What makes a house a happy home?

Pets to cuddle, plants to smell and fresh sheets on the bed all play their part.

A nationwide study by household towel brand Plenty has revealed the top 25 things that transform a house into a home. Coming top of the list with 53 percent is the smell of a Sunday roast cooking in the kitchen, whilst having fresh sheets on the bed (51 percent) and a well-stocked fridge (45 percent) followed closely behind.

Also scoring highly were having family photos on walls and shelves (44 percent), the sound of birds chirping in the garden (43 percent) and the satisfying sizzle of bacon frying in a pan (35 percent) added to that desired homely feeling. Further elements that help create a cosy vibe include a pet who likes to cuddle (35 percent), having your own spot on the sofa (34 percent) and fresh cut flowers (32 percent).

The whir of a kettle boiling (32 percent), the fragrance of scented candles (30 percent) and having the radio on in the kitchen while they potter around (29 percent) are additional tendencies Brits like to have present to make it more homely. 

Other ways to make a home feel warm and inviting include laundry blowing on the washing line (29 percent), a comfy throw on the sofa (29 percent), music playing at the weekend (28 percent) and soaking in a hot bubble bath (26 percent).

House plants (25 percent), the smell of cake baking in the oven (25 percent), shelves overflowing with books (24 percent), having a cat curled up with you (19 percent), and even the distant sound of a lawnmower (19 percent) also make Brits feel homely.

The research, of 1,500 Brits, also found that 70 percent agree that for a house to feel like a home it should feel relaxed and lived in - not super clean and tidy.

Leanne McLeod, Brand Manager at Plenty, which conducted the research said, “As consumers face increased energy prices, inflation woes and a predicted recession on the horizon, it’s expected disposable income for many will take a hit and Brits will be spending more time in the space of their own homes."

"We wanted to explore what really makes a house a home, and our research revealed that Brits really do prefer a relaxed and messy space. With mess comes irreplaceable memories which fill a house with love, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Every inch of mess has its own story to tell – love is messy!”

Forget all those minimal and pristine houses you see on social media; HALF (48 percent) of us reveal we are sick and tired of seeing images of pristine, “insta-perfect” houses with no mess.

42 percent admit that while their home may not always look clean and tidy, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

In fact, 38 percent insist there’s more to life than housework, while over a third (34 percent) admit they prioritise having fun with their family over scrubbing their house spotless.

A quarter think that people who claim their houses are always squeaky clean are LIARS. However, 39 percent confess they feel pressure to always have a perfectly neat house - with 36 percent admitting that when someone is due to drop in for a visit, they’ll be manically cleaning and tidying up before.

The research also reveals that seven in ten of those polled prefer a home which is relaxed and messy over a place which is super clean and tidy, 35 percent believe a bit of mess makes a house feel like a home.

In fact, 39 percent find houses which are minimal, spotless and tidy feel cold and lack a sense of comfort - with a third saying they feel completely on edge if someone’s home is too clean, sparse and plain.

As a result, a fifth (21 percent) insist the trend for minimal homes is well and truly over.

Meanwhile 21 percent insist that a bit of clutter around the house means you are creative and free spirited.

The research also found that the traditional saying “there’s no place like home” rings true for almost three quarters (73 percent) of Britons.

Expert TV psychologist Emma Kenny adds, “Plenty’s research tells a clear story as regards to the importance so many of us place on making a house feel truly like a home. So often, we are led to believe that we should all try to aspire to impossible perfectionistic standards that we see on Instagram and other social-media networks. These standards have the potential to steal our joy and contribute towards a negative perception when it comes to our own homes. Breaking free from these unhealthy and unrealistic comparisons is key to leading a more content home life."

Things which make a house a home

1. The smell of a Sunday roast cooking - 53%

2. Fresh sheets on the bed - 51%

3. A well-stocked fridge after a big food shop - 45%

4. Family photos - 44%

5. The sound of birds chirping in the garden - 43%

6. The sound of bacon sizzling in a pan - 35%

7. Having a pet who likes to cuddle - 35%

8. Having your own spot on the sofa - 34%

9. Fresh flowers - 32%

10. Hearing the sound of a kettle boil - 32%

11. Scented candles - 30%

12. Having the radio on in the kitchen - 29%

13. Seeing laundry out on the washing line - 29%

14. A comfy throw on the sofa - 29%

15. Music playing at the weekend - 28%

16. Having a hot relaxing bubble bath - 26%

17. House plants - 25%

18. The smell of cake baking in the oven - 25%

19. Shelves overflowing with books - 24%

20. The sound of a lawn mower in the distance - 19%

21. A cat or cats - 19%

22. My dog’s blanket - 19%

23. Having people over for a BBQ - 19%

24. Lighting a fire during the colder months - 18%

25. A stack of magazines on the coffee table - 18%