Greener and multifunctional: this is how the house has changed in 2020 (according to Ikea)

Greener and multifunctional: this is how the house has changed in 2020 (according to Ikea)

The "Life at home" report takes stock of how this year has upset our homes and our relationship with them. Starting from the entrance

(Photo: Pexels) That 2020 is the year of the house is there for all to see. The pandemic forced us to live (and rediscover) the home. Ikea, with the annual Life at home report, tried to investigate how this close coexistence went and what consequences it left, questioning 38 thousand people in 37 countries. Discovering that 78 percent (83 percent in Italy) of the interviewees now consider their home as a refuge or a sanctuary, that balconies and apartments were filled with plants, that the entrances were the great rediscovery of year. And that a third of the Italians questioned intend to intervene deeply in their environments or even to move home.

The analysis, which has been drawn up since 2014 and available online, has had to deal with this edition with an exceptional situation, that of the pandemic and the lockdowns that have affected the whole world. The first result is that a trend has been interrupted: if in 2019 28 percent of respondents felt at home in places other than their apartment (from the gym to the office), 2020 put it back at the center. With its pros and cons: for example, those who have a small house, perhaps a studio apartment, or are young (and therefore presumably have to share spaces with roommates or are in passing accommodations) declared that they were not satisfied of his relationship with the house.

Among the trends that emerged from the report, explains Edoardo Posani of Ikea Italia in the presentation via Zoom, there are above all three. The first, experienced firsthand by virtually everyone, is the need for a multi-purpose house, which is suitable for work, school, physical activity. Then, there is the desire for a healthy home, which is green and at the same time a place of emotional and mental well-being. Finally, the need to learn (or relearn) to communicate with others without meeting them, for example with video calls or social media. And on this Italy is recognized: if at a world level 22 percent of respondents say they will continue to cultivate virtual contacts, in Italy it drops to 9 percent. It may be because of the climate or the kitchen or whatever you want, but we consider ourselves social animals and, once the emergency is over, they have no intention of replacing physical contact with digital contact.

A risk of the rediscovery of home, in fact, could be to create isolation, like a kind of shell from the outside world. Therefore, it is essential not to transform it into a golden cage, but into a place where you can refresh yourself. And you receive the others: according to the well-known architect Carlo Ratti, founder and director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Boston, some rituals related to working life such as the classic post-office aperitif will move right at home, due to the growth of smart working. While at the urban level, in general, there will be a return of green to the cities.

(Photo: Pexels) Yes, green. Scrolling through the report seems to be a focal point of the relationship with the home in 2020. “Nature is a testimony of life”, comments Luca Mazzucchelli, psychologist and director of the journal Psychology Contemporary. A tip to improve well-being at home is precisely to take care of plants and seeds, whether it is a garden, a vegetable garden on the balcony or a pot on the windowsill (and it is no coincidence that those who are changing homes give priority to green and open spaces). But also choose natural-themed decorations, photos or sounds. Another advice of the psychologist is to create a protected corner, whether it is an armchair in a niche, a corner of the sofa or a study protected by a divider. A place where you can feel that you have your back covered and from which you can observe what surrounds us.

In short, in 2020 we have changed and our homes have changed. The Ikea e-shop saw a surge in sales of large or small furniture (more than accessories), because many felt the need to radically arrange the spaces. The bedroom has also become an office, the living room a bit of a gym and a bit of a cinema, the kitchen a laboratory for kneading and baking. The surprise? The redemption of the entrance, says Luca Battistelli of Ikea Italia. Abused and forgotten for years (and, in many apartments, merged with the living room), it is back in vogue as a space dedicated to sanitizing oneself and taking off shoes. "A widespread habit in Japan or Northern Europe, not among Italians," he explains. Thus, from the front door, 2020 broke into the apartments.

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