Key to Happiness in Yorkshire is Laid Back Living
Key to Happiness in Yorkshire is Laid Back Living
Research commissioned by leading sofa brand DFS has revealed what makes the perfect living room for people living in Yorkshire
As our lifestyles have changed, the living room has been revolutionised from a formal entertaining space, into a relaxing haven; multifunctional but still traditional enough to marry form and function.
We’re now a nation of living room loungers. On average people in Yorkshire spend approximately 25-hours a week in our living room during summer. This increases significantly to 35-hours a week during the delights of British wintertime, making this obvious heart of the home all the more significant in lifting our spirits as we retreat from the cold.
Based on results from the study, Yorkshire’s idyllic living space has been revealed as a traditional or country style, with one in four favouring creams/beiges as the base colour, and 53% choosing carpet for flooring. Comfort is also key, with 40% of people in Yorkshire opting for a slouchy relaxed sofa that you can easily sink into after a long day, and a chandelier is the preferred choice of lighting (37%).
Philip Watkins, DFS’ Design Director, comments: “With living rooms providing a sanctuary from everyday stress, we know that most people prefer traditional choices. The majority of us tend to stay away from making our living rooms too visually stimulating, but this doesn’t mean they have to be bland.”
Happiness at Home: “Emotional attachment to our living room”
The research highlighted the very significant role the living room plays in our emotional well-being. According to the research, over half (57%) of those living in Yorkshire cited the living room as the space in the home where they feel happiest.
This emotional attachment to our living room seems to be driven by our love of hunkering down for near-hibernation, especially during the bleakness of winter. 53% say they are truly content when in the living room, along with feeling calm (30%).
Psychologist Simon Moore explains that with the accumulated mini-stresses of social media sites, financial strains, and ‘always-on’ access to work emails: “We currently live in one of the most stressful centuries of human existence. As our living room offers many rewards through activities and distraction, it remains a place to seek sanctuary from the demanding outside world.”
Accessories like cushions, throws and rugs, candles, and plants were all highlighted as crucial in making our living rooms a happier place. But the TV was Yorkshire folk’s most important living room accessory, with 35% of people saying it makes them happier! Simon explains: “The TV has much in common with family photos and soft furnishings. Each gives visual cues, informing our brain that this is a safe and rewarding environment.”
Living Well: “An entertaining space where you can host friends and family”
Whilst watching TV is most definitely Yorkshire folk’s favourite living room pastime (88%), relaxing with a cup of tea (45%), reading (39%), eating (38%) and listening to music (37%) are all popular activities that help Yorkshire locals unwind.
However, with the normalisation of TV dinners and flexible working, more and more of us are now also using our living rooms to meet more practical requirements for 2017 life! Almost half of those living in Yorkshire (48%) strongly believe the living room needs to be an entertaining space where you can host friends and family.
It is clear that the living room can no longer just be the ‘TV room’ or a ‘best room’ for entertaining; it has to work harder to be a versatile space, whilst remaining stylish and inviting.
Yorkshire home habits and living room preferences:
- 37% most enjoy being in the living room with their partner, closely followed by their children (17%) or just enjoying some quiet time by themselves (17%)
- When it comes to favourite living room activities, it’s no longer just the TV room, over a third of people in Yorkshire use it for eating (38%) and listening to music (37%)
- A chandelier is the preferred choice of lighting for people in Yorkshire (37%)
- People in Yorkshire are least happy in the kitchen (21%)
Key to Happiness in Yorkshire: “A versatile room”
The results were then interpreted by leading British interior designer Pippa Jameson, who pulled the resulting look together to showcase Yorkshire’s preferences.
The DFS Keswick Country Living sofa, chosen by Pippa, has plenty of room for the whole family, whilst its arm rests are perfect for propping up a laptop. Since the living room needs to be a versatile room, multipurpose surfaces were another must. The desk can act as a work top, console table or TV stand, whilst the nest tables are perfect for informal dining. Pippa also incorporated some of the latest trends – mixed metals, botanicals, and pops of coral and sage – to give a modern twist to ‘cosy.
The resulting visual of Yorkshire’s favourite living room shows a true need for a room of today that can do it all.
Top Tips for Living Room Happiness: “Going with what feels right”
Philip’s top tips on how to update the traditional cosy living room look for 2017:
- A sofa like the DFS Keswick Country Living sofa has plenty of room for the whole family to relax, whilst its arm rests are perfect for balancing a cup of tea or a laptop.
- Add splashes of colour around the room to brighten up a neutral cream base, without overloading the senses. We picked very on-trend coral and sage tones for a 2017 twist on the pastel trend.
- As our lifestyles have changed, the living room has shifted from a formal entertaining space, into a relaxing haven. Well over half of those questioned said their living room needs to be an informal dining room to eat in front of the TV, whilst a quarter said it also has to function as a home office.
- For a versatile space, multipurpose surfaces are a must. Find desks that can act as a work top, console table or TV stand, whilst nest tables are perfect for informal dining. We used mixed metals to add some warmth and personality to the look.
- It’s about relaxation and going with what feels right for you. Find ways to soften cosy corners with chunky throws or fluffy cream rugs to add some light and shade… and don’t forget to accessorise with your favourite candles and stacks of magazines or books.
- Bring the outside in and freshen up the look with plants and flowers. Botanicals are another big trend for 2017, and an easy way to instantly make you feel happier!
For more information visit dfs.co.uk