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Brief Published: 19 Jan 2021

Consumers See Their Homes as Havens During the Pandemic

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Consumers worldwide are reconnecting with their homes during the pandemic. According to Ikea’s 2020 study, The Big Home Reboot, two-fifths of people have made domestic changes during lockdown and nearly half (46%) feel their living spaces better meet their emotional needs now than before the outbreak. With home improvement high on the public agenda, the time is ripe for brands to expand their definition of domestic comforts.

  • Seeking Sanctuary: Pre-pandemic, one in three consumers said they felt most comfortable somewhere other than their main residence (Ikea, 2018). This has shifted during global lockdowns, with 78% of respondents now perceiving home as a ‘sanctuary’ (Ikea, 2020), reflecting a widespread wish for emotional and physical security in uncertain times.

  • Indoor Activities Abound: As home becomes a locus of activity, household leisure is particularly important, with family time topping the list of consumers’ favourite pastimes (53% rate it highly) – followed by cooking (49%), ‘me-time’, reading and playing games (all 43%), home exercise (40%) and virtual socialising (35%). See our Three-Minute Trend on the ‘Insperience Economy’, and The Mild Life, for more on consumers’ lockdown hobbies.

  • Demographic Inequalities: Unfortunately, certain groups still struggle to find comfort at home. Just a quarter of 16- to 24-year-olds think that their living spaces are designed to meet their needs, compared to 49% of 65- to 75-year-olds. Satisfaction also differs between people in studio apartments or flats (43%) and those in homes with four or more bedrooms (76%). Additionally, people with low incomes are less likely than higher earners to feel emotionally supported at home (65% versus 83%). This highlights the need for more innovative, affordable residential design that supports consumers’ wellbeing.

  • Prioritising Spaciousness: Smarter uses of space – and more of it – is crucial to consumers. When asked about household improvement priorities, a third of respondents mentioned home offices, 35% outdoor space and 38% dedicated areas for hobbies and interests. This looks to be a long-term trend: 53% of under-35s are considering moving further from work to secure a better home. For those who can’t, space-saving solutions (as seen in Hacks for the Home Office) can help create truly multipurpose living environments.
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