The things we do in our living rooms

The living room has replaced the kitchen as the heart of UK homes but we’re not relaxing on three-piece suites anymore, and now we’re working in this space too! 

This week, John Lewis & Partners published a report entitled ‘The Things We Do In Our Living Rooms (and the things we wish we didn’t)’, which revealed how we live in our living rooms is changing, what we call this communal space at the heart of British homes, and what consumers are buying and no longer buying to furnish it.

Insight from 3,409 shoppers revealed that over half of those asked spend the most waking time in this room.

While TV remains the main activity, said 96 per cent of those surveyed, having done so in the past month, this room now has more purposes than ever before. Research uncovered a list of 25 activities which shoppers had done in their living rooms in the past month which included: sleeping (68 per cent), entertaining (63 per cent), ironing (27 per cent), working (19 per cent), exercising (12 per cent), and making cocktails (five per cent).

Pip Prinsloo, Partner and Head of Design for Home commented: “We’re wanting more from our living rooms than ever before and the changes in how we live are strikingly visible in this space. From reflecting our personalities, being a space to work, exercise and much more our living rooms have never been quite so alive, flexible and unique.”

What we call this room

It’s a room with many purposes and almost as many names – ‘living room’, ‘sitting room’ or ‘lounge’. Despite TV watching being the activity nearly all of us do in this space, only one per cent of those asked call it the ‘TV room’, and just as few call it the ‘drawing room’.

What we want to do less of

Everyone the retailer asked in its survey had one living room habit they wanted to change. Two-fifths want to eat less on their laps, or while watching TV. Nearly one fifth want to do less ironing in their living rooms. One in seven want it to be used less as a playroom and one in 10 wish they watched less TV.

Living room installation

At its flagship store on Oxford Street, London, John Lewis & Partners has created an interactive installation called ‘In Residence With…’  which showcases five different living room spaces. Five experts at the company (Director of The Geffrye Museum of the Home, Sonia Solicari, Artist Morag Myerscough, TV Presenter, AJ Odudu, Editor of Happy News, Emily Coxhead and John Lewis Partner and Home Design Stylist, Jacqueline Dalgarno) have each added their unique touch to one of the five living rooms and will be hosting a series of events and workshops in the space from 18 March.