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Every year people in the UK spend millions on furnishing their homes, however you’d be surprised at just how much someone’s postcode impacts how much they tend to spend. Being as involved in the homeware industry as we are, we decided to find out which areas of the UK are the most house-proud, based on internal sales data. 

Our research revealed that residents in York spend the most on homeware on average - to be precise a whopping £5,030 a year. This is purely on items like beds, wall art, lighting, mirrors and utensils/crockery, it doesn’t take into account home improvement projects like extensions. 

When it comes to the cities that spend the least, Bristol and Blackpool topped the list, each spending less than £300 a year. 

On a national scale, we found that the average Brit spends £802 a year on homeware, with dining room table sets the most popular purchase for the home in 2019, whilst Chandeliers were the least purchased item.

The ten most house-proud regions, and the amount residents spend on average a year, are as follows:

  1. York - £5,030      
  2. Edinburgh - £4,255
  3. Bath - £3,809          
  4. Nottingham - £3,545      
  5. Birmingham - £3,231    
  6. Manchester - £2,970
  7. Gloucester - £2,425
  8. Edinburgh - £2,100
  9. Oxford - £1,761
  10. Cambridge - £1,589   

The ten least house-proud regions, and the amount residents spend on average a year, are as follows:

  1. Blackpool - £290      
  2. Bristol - £298      
  3. Milton Keynes - £331     
  4. Stoke-on-Trent - £366  
  5. Leicester - £371
  6. Exeter - £400
  7. Grimsby - £429
  8. Leeds - £480
  9. Bournemouth - £501
  10. Swansea - £555

After the results came in, we decided to team up with our interiors expert, Penelope King, to release a series of home furnishing tips that will improve a room’s aesthetic. Penelope has been working on interiors for more than 15 years, and knows all the tricks in the book to make a room look bigger and brighter, without breaking the bank. 

Here are her top interior tips:

  1. If you’ve got a particularly small room,  hang a large mirror at one end of the room. Even though people will know the room ends behind the mirror, it will still open up the area through its reflection, giving off the impression of a larger space. Alternatively a collage of smaller mirrors on one wall can act as a nice decorative piece as well. Why not try this set of Gallery mirrors with leather straps?
  2. For anyone who has a small kitchen, opt for neutral light-coloured worktops, walls and flooring, but then choose a complementary deep shade for the cupboards. The contrast in the colours will add depth and the illusion of space.
  3. Flooring with horizontal patterns will help to make a narrow room seem wider, and the same for vertical flooring and short rooms. 
  4. Hanging floor length, dark-coloured curtains in large, sparse spaces can help to add warmth to rooms that feel a bit too big, when matched with neutral walls. 
  5. If you don’t want to furnish with curtains, the same rule also applies to wall paint. Deep, rich colours in blues and greens are particularly effective in creating a comforting atmosphere in large rooms. 
  6. On the flipside, for small rooms matching the wall and curtain/blind colours in light colours is a nifty way to open the area up, because the walls and window fixtures bleed into one landscape. In this scenario opt for lightweight material for window furnishings as well.
  7. Rugs are effective in adding warmth to large, bare rooms, and work particularly well when placed in the center of rooms or underneath key pieces, like sofas and tables. Small repetitive patterns are great at drawing the eye and adding texture to an otherwise plain room.
  8. If you’re again working with a small space, pick furniture that stands off from the floor, so sofas and beds with legs, like the Andrew Martin Crispin Sofa. The space available between the floor and the item will stop the room from feeling cluttered.
  9. For rooms with low ceilings, only partially paint up the walls, and ensure the ‘top’ colour is the same as the ceiling. This will give the appearance of a taller space.
  10. When considering furniture for a small house, opt for low items, such as low-sitting sofas and beds, because the extra space available above the piece will expand the room and give the impression of more space.  

Nick Moutter founder of Olivia’s, said,

“Interior fashion has been a growing trend in domestic homes for some time, with the majority of homeowners now taking an interest in some sort of interior design and putting their own stamp on their living space. It’s very interesting to see just how much people are spending on homeware now, and how it differs across the UK - people in York are the most house-proud by a long way!

“I’m excited to release our home furnishing guide, it includes simple tricks and hacks that many will be able to apply in their home. Some may be surprised at just how easy and straightforward it is to transform their living space into their own work of art.”