What makes a home?
A recent study released by IKEA revealed that homes don't always feel like home, and some people reported feeling more at home in their cars. With companies around Australia offering more and more products to make our homes look, feel and function better, we wanted to know what it is that makes a home feel like home. We took the question to our Caféstudy community to find out what Australians think.
The responses we received prove that, despite the millions of dollars spent every year on products for home, there is very little that can be bought that turns a house into a home.
Instead, it’s the people, pets, and memories that make people feel secure and comfortable. Home is a collection of emotional, rather than tangible, attributes.
"For me, my home is anywhere that my two furry companions and myself bed down."
"My home feels like a home when pieces of personality and stories are in it, whether it be pictures, something I made myself, furniture that I bought for varying reasons along the way, or goofy things that don't make it look like everybody else's house and more like "mine"."
"We only moved here in January but as long as we have our pets, my adult kids are here, then it has everything we need, it is home."
"The mess, the chaos, but most of all the family - my two daughters and our twenty year old cat make our home what it is."
So if the feeling of home can’t be bought, what can brands do to truly appeal to homemakers?
To be really successful and to appeal to the emotional, they must look beyond the functional and ensure that their products enhance and promote the emotional ties of home. This might be, for example, by delivering security, comfort, and familiarity, or reinforcing the personality of the people who live there.
"A home should be a place where you feel immediate comfort as soon as you walk in the door. Whether it be the look, the feel, maybe even the smells or the temperature."
"Home is somewhere you can put your feet up and relax. You can choose what furniture, what decorations you like. It's a place where you have privacy. When visitors come they know a little about what you are like from the atmosphere, surroundings etc."
It also means that the types of products that make a home go far beyond furniture and decorations. The smells and experiences that permeate a home create some of the most powerful bonds.
"It feels like home when there are good smells in the kitchen, music playing and wine in the fridge."