Is Outdoor Space the Key to Happiness in Post-Lockdown UK

Are gardens the new heart of the home?


COVID-19 has turned all our worlds upside down, impacting the way we interact with others (socially-distanced), educate our children (virtually) and shop on the highstreet (masked). Additionally, alongside these more visible changes, the virus has also affected the housing market – in particular, what people are prioritising when buying or renting a property.

After several months of lockdown and spending a disproportionate amount of time indoors, homeowners have naturally rediscovered the importance of outdoor space for physical, mental and emotional health.

Rather than searching for roomy kitchens, well-lit living rooms and master bedrooms with a view, people now want gardens large enough to entertain guests, feed the family and have some much-needed me-time.

Are gardens the new heart of the home?

Recently, we completed our Home Happiness Survey, where we asked over 2,000 people if they were truly happy with their homes or whether they'd like to make improvements.

The results were a little heartbreaking, with a substantial 18% of people feeling fairly unhappy with their residence, and a further 4% reporting levels of extreme unhappiness. What's more, while 55% of participants said they were fairly happy, this was under the condition that renovations would be made in the future.

overall how happy are you with your home

Why so much dissatisfaction? The answer lies in the survey feedback we received, most of which concerned the lack of usable outdoor space. Here are just some of the responses (abridged for your convenience):

"My garden needs a complete makeover. I have been too busy to do it."

"We need a bigger place with a garden because of COVID isolation."

"My garden is tiny, and we have nothing to sit on".

"Our home is under renovation, and we are desperate to get some outdoor furniture to help brighten the mood since COVID-19."

In contrast, but following the theme, those with high satisfaction levels cited the garden as their primary source of pride and joy:

"I live in a peaceful area with a good garden".

"The house is gorgeous with a large lawned garden. We have lovely flowers which we have nurtured."

How important is a garden for those looking to rent or buy?

Lockdown has forced people to re-evaluate their wish lists when it comes to finding the perfect property. Now, like never before, gardens are an extremely desirable feature for buyers and renters across the UK. But don't take our word for it – we have statistics to back it up.

We asked our participants whether a garden or outdoor space has become more important since COVID-19, and a remarkable 90% said yes! The remaining 10%, who perhaps already own a garden, reported no change at all.

How important is a garden for those looking to rent or buy?

We followed this by asking people where they felt happiest in their homes. The answer was outside. Gardens beat bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens on the poll, once again showing we can no longer do without them.

Where people felt happiest in their homes

What would you spend £10,000 on?

Unsurprisingly, there has been a boom in garden furniture, landscaping and patio sales post-lockdown as people turn their outdoor spaces into liveable areas. But what exactly makes a liveable area?

That's what we found out next.

We gave people £10,000 (hypothetical, unfortunately) to refurbish their gardens to see what elements mattered most. As we're socialising mostly outside, 81% of participants opted for more garden furniture while 51% wanted better landscaping. As both are quite serious investments, it suggests most gardens need some serious TLC, both practically and aesthetically.

What would you spend £10,000 on?

However, there was still room for some fun and flippant purchases. After dealing with the essentials, 34% of people fancied an outdoor fireplace, 33% would quite like a hot tub and 22%, rather humbly, asked for a brand-new water feature.

It is time to revamp your garden?

We think yes. At Moda Furnishings, you can find a wide range of furniture to transform your outdoor space into something magical. From fire pits and sunbeds to dining sets and corner sofas, there’s a wealth of luxury designs on offer. Take a look today and see for yourself.

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