For many of us, having our friends and family over is what having your own home is all about. But, having visitors to your home can also make you worry about what they might think - whether your home has just been recently renovated, or it hasn’t been decorated in over 30 years.
Confused.com’s experts have analysed unique data that uses eye-tracking technology to identify the exact areas and pieces of décor in each room that people’s eyes are drawn to the most. To ensure every area of your home is fully protected, make sure you have the right contents insurance for your needs.
What people look at the most in your home
To conduct the research, a sample of people were shown a series of images of different rooms in a home. By using eye-tracking software, the total number of times people looked at different elements in the room, like the flooring, the windows or the artwork, was recorded.
The kitchen is possibly more integral to family life than any other room, and with the rise of the kitchen-diner, it’s now where so much of family life takes place.
In the kitchen, our research shows it’s the floor that people’s eyes are drawn to the most, pulling in over 100 more views than cabinets, which came in second place, and almost seven times as many views as the sink in third place. So, if you have visitors coming over, it might be an idea to give your floors a once over before they arrive and leave the hob as it is - with only one total view in our experiment, it’s unlikely to get much attention.
The living room
In the living room, soft décor and key furniture pieces attract the most attention. Coffee tables, rugs and decorative cushions pulled in the most views, each with over 100 glances.
Although cushions came third when looking at the number of views, they appeared to hold attention for the longest time out of all other elements in the living room. Surprisingly, the TV comes all the way down in eighth position when looking at total views, and wall art was the thing that people looked at the least.
When it comes to the room we use primarily for self-care and grooming, it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s the mirror that attracts the most views. Just behind in second place, it’s the sink drawers and then the sink, toilet and bath ranked in third, fourth and fifth positions.
The lighting, taps and toilet roll holder are the things that people looked at the least. The toilet roll holder had the least total views, with only 10 total views. Despite this, those that did look at the loo roll holder spent more time looking at it than several other bathroom elements, including the towel rail, taps and plants.
In the bedroom, it was the throw at the end of the bed that pulled in the most views and was looked at for the longest. Following that, the chest of drawers was the most viewed element, as well as the window, cushions and bedspread.
Art, the flooring and the curtains were the things that people looked at the least when glancing around the bedroom.
The child's bedroom
In the child’s bedroom, it was the cot or bed that was looked at the most and for the longest. A bookcase, the rug and flooring, and nursing chair were the things the panel focussed on the most, suggesting the panel’s interest in what people are reading their children for a bedtime story.
Blinds, lighting and art were the three things that were the least attention grabbing in the child’s room.
Interestingly, art ranked as one of the least attention-grabbing elements in the kitchen, living room and bedroom too, with artwork gaining the most attention in the home office, ranking in fourth position. These findings suggest that if you’re going to buy some new art for your home, it’s important to choose to your taste (and not in the hope of impressing others), as it’s unlikely to receive as much attention as you might think.
The home office
More of us have worked from home than ever before over the past 18 months, so when it comes to the design of a home office, the chair is by far the thing people looked at the most and for the longest amount of time – perhaps because so many of us know the difference between a day working at a desk in a comfy chair, compared to a rigid uncomfortable one that makes your whole back ache.
Surprisingly, the desk itself was one of the elements that was focused on the least, pulling in just 20 views, compared to the chair’s 410.
The most eye-catching décor trends
As part of the research, we also wanted to pit some of the most popular décor trends of the moment against each other to see which ones people were actually drawn to the most.
We generated a list of 20 of the most talked about and coveted décor trends of the moment – from painted arches to Crittall doors, and ran images of them past our eye tracking research panel to reveal the most eye-catching décor and interior trends.
By plotting the ‘time to first fixation’ we can show the trends that people’s eyes were drawn to the quickest in each of the images. According to the research, boucle furniture is the trend that people honed in on the fastest – on average, just 1,000 milliseconds, or one second.
Close behind in second position is rattan furniture, in third it’s dark kitchen cabinets, fourth is mid-century furniture and in fifth, it’s Berber rugs. Although, it took researchers twice as long to focus on this popular style of rug than the number one trend, boucle furniture.
Other key trends that attracted attention quickly include painted arches, herringbone flooring, macrame and dried flowers. Crittall doors, drink trolleys and luxe lighting rank in 15th, 16th and 17th places respectively, and Instagram and Pinterest favourite wall panelling came in 19th position.
The 20 most eye-catching décor trends:
Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com comments:
“No two homes are the same. Our decoration, style, furniture and ways of living make our homes completely unique, but it has been interesting to see which rooms, furniture and décor trends attract the attention of the masses.
“Only you know the things that are the most precious to you, so to keep your home safe, secure and fully protected, make sure you have the right cover. To ensure you’re not underinsured, take into account all of your prized possessions when calculating the overall value of your contents. If you compare home insurance quotes with Confused.com, you could save up to £113*.”
To conduct the research, a sample of 71 people were shown a series of images of different rooms in a home. By using eye-tracking software, the total number of times people looked at different elements in the room, like the flooring, the windows or the artwork, was recorded. Fixation rankings for each room were determined by the number of total views for each element. The average amount of time that people looked at each area of the room was also recorded, and where elements had the same number of total views, viewing durations were used to rank elements.
Most eye-catching trends findings were compiled by measuring how long it took the study participants to look at the trend in the image, the quicker the participant looked at the trend the more ‘eye-catching’ it was deemed.
All data correct as of September 8th 2021.
*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (August '21). 51% of home insurance customers could save £113.50 on a combined policy.