What makes a home?

A taste of food beyond food

Two men in a sofa. The older man with head phones on and a laptop in his lap..
WHAT MAKES A HOME?
WELCOME TO THE NEW LIFE AT HOME REPORT
The IKEA Life at Home Report explores the life at home of people all over the world. This year we want to deepen our understanding of how people really think and feel about their homes. So please dive right in.
LIFE AT HOME
IKEA launches the third annual Life at Home Report, exploring the home lives of people around the world. The insights are based on a combination of a new quantitative survey, previous IKEA surveys and other published studies. This time we dig into what really makes a home for people. The aim of the report is to increase awareness of and spark conversation about what better everyday living actually means.
They say that home is where the heart is. But what actually makes a home a home? And what is it that makes us feel at home somewhere?
We have looked at these questions from four dimensions: space, things, relationships and place.
At IKEA, we are always curious about people’s lives at home. Now, you can know more about that too.
Go to the report
Pink text with a pink border.
“Home is full of love, from the family, from a girlfriend and
other people. Home is a place where you can feel loved.
Everyone needs love.”
Close up of bread being taken out of the oven.Illustration of a perfume bottle and text in white on a blue background.
SPACE
When we think about the space in our homes, most of us think of a physical area where we keep our things and go about our daily activities. In other words: four walls and a roof. But space isn’t only a physical structure – it’s also a sensory experience. Our senses are important building blocks for how we perceive our surroundings; a fourth dimension beyond the physical.
SMELL IS THE SENSE WE ASSOCIATE MOST WITH HOME. AS MANY AS 40% SAY THEIR HOMES HAVE A PARTICULAR SMELL.
THINGS
Our homes are filled with things: books, tools, clothes, decorations and much more. The things we surround ourselves with help us fulfil our basic human needs. We eat, we sleep, we dress. But things are so much more than objects. Things help us to do, to experience, to live. And they also have a big impact on how we feel in our homes, how we feel for our homes and how we create meaning in our life at home.
43% THINK THE THINGS THAT ENABLE THEM TO DO WHAT THEY LOVE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT.
Illustration of a heart and text in white on a green background.A person organizing clothes in a wardrobe.
“It seems we have a lot to gain by personalizing and
taking better care of our things.”
RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships are important. You might even say they are essential. Almost half of the people in our study (48%) say that they think of home as the place where they have their most important relationships. Those who are satisfied with their relationships at home are also happier and more satisfied with life in general. And perhaps not surprisingly – they feel better at home too.
48% SAY THAT THEY THINK HOME IS THE PLACE WHERE THEY HAVE THEIR MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIPS.
Illustration of a key hole and text in white on a blue background.Illustration of Wi-Fi waves and text in white on a blue background.
IN SHANGHAI 49% THINK IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO HAVE GOOD WI-FI THAN TO HAVE SOCIAL SPACES AT HOME, IN ORDER TO NURTURE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS AT HOME.
Close up of person at a desk with a computer, books and paper on it drinking from a mug and a hand handing over paper across the desk.
“With new technology, we can be alone, together
- or together and alone.”
PLACE
They say there is no place like home, but where is home exactly? When we asked people what matches their idea of a home, we found that few associate it with a geographical place. In fact, as few as 7% think of their home as a specific location. Instead, 37% believe the concept of home goes beyond the four walls.
42% FEEL MORE AT HOME OUTSIDE THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE.
38% CONSIDER THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN WHICH THEY LIVE A PART OF THEIR HOME.
A hand waving at people in a window.Illustration of foot steps and text in white on a green background.Illustration of blocks of flats and text in white on a green background.Go to the report