21st September 2022
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Every now and then a survey comes along which is a really good reflection of the state of the nation and this one, from Samsung Electronics UK, is more revealing about where we are now than it might at first appear. The company, with whom I have worked several times, asked me to be involved on a campaign about moving house – timely as it turns out – and so I am sharing the results with you.
They found that 62 per cent of us are looking for something different than we wanted 10 years ago. On the face of it that might not seem surprising, after all, times change and priorities with them. But let’s dig a little deeper to find out what those changes are, and this is where, I think, it becomes revealing.
Firstly, 34 per cent of us are hoping to move house in the next year – that’s massive – a third of the country wants to live somewhere different. And with that in mind apparently 25 per cent of us have already put our houses on the market.
And look at what we want:
*A bigger kitchen for entertaining
*Outdoor space (rather than a garage which was the requirement ten years ago)
*Access to a park rather than public transport
*A spare room for guests rather than a home office (despite the rise in WFH)
All this points to return to the notion of home as a place to live and love and make memories. It’s not about status and work but about creating a space for friends and family to gather together.
Now, while we might all want bigger kitchens – the heart of the home – but also perhaps the one that carries the most status (have you got a Samsung smart steamer or a large American style fridge?) the survey found that these days we want this space specifically for entertaining.
Is this because going out has got more expensive recently or because being separated from our loved ones for the last two years has made us realise the joy of getting together round a table and sharing food and wine?
And while more of us are clearly working from home, it’s interesting that when it comes to moving house 53 per cent of us are looking for a guest room rather than an office (38 per cent).
So, it’s about having friends for supper and being able to offer them a bed for the night if the party goes on too late as well. And if that reflects the state of the nation’s mindset at the moment then I think that’s a rather comforting thing to take away from the current confusion and concerns.
Back in the depths of the first lockdown – remember it was a hot summer – I saw a survey saying that renters were looking for access to green spaces over proximity to public transport and, two years on, that desire has spread to buyers as well with 69 per cent wanting a garden over a garage – and that’s a big change when you look back over old episodes of Location Location where everyone tells Phil and Kirsty they want off-road parking and specifically a
garage. Perhaps it’s also a gradual shift towards a cleaner environment? Will people be looking for EV charging points as a must have in 10 years’ time?
For those whose budget won’t stretch to a garden then 49 per cent would choose a park over access to public transport. A reflection, perhaps of a more flexible work style with more of us able to work from home on one or two days a week.
Tanya Weller, marketing director of home appliances at Samsung Electronics (UK & Ireland) Ltd., said: “With the rise in home movers, many now have a different checklist compared to ten years ago. The last two years have made people think about what they really want, with outdoor space being a key priority. In addition to this, home appliances that are convenient for families are hugely desirable now.”
I'm a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.