Giving spaces

Having space for our needs and interests goes a long way towards creating a home stamped with our true selves.

That doesn’t mean we’re all looking for the biggest mansion in town. We just need to know that we can use the space we have to do what we want.

40% agree that space for needs and interests is important for a home to reflect their identity.

Although we want space for our needs and interests, we don’t crave rooms that serve multiple functions. We seek to create purposeful spaces. Rooms with too many uses or none at all become a source of frustration.

Almost 1 in 3 say their ideal home would make better use of space.

“Originally, it was intended to be a family study room, but we took the desk to a private room and it was empty. Now it’s a room with no purpose. We put a big TV in there, but we don’t watch it here, and it has become a big hallway-like area. I don’t feel very comfortable here.”  Kikuchi, Japan

The more of us there are under one roof, the more needs and interests a home has to cater for. Space to squirrel ourselves away from others is a vital – but tricky – feature for our home to provide.

Just 41% think their home provides privacy for everyone living in it.

In multi-member households, we’re looking for an equilibrium that allows us all to be ‘alone, together’.

“Things like having open walls and the sound travelling through the house, which make it feel very connected. With it being so narrow and tall this house could feel like four houses on top of each other, but it all gets brought together.”  Nicola, UK

To achieve this, we’re looking to carve spaces up without totally cutting ourselves off from the people we live with.

Lady playing with her dog on the sofa

In the UK, creating different ‘zones’ within rooms helps to make sure that the areas we use for work, rest and enjoyment don’t overlap.

Shrine like space on top of a dresser, with incense & other ornaments

In India, people are setting up dedicated places for activities such as worship, yoga and meditation. The choice of space may be dictated by factors such as the direction of prayer.

But we definitely need shared spaces too. They bring us together to create lasting memories that help us love our home more and more. And there’s one shared space in particular that we have a special affection for.

From grannies and roomates to tiny tots and furry pets, we’ve fallen hard for our squishy sofas. So much so that they’re in the running to overtake the kitchen as the hub of the home. They’re where we seek moments of privacy to read a book or take a break, and also where we choose to enjoy time together.

“That’s where I like to go. I like to watch my basketball game, and it’s a great view downtown… One of my favourite places to be.” Marqus, US

For our home to truly reflect us, it must include space for our needs and interests. But it’s a juggling act – rooms still need to have a defined purpose, and they need to provide everyone with a place to be alone, together.

Our homes, our way

There’s no place like our own home. It’s where we can be ourselves. Where we don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks.

_W9A4223 11

Only 8% of us care what other people think about how we live our lives at home. This increases to 17% in Thailand, who are the most concerned about others’ views and drops to just 3% in Estonia.

It’s through the items we treasure, spaces we use and people we live with, that we create homes as unique as us.

When our living spaces reflect us – in all our quirky and imperfect glory – they have a powerful, positive effect on the way we view our home.

And there’s no denying that when we feel good about home, we feel better equipped to take on whatever’s coming our way in the rest of our lives.

Regardless of who we live with, where we live and what we need our homes to do, all of us have the right to feel like ourselves in our own home.




Hungry for more?

Get the full report

Life at Home Report 22 Cover