IKEA found that in cities, 35 percent of people feel at home in somewhere that isn't their residence

IKEA Group and INGKA Holding (the holding company for IKEA’s retail arm) publish the Life at Home report on how people live in and relate to their homes, and this year it takes on the theme of living in cities and the idea of home.

Interviewing more than 22,000 people in 22 countries, IKEA’s researchers found that for one to feel “at home” in a certain space, they must have privacy, security, comfort and a sense of ownership and belonging. “During our research we learned that life at home is changing, profoundly, all over the world, the report says. “Our physical homes are getting smaller, smarter, busier and noisier… All of this impacts on how successfully a single space can deliver what we need from it – functionally and emotionally.”

In 2016, the company asked people where they felt at home most, with 20 percent of respondents saying somewhere other than where they reside. This year, that number rose to 35 percent for people living in cities and 29 percent otherwise, researchers found. With more people living in spaces that are shared with friends and family members, upwards of one-third of the respondents said they leave their home to get some alone time.

There’s quite a wide generational shift from the 19th century when people’s aspirations were to build and own a grand house — acting as an achievement that they have accomplished something great in life, The New York Times details.

In a press release, IKEA Macro Insights Leader Maria Jonsson explained the phenomenon a bit better:

For a large number of people, home just doesn’t feel like home any more. We discovered a new behavior, where people use a network of spaces and places, both within and beyond the four walls, as part of their homemaking experience. We believe that this expanded notion of life at home gives people more opportunities to create the feeling of home, no matter where or how they live.

What’s interesting here is that IKEA is becoming more than a company that just sells DIY beds and chairs — it’s becoming a company that sells a sense of home and belonging, no matter where that is. “The important thing is that everyone deserves to experience that feeling of home,” the report says.

The IKEA Life at Home survey measures the attitudes of IKEA customers around the world, using insights to inform the company’s product development and marketing teams of current and future trends.