novel that I was reading recently and it set me thinking. The writer wrote that she had “never seen a dream house that works”, and went on to say that “part of the problem is that regardless of how much money you lavish on it, an unhistoried house is invariably cheap in another dimension.” I know what she means and when I look at the designer- perfect homes in glossy magazines or on tv shows, I long to see a bit of soul, something that is loved even if it’s tasteless, something that really does break the rules – and not in the coy, pretentious ways that the presenters of dream houses suggest.

I wonder also about some of the dreams that we hold and whether some of those dreams are as sterile as the dream houses. We have so many dreams presented to us that shimmer on the edges of our consciousness. The dreams of how we should look, of what we should do, of how we should spend our leisure time, of how rich we should be – these are the things that will make us happy.

But the thing about dreams is that they don’t always translate into reality. And the problem is that we don’t always subject dreams to the scrutiny that might determine whether they will be able to move from dream world to reality. Probably if we did really think about it, we would leave some dreams in the realm of fantasy. Other dreams would turn out to be plain silly. There are probably a few dreams that are really worth pursuing with all that we have, but I don’t know that it is the achieving of the dream that will give happiness.

I really don’t want a dream house or a dream life – much as I may imagine that I do from time to time. Rather, I want to inhabit my house with all the things that mean something to me, that delight me, that comfort me and that welcome people who come into it. In short, I’d far rather have a home than a dream house. And I’d far rather live a rich life and experience all that comes my way than follow some dodgy dream that might, but probably won’t deliver.

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