What’s Important to British Homeowners Today?
Contura lifestyle expert shares the latest trends and insights on making a British house a home.
Over the past 16 months we’ve spent more time than ever at home, which has afforded us time to reassess goals and priorities. This has led many Brits to consider home improvements and even relocation in order to improve their quality of life or the wellbeing of their families. So, what is important to British homeowners today?
A study of 1,000 Brits, commissioned by wood burning stove manufacturer, Contura, has found that:
- 38 percent of Brits try to actively design their home with a view to reducing stress and increasing physical and emotional wellbeing
- 42 percent of Brits love life in the country and find it fulfils most of their needs and wishes
- 31 percent of Brits try to take an active responsibility for the environmental consequences of how they live or what they buy
Catharina Björkman, lifestyle expert at woodburning stove company, Contura, says: “Having spent almost a year and a half cooped up at home, it’s no surprise that 38 percent of Brits’ are now choosing to design their homes with a view to reducing stress and increasing physical and emotional wellbeing. Our home is our sanctuary away from the busy outside world, so creating a space that enhances our wellbeing has never been more important.
“The positive impact of our homes isn’t reserved purely for ourselves, however, with 31 percent of Brits divulging that they take responsibility for the environmental consequences of their consumption. We want our home to not only feel good and look good, but to do good too.
“Opting for natural elements in the design of a house – maximising natural light, adding greenery and plants, using natural materials, and applying soothing colour schemes – are simple ways Brits can easily and affordably create a peaceful sanctuary that is sure to enhance the physical and emotional wellbeing of those residing in any home.”
Here, Catharina reveals the key trends amongst British homeowners and her tips for making the home feel like a sanctuary…
Location, location, location
Whilst accessing green spaces in cities isn’t impossible, it’s no surprise that a huge 42 percent of Brits love life in the country, claiming that it fulfils most of their needs and wishes vs just 15 percent of Brits who feel this way about city life.
Spending time in nature is a well-known antidote to stress. In fact, spending just 120 minutes each week immersed in nature is enough to make people feel healthy and benefit from a stronger sense of wellbeing(1).
And if green spaces are on your doorstep, you’re more likely to spend time outside, reaping the rewards of better mental and physical health.
The most desirable home features are undoubtedly those that reinforce this connection with nature and tap into our more primal desires.
We would of course all like more space at home and the sense of freedom it affords us, however there are a few simple hacks to make any room feel more spacious.
Opt for fewer, larger pieces of furniture and ensure bookcases reach all the way to the ceiling. This will lead the eye up and make the space seem taller. Choose light-coloured rugs and neutral colours on the walls to create a sense of space – you can always add personality with pops of colour in the soft furnishings. Use mirrors to bounce light around the room and maximise sunlight where possible – darkness makes spaces feel smaller. Wooden shutters are highly desirable as they give the necessary privacy in the evening whilst open up fully to enhance daylight in the waking hours.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, consider how you want to use your green space. If you plan on hosting family and friends regularly, then plenty of seating near a dedicated BBQ or outdoor kitchen area is ideal, but if you prefer cosying up with a book and a glass of wine in the evenings, create a tranquil nook with cushions, blankets and solar powered fairy lights.
If you don’t have access to a garden, you can still enjoy the benefits of natural light and greenery by bringing the outside in. Position a comfy chair or bench by a window and create your cosy space there. There’s no such thing as too many houseplants, so invest in foliage such as the attractive Snake Plant or a Weeping Fig, that not only serve as a visual connection to nature, but also have air-purifying properties.
Humans have long been drawn to fire for warmth, protection and cooking. A woodburning stove is not only a functional addition to your home, contributing to your heating needs and reducing energy costs in the process, but also creates a welcoming, cosy atmosphere.
Hardwood flooring is also a popular option for homeowners today; not only reflecting nature but providing a quality and durable finish that adapts to the seasons, keeping a house cool in the summer and adorned with rugs, warm in the winter.
Knowing that your home is not only your personal retreat but is also positively benefitting the environment is one of the ways we can all feel better about our home focused choices, so it’s no surprise that 31 percent of Brits actively take responsibility for the environmental consequences of how they live and/or what they buy.
Simple ways to make your home more sustainable include utilising renewable energy sources by installing solar panels, heat pumps, or switching to a renewable energy provider. You can also improve your home’s eco credentials by ensuring it is well insulated, choosing non-toxic building materials or using reclaimed materials. If you have green fingers, opt for native and local plant life and install a Water Butt so you can use rainwater to water the garden.
Inside the home, select appliances with high-energy efficiency ratings, switch to energy saving LED lightbulbs, use more environmentally friendly or natural cleaning products, and consider joining a local vegetable-box scheme which will enable you to enjoy seasonal, local produce.
In terms of the larger investments, the important thing is to choose items that are not only useful, but have solid eco-credentials to match. For example, if you’ve always wanted a wood burning stove, opt for an Ecodesign model. Ecodesign stoves are designed to operate more efficiently, using less fuel, producing less emissions and as an added bonus, are more cost effective to run.
Remember, when it comes to making our homes more environmentally friendly – every measure counts.
Making a house feel like home
Your home should be your safe space; away from the hustle and bustle and daily grind of the outside world. In fact, 38 percent of Brits claim they actively design their home with a view to reducing stress and increasing physical and emotional wellbeing.
To ensure your home feels like a sanctuary, follow Catharina’s top tips for designing a space that not only looks good, but makes you (and everyone in it) feel good too…
- Keep window decoration to a minimum to allow as much natural daylight in as possible.
- Opt for lighter curtains or shutters in summer – linen or sheer fabrics will allow optimum light into the main areas of your home, even when drawn, whilst shutters can be opened completely or closed for privacy as required.
- Natural light has depth and texture, so incorporate a range of feature lighting options to emulate this. Table, floor or wall lamps will light different areas of the space, as opposed to providing a harsh and more uniform glare that ceiling lights tend to create.
- To create the ultimate sense of calm, opt for a neutral colour palette with considered pops of colour.
- For a natural feel, try earthy tones, which will add depth and create a rustic feel to your home.
- If you prefer bolder colours, ensure the colour scheme doesn’t overwhelm the space by balancing it out with more neutral soft furnishings.
- Ideally make sure that any sofas or chairs are positioned to allow you to enjoy natural light and easily view green space outside.
- If the view is limited, place window boxes or hang planters outside your window – both will allow natural light into the room, whilst also enhancing your view.
- Abundant, trailing plants such as Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) or String-of-Pearls, add intrigue to any space, are easy to maintain and have air-purifying qualities.
- Growing herbs like rosemary and basil will add a subtle scent to your home and will also be handy when cooking.
For more information on Contura, please visit www.contura.eu
Notes to editors:
- (1) Yale School of the Environment, 2020
- Study of approximately 1,000 nationally representative adults aged 25-75 carried out by Odyssey on behalf of Contura, March-April 2021
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood and lifestyle expert Catharina Björkman. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Jo Kendall | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,095, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality, and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
For more information, please visit www.contura.eu