Over a third of British homeowners claim they live in a house and not a home, according to a new survey.
Researchers also found that a whopping one in 10 Brits say their abode is just somewhere they “hang their hat”, and confess they have no emotional connection to it at all.
According to the survey of 1,000 UK homeowners, nearly one in five (18%) said they have never felt house proud, and a third admitted their property is massively in need of a facelift in order to make it feel more like a home.
This is despite the fact that more than half of Brits (52%) admit they have serious house envy, with more space, expansive kitchens and idyllic locations topping the list of things that make them jealous.
The study reveals that the average Brit spends six hours a week attempting to make their house feel like a home, including everything from researching inspiring décor ideas, carrying out DIY, rearranging furniture and sprucing up the garden.
When it comes to what makes a house a home, 57% of Brits say happiness is the key ingredient. More than half (51%) say it’s love, and exactly half (50%) believe safety and security are what make a difference.
Nearly half (48%) said the smell of good cooking instantly turns bricks and mortar into a homely sanctuary, while 22% said candles are a sure-fire way to turn a bare room into a cosy home.
Nearly a third (31%) felt a property full of books and paintings made a house feel lived in, while one in five said adding rugs to an interior space also made it feel cosy.
Summer barbecues, a television in the bedroom and an open-fire lit throughout the winter were also rated as important ways to make a house feel like a home.
Four in 10 said a well-stocked fridge made a house feel like a home, while framed pictures of family and friends, freshly-laundered sheets and pets running around also help create a homely atmosphere.
An ultra-comfy sofa, children playing and good quality lampshades were also a must. Almost four in 10 (38%) Brits said their ideal location for a home would be on the coast with a sea view, whereas a quarter said it would be in the heart of the countryside.
Making a house feel like a home comes at a cost, with the typical homeowner forking out £92 a month on home improvements, which is equivalent to £1,104 every year.
In fact, over a third (35%) said they regularly come to blows with their other half when it comes to sprucing up their property and the costs involved.
It comes as no surprise that happiness and love are what make a house a home, and that we’re all prepared to invest so much in turning a property into our very own haven and a space we can be proud of. We’re aware there are many ways to make the place you live feel more comfortable and homely, from making it feel safe and secure, to the smallest of touches such as an ultra-comfy sofa, fresh sheets on the bed and the sound of laughter.
What makes a house a home?
- Happiness (57%)
- Love (51%)
- Security and safety (50%)
- The sound of laughter (44%)
- Meals with family and friends (43%)
- The smell of good food cooking (43%)
- An ultra-comfy sofa (42%)
- A bath and a shower (40%)
- Freshly laundered sheets on the bed (39%)
- A well-stocked fridge (39%)
- Framed pictures of family and friends (39%)
- Pets (36%)
- Children (32%)
- Sunday roasts (32%)
- Summer BBQs in the garden (32%)
- Your collections – e.g. books, paintings and DVDs (31%)
- Having a place just for you in your house (30%)
- General life noise (25%)
- Festive celebrations (25%)
- Comfy corners (25%)
- Good cushions (23%)
- An open fire in the winter (22%)
- A big telly (22%)
- Candles (22%)
- Holiday pictures (20%)
- Rugs (20%)
- A TV in your bedroom (19%)
- Family heirlooms (19%)
- Saturday movie nights (18%)
- A few arguments now and again (13%)
How many homey items do you have on this list? Let us know in the comments below!