Is your home a happy one? Findings from a new report show that contentment in our homes doesn’t necessarily come from following trends to keep it current, how much light gets in or whether we own it or not.
Exploring how our wellbeing is influenced by the design and use of our homes, the report entitled, The Science of a Happy Home and commissioned by online architectural studio Resi, identified six key qualities of a happy home including the place we live being secure, adaptable and nourishing.
We need to measure not just how energy efficient our homes are but how efficient they are for our wellbeing.
Researchers asked 4000 people to describe their homes through personality traits using the OCEAN psychology framework – a personality tool widely used by psychologists.
The findings suggest that homes should be designed, built and used with these qualities in mind and the place we live should be regarded and evaluated as a personal environment rather than simply as property.
For example, we need to measure not just how energy efficient our homes are but how efficient they are for our wellbeing.
So what are the six qualities identified and how can we implement these when considering moving, buying or improving our homes?
Homes must meet our basic need for shelter, safety and stability.
Tip: Having a copy of the building control certificate from your seller, builder or landlord helps give peace of mind that your home is safe.
Homes which are well ventilated that optimise light and noise levels and are made with or contain healthy materials are considered nourishing. Evidence suggests exposure to and interactions with nature boost our wellbeing – whether that’s having indoor plants or access to outdoor space at home.
Interestingly the report’s findings suggest views from our windows can be a more significant predictor of our happiness levels than how much sunlight there is in our home.
Tip: Invest in some houseplants. Even artificial ones can create similar positive benefits! If you have an outdoor space, consider adding some seating to create more of a haven outside.
Size, dimensions, rooms and storage are all important in a home but thinking more in terms of the multiple uses and functions each space can host and how the layout can adapt and change is more important for long term wellbeing the report suggests.
Time at home is not divided equally and some spaces are used more than others. Creating adaptable spaces to support wellbeing and happiness allows us to make our homes work harder for us. As we age, our needs change but our homes don’t unless we modify them or move.
Tip: Rugs, screens, moveable shelving, mirrors and panels all help to break up larger spaces without the need for renovation.
Making us feel calm and at ease, relaxed spaces are where we can switch off and put our feet up. Around half of us relax most easily in our living rooms and a third, in our bedrooms. Relaxed was the home personality trait most associated with home satisfaction suggesting a focus on ensuring thermal air comfort, optimum daylight and sunlight levels is key when considering the design of both living spaces and bedrooms to ensure this calming quality.
Tip: Create quiet areas from unused corners or nooks in your home. Use soft lighting and comfy padding to make it enticing
Sociable homes are happy homes according to the report’s findings. Open plan living and the sense of connection it brings is very much linked to higher home satisfaction. While it is important to have spaces to switch off, we also need those spaces in our homes to switch on and have interactions with those we live with and friends etc.
Connection to the outdoors was rated highly too – whether from windows, a garden or a balcony - particularly for those who work from home.
Tip: Seating choices are crucial in creating opportunities for connection within a home. Lining sofas up like benches or facing a TV can make your living space too much like a waiting-room.
Reflecting our values and personalities, homes that mirror us reveal our true selves. If we want to avoid the expense which comes with investing in short-term trends, we need to examine our long term needs.
Being able to use our homes as mirrors of ourselves is key to wellbeing according to the report’s findings and a more significant predictor of home satisfaction than having somewhere that is ‘just your space.’
Tip: Souvenirs from a holiday, a board with photos, unique knick-knacks – display these sentimental items to make a place your own, whether that happens to be a rented flat or your own home.
Small City's Clyde Property articles have oodles of information which can help you to improve your home and understand the property market, click through to learn something new!
Clyde Property is a leading independent, multiple award-winning estate agent with over 30 years’ experience in selling and letting property in Scotland. Just call your local Clyde Property branch today, for friendly, impartial advice on letting and renting property.
View all the current properties for sale and rent in Perth in Kinross with Clyde Property in our Small City Property Section.
There's no better way to ready your home for the market than freshening it up with a Spring Clean!
March 4th Wednesday 2020
If you are thinking about putting your house or flat up for rent, find out how to do this easily with these expert tips from Clyde Property.
June 27th Thursday 2019
The experts at Clyde Property give us their tips on what to consider when you are downsizing your home.
May 30th Thursday 2019