I’ve been reading the GoodHome Report, with huge interest.
This is a major new international study which has been undertaken by the Happiness Research Institute and the home improvement company Kingfisher Plc (who own B&Q). The report looks at the impact of our homes on our overall happiness and wellbeing. A key finding is that the home is significantly more important to our happiness than our income or job. Size, location and home ownership have far less impact on happiness than we think.
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute says that ‘despite the fact that most of us spend more time in our homes than anywhere else, the impact our homes have on our happiness has been relatively explored. Until now.’
I find this fascinating as I over the past ten years I have become more and more curious about this relationship we as people have with our homes. And how different that can be from one person to the next, one family to the next.
The concept of the ‘Forever Home’ has never been a favourite of mine. It’s a phrase that has been used more and more in recent years. But in my opinion, what this report refers to in terms of adaptability is so important. Homes need to be able to adapt as people, families and their circumstances change.
A classic example from my experience working as an interior designer is meeting a family with small children wanting to make the living/dining/kitchen areas of their homes open plan so they can keep an eye on the kids wherever they are. And then the next day meeting a family with teenage kids wanting to put walls up to create separate rooms so they can watch TV in one, read in another, entertain in another and so on!
So in these types of cases I would talk to people not just about the ‘now’ but encourage them to think ahead too. And then create a solution which will be easily adaptable.
Also change is so refreshing! This quote from Valerie Laury at the beginning of the report, really struck a chord with me:
‘I was twenty. I was visiting my grandma who had just done up her living room. Standing in her new room, she had a fresh energy and brightness. Seeing her there, happy and energised, convinced me that our homes are one of the keys to happiness.’
Many times I’ve seen clients transform other areas of their lives when they improve their homes. Things they had given up on in some cases - meeting a partner, conceiving a child, or changing jobs. It’s been fascinating to see.
I love the fact that the report states that taking the time to improve your home has a positive impact on home happiness even if you don’t enjoy the process itself. Because let’s face it, the actual process of improving your home, doesn’t come without some stresses and strains for most people. There is no point in denying that bit. But if you focus on that end goal of overall happiness and wellbeing and go for it, you will be so glad you did!
And don’t forget, if you would like some inspiration to get you started, why not book into one of our workshops!