As our everyday lives feel more stressful, our homes are taking on an ever-increasing importance to our wellbeing – with 85% of British homeowners stating that their home is their go-to place to escape the stress of the outside world and 84% saying it is their place of retreat for reflection and relaxation.
With such expectations, everything from interior design to accessorising, materials selected to colours chosen, have a crucial role to play in how effective our homes are in achieving the holy grail of ‘Homely Wellness’. This enables us to retreat not just in comfort, but safe in the knowledge that our homes are actively supporting rather than negatively impacting our health. And health is not just physical but psychological too. Brits are increasingly recognising the important effect the materials they choose have on their feeling of wellbeing and happiness, with almost half stating that natural materials in their home make them feel happier than artificial alternatives, with ‘aesthetics’, ‘comfort’ and ‘warmth’ all cited as key reasons.
Why is this happening? As our lives get ever faster, the need to unwind becomes greater. Where once relaxation meant a visit to the pub, or out for dinner with friends, today our homes take pole position when it comes to the best place to relax, reboot and chill out with friends. According to YPulse 2016, 72% of GenYers would rather stay in at the weekend than go out. Pinterest confirms it dinner party ideas are the most searched topic among millennials, while searches for ‘girls night in’ are up 35% year on year.
“2017 is being hailed as the year of ‘lagom’...” Interestingly, this need to unwind, reboot and recharge has brought with it a growing consciousness and concern about how we live and what we need. So after 2016 and its ‘year of Hygge’ (cosy togetherness), 2017 is being hailed as the year of ‘lagom’ – a Swedish way of living that revolves around only taking what you need. Over the last six months of 2016, Google saw a steady increase in the number of UK searches for the term, and in the last three months of 2016 it was tweeted over 13,500 times.
Tapping into the rise of the ‘zero wasters’ movement and treasuring items over buying more products, Brits’ interest in lagom reflects a desire to live more sustainable lives without giving up the feeling of a premium lifestyle. A truly Scandinavian approach to living well, the lagom lifestyle brings with it an increased desire for long-lasting, natural products that have inherent quality and fitness-for-purpose as opposed to artificial or throw away items.
So, we’re seeing greater focus on need vs desire, absolute value/real cost vs price and natural vs synthetic. In short, we have become more conscious consumers who think before we buy, who research and consider before taking things at face value.