There is a common saying that people at a house party will always end up congregating in the kitchen.
However, a new survey by OceanFinance.co.uk suggests that we Brits might no longer be as kitchen-centric as some think.
In fact, this research found that, contrary to popular belief, we now spend most of our time at home in the living room.
Almost 80% of respondents claimed to gravitate towards the sofa, with those aged between 45 and 54 being the most common living-room loungers.
In contrast, only 11.6% of those surveyed preferred spending time in the kitchen, showing perhaps that we prefer comfort over the convenience of easy access to food and drink.
Interestingly, the survey also debunks the myth that fast-living students and young professionals make no time to cook; 18-24-year-olds were the ones most likely to prefer spending time in the kitchen rather than the lounge.
Maybe there is a logical reason for this seeming change of heart. In recent years, the popularity of open-plan living has meant that for many, the kitchen is actually now part of the general living space.
It’s also worth noting that, although the kitchen trailed behind the lounge in terms of statistics, it was still the second most common answer, with only a minority suggesting they plumped for other spaces such as a conservatory as their favourite spot.
Ocean Finance also found that spring is the prime time for completing renovations such as knocking through kitchens, dining rooms and living areas. The company reported a 50% increase in enquiries for home improvement loans in March 2014, compared with January and February.
So which room was deemed the least popular? It turns out that the biggest casualty of open-plan living is the dining room, with 31% of respondents stating it was their least-used room. Ian Williams, spokesman for Ocean Finance, said : “It seems households are gravitating more towards the living room or kitchen as a place to spend time together, and dining rooms are becoming obsolete”.
So, more people nowadays are eating in front of the TV or in the kitchen, saving the dining room for special occasions like Sunday Lunch, birthdays and Christmas. As open plan becomes the norm, is there a chance we might see dining rooms disappearing altogether from the 21st-century home?
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