Sometimes your dream home should stay just that - a dream. As soon as you start designing a home in the shape of a giant pretzel, or designing your future abode to be an exact replica of Shrek's swamp shack, you know it's probably time to go to bed - and hopefully dream of something a little better.

However, every once in a while, a designer will dream up an insane house idea that just sticks - it will do something innovative, stand out on the horizon, or simply make life so much easier, inspired, or beautiful. Check out our collection of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but all of these homes found in the furthest reaches of the United States have some pretty unusual features...

12. Off the grid itHouse

Built in the California desert landscape, this home is for those that want to escape the hustle of modern life, and get back to nature, but do it in style. The home has beautiful, clean-looking interior design, but shuns WiFi, television, and even conserves power during the night.

Not only does it run solely on renewable energy collected through solar panels on the roof, but almost all of the exterior walls made entirely of glass, giving you an astonishing panoramic view of the surrounding desert landscape.

Because of both of these quirky features, it has minimal impact on the natural beauty of the landscape, and would make an awesome home for adventurers and lovers of design alike!

Thanks to the open-plan nature of the place, with the wilderness and starry sky stretching for miles around the property, you’d pretty much never feel the need to look at your phone again, opting instead to be inspired by the world right on your doorstep. Imagine how much more productive you’d be without the distraction of – oop! I gotta take this call, sorry!

11. Wings Neck Lighthouse

Do houses really need four walls? Why don’t we just take one wall, and wrap it around to form the perfect little nest for the future? Four walled homes are way too predictable! Why not live in a lighthouse – perfect for all your cornerless room needs.

This former US Coast Guard Lighthouse on the coast in Massachusetts is now a cute and cozy home with its own private sandy beach. The lighthouse tower itself provides a picturesque view of the ocean, and would be the ultimate place to curl up with a book in during a storm!

The secluded home would be the perfect place for people who would prefer to live somewhere far from the madding crowd - the sound of the ocean creates a peaceful bubble around the property and would be the perfect soundtrack to fall asleep to each night.

10. The Cetusaurus

This insanely beautiful home has a totally unique look to it and is a real architectural marvel. Located in Irish Beach, California, this property is reminiscent of something from Lord of the Rings, and its whimsical charm is just as prevalent inside as it is out.

All on one floor, the inside space has a real flow to it, both in its shape, but also in a more literal sense, as pipes circulate hot water beneath the tiled floors and interior design. Even on the mistiest and coldest of seaside days, you can walk around the toasty home in bare feet as the warmth radiates through the very house itself.

Add onto this, the ocean views from most of the rooms in the home and it quickly becomes a dream house for pretty much anyone with wanderlust desires of escaping to a cozy home with a beach on one side and a forest on the other.

via @samuelmcguire

9. Skateboard Home

This is so much more than just a living space – it’s a place where skateboarders can live out their every skateboarding fantasy, spending their days practicing kickflips, ollies, and grinds along the house’s interior fittings and up the actual inside walls of the home.

Every surface in every room is designed specifically to be skateable - the ground becomes the walls, becomes the ceiling, creating a tube through which you can glide on any one of your collection of boards. Definitely one for those who have a skating obsession beyond just a simple hobby.

8. Trinity School House 

For most sane people, the idea of coming home after a long day of school (or work) is absolute bliss – you can forget all about schoolwork, teachers, and that one weird kid who eats raw onions like apples - but what you lived in a school?

If that idea doesn’t strike fear into your very soul, this unique house in Newport, Rhode Island, might be of interest to you.

A former church turned school house, turned home, the distinctive-looking building is unmistakably an old-timey schoolhouse, like something straight out of a history book! It’s definitely not somewhere those who like their modern comforts, or sleek design would want to stay, however, for those traditionalists out there, an old schoolhouse has a certain nostalgic antique feel to it that could be perfect for you!

7. Doghouse

Some people might say you’d have to be barking mad to live in a giant beagle-shaped house, they might even say it looks utterly paw-ful! However, for those dog lovers amongst you, it might just be the best place you could come home to after a ruff day of work.

When it comes to unusual homes, it doesn’t get much stranger than this! Thankfully, the inside of the home isn’t too far off your typical house – you don’t have to sleep in a wicker basket or start drinking out of a bowl on the ground…

6. House of Mirrors 

This is the perfect home for selfie-lovers, but your worst nightmare if you’re prone to bad hair days!

Almost every surface of the house, inside and out, is covered entirely by mirrors. The homeowner originally started mirroring the outside of the house to reflect the woodland surrounding it, so that whenever he looked out of a window, where he used to see the side of his home, he could now see the luscious forest reflected back.

The house itself is well known by locals in the Pittsburgh neighbourhood, thanks to the distinctive, custom-cut mirrored bricks used on the outside, and the alluring shimmer of reflected sunlight which catches the eye of every passer by.

This place is like something out of a space-age fairy tale, and is pretty much as close as you could get to sleeping inside an actual disco ball (if such a thing appeals to you), making every day a shiny, bright one!

via @donnaandsharon

5. Flintstones Home 

This is probably one of the most unbelievable properties on this list, but it’s real, and it was custom-built to resemble the family home of Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their family from the 1960s cartoon.

The outside of the home looks like it is made from one single large rock, and the inside features stone age design with sandy-coloured interior and huge sweeping walls that give the impression that you truly are living in a cave. There is a ton of rock-inspired furniture, but unfortunately, there is no bird that plays records through its beak or wooly mammoth shower...

4. Genuine Draft Ranch 

This Morongo Valley property is surrounded by California’s beautiful desert and is another on this list that would feel like stepping into the past if you had it for your own home. The property features a ton of Wild West memorabilia including huge buffalo skulls, wagon wheels, an old school tin bath and, of course, plenty of cacti!

The property is situated on a ranch where horses and cattle roam and takes life back to a simpler time before the need for huge SUVs and regular trips to the food store to stock up on snacks. Sleeping in a barn, you get a real rural, back to basics vibe in a property like this one!

Imagine just sitting on the porch and looking out over the far-stretching landscape with a cold beer, as the evening turns to night and crickets begin to chirp as the unspoiled sky reveals thousands of stars.

3. Shipping Container Home

If your house starts off life as something else entirely, is it still a house? Of course! It’s what you do with a space that creates the homely atmosphere, even if that space used to house products to be shipped around the world before housing all of your worldly possessions.

This unique shipping container house can be found in Livingston, Montana, and offers insane views of the surrounding landscape. However, if you are more design or architecture-minded, your attention may focus solely on the home itself instead – the simplistic, modern home is built from clean, squared off lines, and the natural materials that make up much of the interior and exterior design adds to the beauty of the home.

via @zylvardos

2. The Ark

There certainly wouldn’t be enough room in this micro-home for two of every animal, should there ever be a flood of biblical proportions on Earth, but it is just the right size for a couple looking to downsize – all the way down to a teeny micro-home that is!

Bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside, there is space for a kitchen, two sleeping lofts, and a bath, so even on the frostiest of evenings, you can stay toasty in your little piece of heaven.

The micro-home movement seems to be getting bigger (the very definition of irony?) every year with more and more millennials fed up with housing prices, so perhaps something on the smaller end of the scale just like The Ark is the sensible choice – but maybe only if you’re not planning on having kids!

1. Intown Treehouse

Almost every kid either spent one of their summers building a treehouse, or dreaming of building one, and this home is the awesome result of an adult living out that childhood dream and creating their ultimate playhouse. It comes complete with twinkly fairy lights and bridges that connect the three rooms to add to the whimsy and magic of the place.

Surrounded on all sides by dense green forest, the secluded treehouse would be an awesome getaway for some much-needed R&R, or it could be your HQ for the ultimate ‘No Guys/Girls’ allowed club – just you and your BFFs.

It’s totally open plan, allowing the sounds and smells of the gorgeous forest to drift through the property throughout the day – you could wake up to birdsong, and fall asleep to the gently stirring cicadas with an unbeatable “sleep under the stars” experience, as the even bed itself sits halfway out of the treehouse.

As far as dreamhouses go, this has got to be up there on most people's lists!