Does it matter if we are happy in our home? Would we be happier with life if we had a happy home? Apparently we would. These are the findings of a report that came out earlier in the year. The report was from The Happiness Institute along with Kingfisher.
“How happy we are with our home is very closely linked to how happy we are in general” (pg.7, The GoodHome Report, 2019).
The report was based on data from over 13,000 responses and 78 interviews across 10 countries. It also included insights from experts in psychology and social science, city planning and architecture.
The results were surprising and indicate that what we think would make us happy, wouldn’t necessarily make us happy.
Why is a happy home important?
You might think having more money or or a better job would make you much happier in your home. However, according to the report our homes account for 15% of our overall happiness, much more than income or employment status.
The report found that 73% of people who are happy at home are happy in life, so it makes sense to have a happy home in terms of your general wellbeing and happiness.
What do we feel about our homes?
We all have 5 common core emotions about our homes, even though our homes are different in terms of style, size, location etc. Firstly we want somewhere we are comfortable and safe and to feel like we are in control of our home (in terms of changing the decor but also in terms of feeling secure with tenure). We also want our homes to represent us and showcase our identify and achievements.
However the most important emotion of all when it comes to our homes is pride (accounting for 44% of our happiness with our home). We want to feel proud of our homes and invite people into them and have them represent our hard work.
Interestingly it’s the one we feel the least when it comes to our home.
How to feel proud of our home?
According to the report those that are most proud of their home are those people who have invested time in improving them (even if they don’t enjoy DIY). So making home improvements not only improves the physical space we live in it also contributes to our overall happiness, even if we don’t enjoy it while we’re doing it.
What makes us feel happy in our homes?
The results here are surprising as you might think having a bigger house or owning your home would automatically make you happier with your home.
The first surprising result from the survey was that you don’t need to own your home to feel happy, renters can feel just as happy, so long as they have control over doing home improvements and tenure.
Secondly, bigger homes are not always better, it all comes down to how spacious you feel your house is, which is not automatically solved by adding more square footage.
Whether our home feels spacious is three times more important than its actual size. (pg. 8, The GoodHome Report)
Thirdly adaptability came out on top in terms of how happy we are with our homes. Our home needs to be able to change with us as we grow. When kids come along or we may need access to a downstairs bathroom or bedroom. Or if we start working from home our houses need to be able to be adapted to meet our needs.
Having an adaptable home is seven times more important for having a happy home than home ownership (pg. 8, The GoodHome Report)
How can we feel happier in our homes?
Re-arrange or organise our space
The feeling of spaciousness was one of the key factors in the report in terms of making our homes happy. It means making the best use of the space we have. So if it’s cluttered, organising it and re-arranging furniture to give a feeling of more space and light. One quick win might be to tackle your hotpress like I did and see if that improves your happiness.
Update our homes
Even if we don’t enjoy DIY or home improvements the report clearly shows a link between improving our home to suit our changing needs with feeling prouder and happier with our homes. So we need to make the time. The changes don’t have to be big, sometimes just repurposing a room or painting it a new colour can completely change it. One simple way could be to try my geometric paint idea or some of my other paint ideas.
Invite people in
One way to feel prouder and happier with our homes is to share them with other people. Opening up our homes and inviting people in increases our feelings of pride and affection for our homes and helps create positive memories in our homes.
Green up your space
There is a clear link between access to nature and happiness with our homes. We don’t all have gardens and balconies but we can bring nature inside with plants and foliage (real or faux). Have a look at some of the plants I recommend which are easy to care and can really brighten up your home.
Put your own stamp on your home
It can seem pointless to decorate your home if you’re renting or you don’t want to make permanent changes to your home. However, the evidence is there that it will improve your happiness. Medina Grillo on Instagram has some fantastic tips for renters to update their homes. Ideas like removable wallpaper and updates with paint.
So let me know what you think. Are you happy in your home or could you be happier by making some small changes? If I can help you make your home happier please get in touch. Let me know how you make your home happy in the Comments below.