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Study reveals what’s important in the American home

Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014.

It’s no surprise that IKEA would make a point to research how people live in their homes. For the first-ever survey of its kind, IKEA collected data from 4,000 Americans (age 25-54 with a household income of at least $35k) about their day-to-day living habits and their definition of a great home life.

As it turns out, “home” in the U.S. is not so much about status, wealth, or keeping up with the Joneses. Instead, the studies reveal that the most desirable feature for a home is “comfort.” Described by consumers, “comfort” is not about any single home furnishing or product function. It’s about creating an environment where household members can connect with each other, relax and live their best lives.

Below are a few key findings from the IKEA US Life at Home Report:

How do Americans feel about their homes?

95% say home is a place they can relax; 94% feel their home is a place where they feel safe and secure; 78% stated their home reflects their character; 50% believe that when it comes to life at home, the top priority is for the home to be warm and welcoming; and only 1% want their home to reflect how successful they have been.



Which room in the American home is most lived in?

65% say the living/family room remains the most popular room in the house regardless of region or ethnicity.

“Being the hub for a vast amount of activity, this room needs to be comfortable, inviting and welcoming for invitees and family to foster lasting memories of great conversations, viewing fantastic sports events and holiday festivities,” said a survey respondent.

How does the kitchen come into play?

When asked what are their favorite moments at home that they do together as a family, 43% chose “preparing a meal and eating meals together,” which was higher than any other activity in the home.

“Sitting around the dinner table,” said one survey respondent. “That is family time: no phones, no toys, just everyone telling each other about their day.”



The results also showed that the biggest challenge consumers face with their kitchen is lack of storage, room and counter space. But the kitchen isn’t only for cooking, technology is ever present in kitchens these days and 45% of respondents said they enjoy leisure time in that room.

What is the most sought after piece of furniture in the bedroom?

A third of all consumers aspire to get a king size bed in the next year (among those who don’t have one now), with some/slightly higher aspiration among consumers age 25-34. Why? Because they want more room to cuddle with loved family members.



Which space’s popularity is on the rise?

Outdoor living has become a huge trend in the American home. What is most important to people with regards to outdoor living? 86% have some type of outdoor space, while 69% have a private garden, 59% have a porch, 51% have a terrace/patio and 15% have a balcony.

Throughout the spring and summer, 26% of respondents said they’ll spend most of their spare time in an outdoor living space, and women tend to spend more time enjoying their outdoor living areas than men do.

Finally, the survey asked how important having an eco-friendly home was to Americans. 72% of respondents said they recycle, 37% have switched to all LED lights, 28% are very interested in generating their own renewable energy through solar power while 32% are somewhat interested, and 26% are taking shorter or fewer showers.

If given the chance, 98% of respondents said they are most likely to purchase an Energy Star rated appliance and 86% were willing to buy a water-saving faucet for their kitchen.

The study was US-specific and will be an ongoing quantitative study on people’s perceptions of home: A series of online surveys was conducted among IKEA Consumer Panel members by Ipsos Research between October 2012 through October 2013.