Fast Company contributor Diana Budds details the findings of Ikea's annual Life at Home report, which surveys consumers about how they want their homes to look and feel. Ikea interviewed 12,000 people around the world and installed time-lapse cameras in some homes to see what day-to-day like was really like as owners interacted with their home and the products in them.
For this year's report, Ikea focused on 12 cities: Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Zurich, and Madrid.
Here are seven key insights from Ikea's 2016 study on what home means today:
- Home isn't a geographical place: 48% of respondents defined home as "where I have my most important relationships." Only 20% said it was a physical space.
- Products that manage sensory elements are needed: In the study, 18% of people said that they considered their homes to be too bright—a side effect of light pollution in urban environments. In Mumbai, 39% of people said that reducing ambient noise in their homes would improve their well-being. And 40% of people reported that their home had a distinct smell.
- People are more mindful about what they own: Eighteen- to 29-year-olds were more sensitive than other age groups to clutter, with 46% of respondents getting frustrated with clutter.
- Experiences matter more than things: Ikea found that 43% of people thought that things that enable them to do what they love are most important.
- Technology is shaping our domestic spaces more than we realize: Around 32% of people in the survey said that it's more important to have reliable Wi-Fi in a home than a social space. The study points out that the television was once the focal point in a home, but now that's changing because of the rise of mobile devices.
- Neighborhoods are an extension of the home: 42% of people reported that they felt more at home outside of their actual residence, and 38% considered their neighborhood to be part of their home.
- We're hungry for privacy: A larger percentage of people said they'd like to have more privacy than more social space in their residences. If people had an extra hour to spare, 25% said they'd spend it alone.