Compelled by the belief that our homes shape our lives, we undertook a major pan-European study to try and answer two questions: “What makes a house a home?” and “What makes that home a happy one?”.
June 2019 marked the publication of The GoodHome Report in partnership with Kingfisher Plc. As a partnership we surveyed 13,489 individuals and conducted 78 in-depth personal interviews with participants from 10 countries across Europe, compelled by the belief that our homes shape our lives. To conduct the study, we considered the role of our homes for our happiness and tried to answer two prevalent questions: what makes a home? And what makes that home a happy one? Thus, the report looks at the relationships between our homes and our overall happiness and wellbeing.
Our findings allowed us to conclude that 73% of people who are happy with their home are also happy in life. Our homes account for 15% of our total happiness, making them as important as our general health and fitness at 14%, and significantly more important than our earnings, at 6% or our employment at 3%.
We found that the happiness we feel in relation to our home is driven by 5 core emotional needs: pride, comfort, identify, safety and control. Pride accounts for 44% of our home happiness and is therefore the most influential emotion. However, our study finds that one third do not feel proud of their home. Comfort refers to our mental state, and it the second most important emotion which represents 25% of our home happiness. Identity reflects the notion that the home is an integral part of ourselves, and represents 17% of home happiness. We define safety as the absence of threats to our physical body, which accounts for 10% of our home happiness. The fifth emotion, control, accounts for 4% of the core emotions and is defined in the report as a mental state, of having agency over ourselves and our decisions. These five emotions were decided on, since they cover many of our basic needs as human beings. When our homes do not meet this criterion of needs, our happiness and wellbeing is negatively impacted.
The report was met with international acclaim as it caught the attention of The Times in the UK, who published an article “How your home could be the key to happiness” to discuss our findings. Belfast Telegraph were also compelled by the results revealed in the report, to write up recommendations for making the home a happier space, with their article “There's no place like home... and here are the secrets to achieving domestic bliss”.
To delve deeper into what makes a happy home, read The GoodHome Report here.