In a world where the home has become more than just a physical space, Ikea’s 10th annual Life at Home Report offers a deep dive into the secrets of a happy home. Drawing insights from over 250,000 participants worldwide, of which over 1,000 reside in Singapore, the report unravels the fabric of what makes a house a true sanctuary.

Over the last 10 years, the at Home Report has become one of the largest and most distinctive research projects of its kind, involving a mix of approaches and partners to explore the needs and dreams of people all over the world. It began in 2014 exploring the practical aspects of home, and over the years has expanded into the emotional landscape of where we live.

Ikea Singapore reaffirms its commitment to improving the lives of its customers by understanding their needs and aspirations. Gerard Jansen, country retail director at Ikea Singapore shares: “At Ikea Singapore, we are passionate about improving life at home for our customers. To do that, and help ease some of the common frustrations faced, we believe in hearing from our customers directly. A decade of global research has armed us with key insights to understand what people want at home and gives us the confidence to be able to help as many people as possible overcome daily challenges and embrace the joy of home.”

One of the most distinct qualities of the report is exploring how people feel about where they live, and not just what they do there. This blend of functional and emotional insights helped to develop a framework which presents eight emotional needs for a better life at home: control, comfort, security, nurturing, belonging, enjoyment, accomplishment and aspirations. In a nutshell, each emotional need is important to at least 74% of Singaporeans, but comfort (86%), nurturing (81%), and enjoyment (81%) rank highest. The needs which are often fulfilled at home for the largest shares of Singaporeans are security (65%), comfort (60%) and nurturing (55%).

Happy and organised
In the study, we discover that 53% of Singaporeans find unwinding or relaxing especially important in an ideal home, higher than the global average of 43%. The top outcomes for a happy home life are feeling relaxed and content, happy and secure. Yet, it is revealed that only 50% of local dwellers feel positive about their current life at home, lower than the global average of 60%.

One intriguing revelation is that, for many Singaporeans, a tidy and organised home takes precedence over privacy. A staggering 51% believe that an organised living space contributes to contentment, while only 41% emphasise the importance of privacy. It seems that in the Lion City, the joy derived from an orderly home surpasses the need for personal seclusion.

Despite the challenges, home is truly where the heart is for 56% of Singaporeans. This sentiment is reflected in the rising trend of working from home (31%) and decluttering efforts to create more living space (36%). In 2023, storage products dominated total sales rankings for regional Ikea stores, with the Malm chest of four drawers, the iconic Billy bookcase and the Kleppstad wardrobe taking the top three spots respectively. Customers across five markets were also refreshing their tableware, with more than 5.5 million plates, side plates and bowls sold from the Oftas collection.

Sleep sanctuary
The foremost factor influencing Singaporeans’ optimal sleep habits is maintaining the ideal temperature (41%). This aspect holds significantly greater importance for Singaporeans compared to the global average (31%). Interestingly, Baby Boomers in the country assign less value to temperature control (32%) compared to their younger counterparts.

Beyond temperature, there are several other crucial elements where Ikea products can play a supportive role. A substantial 33% of respondents express a preference for their favourite pillow, while an equal percentage emphasises the significance of complete darkness. Additionally, a night light is considered important by 11%, and a heavy cover by 7%, contributing to the overall sleep quality experience.

Moving house
What’s good news for interior design firms and furniture retailers is that 48% of Singaporeans are either looking to move or renovate their home in the next two years. Among their reasons for shifting include reduced living costs (17%), upgrading homes (16%), and moving closer to loved ones (15%), while 13% just want a more sustainable home.

The likelihood of moving is the highest among Millennials (46%) and lowest for Baby Boomers (24%). With reservations for a low base, renters appear to be more likely to move than those who own their homes, while homeowners appear more likely than renters to renovate.

Future scenarios
For the first time, this year’s report also looks ahead and imagines various possible futures for life at home in 2030 and beyond, using foresight research to delve into how the shape of homes and how people interact with it might change in the future. The report imagines three different future scenarios, where distant family members join Sunday lunch in hologram form; bio-solar wallpaper uses algae to generate electricity from sunlight; and chairs are created by 3D printers using a mushroom compound. It also explores the new ways people live, looking at how communities and their reliance on the land may change.

In a world where homes are evolving beyond brick and mortar, the Life at Home Report serves as a guide for individuals seeking joy, comfort, and a sense of belonging within their living spaces. As Ikea Singapore continues its mission to enhance the home experience, let us join hands in creating spaces that not only meet our practical needs but also inspire a lifetime of happiness. After all, home is not just a place; it’s an emotion, a sanctuary where dreams are nurtured, and the essence of a fulfilling life unfolds.

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