It may have been the Swinging Sixties but a new survey reveals we much prefer the way we live now. The evolution of the British home is laid bare in a fascinating new study that highlights changing tastes and technology over the past five decades.
Where once pebble dashing, crazy paving and coloured bathroom suites were regarded as the height of sophistication, they now top the list of the home improvements we loathe the most.
Today’s property owners want a state-of-the-art entertainment zone (44 per cent), a wet room (43 per cent), and home improvements such as bi-fold doors and conservatories that improve the indoor/outdoor flow, ‘bringing the outside in’ (58 per cent).
Surprisingly the results showed that a separate dining room is high on the wish list for more than half of us (56 per cent), contrasted with open plan kitchen/diner living spaces which are less desirable (39 per cent). Installing underfloor heating (35 per cent) and brightening up our homes by adding a conservatory or orangery (31 per cent) were voted some of the most sought-after home improvements of today.
The survey of over 2,000 homeowners, commissioned by Anglian Home Improvements, looked at how our tastes in home improvements and the way in which we use our homes have changed over the past 50 years.
Although technological advances in home appliances, telecommunications and IT have made a significant change to the way we live, the majority of respondents ranked central heating as the most positive change to the home over the last 50 years (70 per cent). This was followed by indoor toilets (51 per cent) running hot water (43 per cent) and better insulated windows (41 per cent), demonstrating that warmth and comfort are still top of our priority list.
The results show that almost three out of ten (29 per cent) respondents believe the sharing of household tasks between men and women has been the most significant social change that has influenced how we use our homes over the last half century. Almost of quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said the ability to work from home due to technological advances had also had a significant influence on the way we use our homes.
Whereas respondents said the cooking space (30 per cent) and washing areas (27 per cent) were the key areas of attention when it came to home improvements 50 years ago, homeowners in 2015 are focused primarily on improving their entertaining space (26 per cent), following by areas for cooking (25 per cent) and relaxing (17 per cent). This would suggest that the role of the home has evolved from a shelter to fulfil basic needs to a multi-functional leisure space.
The main reason cited for why people make improvements to their homes was adding monetary value (47 per cent), while three out of ten (30 per cent) said it was to save costs and a similar number (28 per cent) said it worked out as being more cost effective than moving house.
Looking to the future, respondents predict that homes will become smarter thanks to further technological advances (50 per cent), as well as becoming more energy efficient (30 per cent). Robot cleaners, fridges that automatically do the weekly food shop, self-cleaning glass and walls designed to conserve energy were listed among the innovations predicted to become popular within the home over the next 50 years.
Melanie McDonald, Head of PR & Brand Marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, said, “We commissioned this survey as Anglian Home Improvements heads into its 50th anniversary year to reflect the many changes we’ve seen and heard of anecdotally over that time. It is interesting to observe just how much our tastes and preferences have changed in a relatively short amount of time. One thing is for sure – the desire to improve our homes has increased over the years as homeowners seek to make their homes warmer, more comfortable and more energy efficient.”
Founded in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016. As the UK’s leading home improvements company, Anglian has been at the forefront of the nation’s home improvements for almost half a decade, giving it first-hand experience and insight into how our homes have changed over that time. Anglian Home Improvements specialises in products that enhance the home environment and improve energy efficiency, including double and triple glazed windows and doors, conservatories, orangeries and rooftrim.