Story Filter
Back

The Bigger Picture: Space

How have we been adjusting our spaces to better suit the way we live?

Changing our homes helps us feel better about them. Half of those (47%) who made significant efforts to reorganise their homes now feel more positive about them, compared to 1 in 3 (33%) of those who made very little effort or none at all.

IKEA Life at Home Report 2021

Falling Back In Love With Home

Lemya Osman
Home Furnishing Direction Leader, IKEA Retail North America

“Before, our homes were places we used to get away from the world. Not anymore. Now our homes are the world for us. We don’t know when this reality will end.”

At the Table Talk discussion launching the IKEA Life at Home Report 2021, Lemya Osman revealed what she observed as people getting to know their ‘homeworlds’ better. People making significant effort to reorganise their homes are like those who accept that their worldly relationships require work. And the new anthem for modern relationships is ‘set clear boundaries’.

“We have seen people looking for ways to zone their space. For example, I had to set a barrier between ‘work’ and ‘home’, assigning different areas. For me, it has been very challenging to switch off from work. I even hide my laptop case after working hours! And when my friends ask me for advice about how to make the most of the space they have, I always advise them to create zones for different activities first. And sometimes it’s about having dual-use areas, on the condition that a lot of stuff gets tucked away once it’s not needed.”

Tucked away where? “Storage has become big, in the US and globally. The pandemic made a lot of people realise that their homes can easily become cluttered and unorganised. At IKEA we know how to organise things and we’ve shown them how accessible and affordable it can be.”

Another heart-warming way that our homes have been nurturing our feelings: “We missed feeling different at different times. Sales data shows that during the pandemic people in the US didn’t go for big furniture. Instead, we have seen a hike in sales of home accessories. People went for simple things like a new set of candles that changed their feeling of the same space.”

And how has Lemya’s feelings changed towards her home? “I’ve fallen in love with my home! Before it was a place of simply going in and out. By staying inside, sitting and observing, I got the opportunity to get reintroduced to and connect with my space. I’ve recognised the potential of my home, which has been underused.”

“We have seen people looking for ways to zone their space. For example, I had to set a barrier between ‘work’ and ‘home’, assigning different areas.”

The Office Chair Will Creep Into Your Home

Sietske Gerla
Interior Design Specialist, IKEA Retail (Ingka Group)

“Whoever designs a perfectly functionable, not too expensive, and beautiful office chair will become a millionaire!” Sietske says, the point being that the quest to do so is still on.

The single most visible intruder into her home – the big, grey office chair – sits next to Sietske’s beautiful, second-hand, old-school wooden desk, her bedroom workstation. The desk is perfect. But the chair doesn’t pass the meticulous designer’s review. “I refused to sit in an office chair until the end.” So many of us can empathise. It was her back pain and her physiotherapist who changed her mind.

“What I love about working at IKEA is that my job as a designer is to serve the bigger purpose of people having a better life at home. Currently, we work with the insight that people now do way more activities at home than they did before. And for many people, working from home has become an integral part of their routine. At IKEA, we take this idea into consideration when working on almost all our designs. A dining chair becomes adjustable. A kitchen trolley serves to roll the ‘work stuff’ from the dining table into a closet once it’s past working hours.” Her intuition says that when we fast-forward to the future, many people will prefer having proper workstations at home. “The question today is, ‘What do you want to sacrifice in your home to have it?’ The perfect office chair that integrates beautifully with the home is still a work in progress, ha!”

Back

“Whoever designs a perfectly functionable, not too expensive, and beautiful office chair will become a millionaire!”

Back

The Life at Home Magazine

A Balanced Place

Learn more about the ups and downs of mental wellbeing at home through the stories and experiences of people around the world.