What Makes a Happy Home?

-By Joanna Roughton-

More power to the elbow of the HRF this month with the publication of ‘Fifty Things Which Make a Happy Home’.

Top of the list was – you guessed it – family dining!

Number three; keeping the home tidy.


The methodology behind this study may be questionable (it was commissioned by a manufacturing company and purports to have researched the lifestyles and preference of 2,000 families), but the results are, nonetheless, a fascinating endorsement of our guiding principles.

The list includes many material things – more than one tablet computer, Netflix accounts, Sky TV – but the top ten items are packed with spiritual or emotional concepts such as “laughing together”.

Unsurprisingly, different family members had varying priorities. Children yearned for a tree-house, a playroom or a swimming pool. And everyone seemed to want more space. Two-thirds of those asked said they felt their home was too small.

Co-incidentally, the HRF has been discussing – for some time – the idea of a Good Home Index. This is the closest thing I have seen to the concept being realised.

So, here’s that list in full:

1. All eating together
2. Laughing a lot
3. Keeping the home tidy
4. Feeling safe and secure
5. Hugs
6. Enough sofas for everyone to sit on
7. Making time for each other
8. Regular family trips out
9. Knowing when to say sorry
10. A family pet18. Playing board games together
11. Nice neighbours
12. Not rowing in front of the kids
13. A big garden
14. Cooking with the children
15. Helping the kids with their homework
16. Not having secrets
17. Movie nights
18. Playing board games together
19. Putting the kids’ paintings on the walls
20. Sharing chores
21. Everyone picking their clothes up off of the floor
22. Having lots of photos together around the house
23. Knowing when someone wants to be left alone
24. Having a treat cupboard
25. Having a play room for the kids
26. Having a big TV in the lounge
27. Having fast Wi-Fi
28. Having ‘in’ jokes
29. A large kitchen
30. Having regular heart-to-hearts
31. Privacy from the outside world
32. Having a takeaway night every few weeks
33. Having a dishwasher
34. Plenty of music
35. A weekly walk
36. Nice views
37. A lock on the bathroom door
38. Having Sky TV
39. Well-lit rooms
40. Having designated days where we spend time together
41. Double glazing to reduce noise
42. Everyone having their own tablet or smartphone
43. Everyone having their own set of keys
44. Having grandparents nearby to look after the kids
45. A spacious kitchen
46. A Netflix account
47. Having a tumble drier
48. Big windows
49. Having several bathrooms
50. Separate cupboard space in the bedroom

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