After more than a year of being largely confined to our homes during the pandemic, we were curious to see how people’s well-being has been impacted by the design of their home. At Modsy, we’ve always stood behind the idea of interior wellness—which is a belief that the design of your home can positively contribute to your mental health and well-being. But we wanted to back up that belief by hearing from real people—learning more about what makes home feel like a sanctuary and what people can do to make it a happier, more restful place.
To dig into this topic, we worked with an outside firm to survey over 1,500 people, which included a randomized panel of people across the United States, as well as members of our Modsy community. We also partnered with a personality and social psychologist to run the survey and analyze the results. This topic is under-researched and we’re on a mission to learn more and help inspire better living at home.
Read on for our top 10 insights from our Interior Wellness Report!
In seeking to understand how specific styles make a person feel, we looked at the design styles people identified as being present in their homes. We then dove into the feelings they identify with when at home.
Participants who identify contemporary as a style in their home are the most likely to really love their home. This suggests that people are happy when they feel like their home is up to date.
Those with contemporary style in their home are also the second most likely to feel proud of their home and feel like it matches their personality. (In both of these cases, contemporary is second to glam, a high-drama, personality filled style.)
Meanwhile, those who identify their home’s style as country—a quaint, less trendy style—feel the least proud of their homes and are the least likely to really love their home. Not only that, but they’re also the least likely to feel excited to invite others to their home and to say they feel happy in their space
Those who identified maximalism as a style in their home are least likely to feel control over their space. And, while the style exudes personality, they are also least likely to feel proud of their space and much less likely to feel excited to invite people over
How do people define good design and what are the feelings they associate with a well-designed space? Since good design can look different to each person, we asked participants to imagine being in a well-designed home and consider how it makes them feel. The top two feelings people resonated with? Cozy and calm—with organized and relaxed following close behind. Just as the fashion world is all about coziness, with athleisure taking center stage for what we’re wearing, people are asking the interior design world to create environments that promote comfort as well.
Which styles were most likely to identify as wanting a calm, cozy space?
How does the definition of “good design” differ across styles? Although the majority of people said a well-designed space made them feel cozy and calm, that wasn’t the case across the board.
Despite a majority of people saying that good design makes them feel cozy, we found that the most popular design styles aren’t going to get them there. The top four styles—mid-century modern, contemporary, traditional/classic, and transitional—aren’t generally cozy in nature.
It was interesting to uncover some of the style preference trends that correlated with specific age groups.
In looking at a list of participants who said they agree or strongly agree with the statement “I feel happy in my home space,” we found people with five style preferences were consistently the happiest:
Both rustic and mountain styles are very comfortable and often have an inherently cozy feeling. And, as we already uncovered, the majority of people want to feel cozy in their homes. So, it makes sense that these two styles would be among the happiest!
It’s not just people with specific design styles that are the happiest. There are also trends among specific age groups as it relates to what qualities relate to happiness. Older Millennials and Gen X-ers (ages 35-54) identify organization as a top component of good design. They want their homes to be organized above all else, and that organization is what makes them feel happy in their space.
In comparison, Boomers (ages 55-64), want to be calm, relaxed, and happy (in that order) when at home. Younger Millennials (ages 24-34) are most likely to believe good design means productivity and least likely to believe it is creative.
Our survey showed that the living room is the #1 place to unwind and indulge in some “me time.” This is also the room where participants report feeling the happiest. We were surprised that such a communal space is where people feel the most relaxed and want to unwind. But perhaps spending so much time at home during the pandemic caused people to create new habits and get more comfortable unwinding in a shared space.
In both cases, the bedroom was the second most popular room to unwind and feel happiest. As it happens, 87% of participants reported having a TV in the living room, compared to 48% in the bedroom. Since so many people watch TV shows or movies to unwind these days, this could also point to why more people are using the living room as a space to unwind.
We loved learning about what colors were people’s favorites to use in their own homes. And we weren’t surprised to discover that the color people love to use in their homes the most was blue; it’s always been a popular decor color among Modsy customers, and many people associate blue with a feeling of calm. White, green, black, and brown rounded out the top five favorite colors to use when in home decor.
Purple and yellow were pretty low on the popularity list of colors participants liked using in their home’s design. But we found it interesting that the people who do use those colors in their homes have really positive associations with the space in which they live. So, while they’re not the cool kids on the color block, purple and yellow may have a positive influence on your sense of well-being in your home.
We asked participants which factors were most likely to impact their decisions when designing or redesigning a room in their home. We weren’t surprised that aesthetic appeal topped the list—but we found it interesting that a desire for flexibility within a room was second on the list. People are looking for spaces that are designed for versatility—whether that’s added storage, or space for hobbies, distance learning, reading nooks, and more. This shows us that, while people care about the style of their space, making your home work for you with flex spaces is of high importance.
Similarly, when asked what is the biggest factor in their desire to redesign a room, participants noted functionality as a key motivator (once again coming in second, right after aesthetics). After increased time spent at home over the last 18 months, it’s not surprising that people are looking for more functionality and flexibility out of their home than ever before!
Part of feeling happier and healthier in your home is understanding what spaces cause stress. When we asked participants which space in their homes they felt the most stressed, kitchens topped the list, with nearly 21% of people saying that’s the most stressful room in their home. Interestingly, kitchens are also the number one room people want to redesign in their current home. Perhaps 2022 will be the year of the kitchen remodel?
With so many people working from home over the past 18 months, we weren’t surprised that workspaces and home offices came in second, with 17% of participants saying that was the space where they feel most stressed. (Who doesn’t feel stressed in their office space once in a while?) Meanwhile, nurseries and dining rooms are considered by far the least stressful rooms in participants’ homes.