Third-Annual IKEA Life at Home Report Released

June 10, 2016

IKEA U.S. has announced the results of the third annual IKEA Life at Home Report, which explores the life at home of people all over the world.  Surveying more than 12,000 people in 12 cities across the globe, this year’s Life at Home Report explores people’s definition of what makes a home from four basic perspectives: Space, Things, Relationships and Place. The results reflect global perceptions of what ingredients form a home, what is happening within these areas and how people really think and feel about their homes.

“We are always curious about people’s lives,” said Mikael Ydholm, research manager at IKEA of Sweden. “In a world that is constantly changing, it becomes increasingly important to understand more about new ways of living and what is important for people’s perception of a good life at home. IKEA wants to be a catalyst for change by having an even better understanding of people’s emotional and personal attachment to their homes.”

One of the major takeaways from the 2016 Life at Home Report is that what makes a home is being redefined.  As opposed as just being defined as a physical place (20 percent), the survey shows that people primarily define home as a place for relationships.  Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) say that they think of home as where they have their most important relationships. Spending time with friends and family at home is what people do most (63 percent) to create the feeling of home. However, the survey also shows that social relationships need to be balanced with time spent alone – more private space is what people want most of all to increase their well-being at home (29 percent).

Another key finding from the survey is that home is extending outside the four walls – especially among the younger generation. Nearly one in three (29 percent) would rather live in a smaller space in a neighborhood they love than in a larger space in a neighborhood they do not care about.  And only 37 percent of Millennials (18-29) feel most at home in their actual residence.

Additionally, technology and compact living influence people’s feelings and behaviors when it comes to relationships at home. Virtual connections can now enable us to be alone, together. Almost one in four (23 percent) think that it is more important to have good Wi-Fi than to have social spaces in the home in order to nurture their relationships. Additionally, nearly one in five (19 percent) feel that it is more important to keep in touch with friends and family online than to invite them to their homes. However, the main barrier for relationships at home is that people use their devices to a greater extent, indicating that technology can both limit and enable relationships at home.

“Understanding life at home is at the core of our business,” said Marcus Engman, design manager at IKEA of Sweden. “We use insights about people’s real needs, dreams and aspirations in our design and product development. We’re on a journey to gain greater insights into how we can help make people’s home lives better and more meaningful.”

The IKEA Life at Home Report aims to increase awareness of and spark conversation about what better everyday living in the home actually means.  Previous reports took a closer look at morning routines and at how people meet and eat in and around the kitchen.  This year’s survey was carried out in April and May 2016 in 12 cities: Berlin, London, Madrid, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto and Zurich. IKEA’s Life at Home Reports can be found at lifeathome.ikea.com/home.