My Kitchen Rules

I hope you had a relaxing Easter break.

We typically have friends and relatives gathered around at our place.  And this year, both adult daughters were visiting, and it was interesting to observe where we spent most of our time awake whilst at home.

In short, the kitchen area and family/tv room got the lion share.

This reminded me of a study we completed a few years back for a home builder client who engaged us to find out where residents actually spent their waking hours in their home.

This work involved a survey of 100 family households – each holding two working adults and at least one child living at home – in Sydney, Melbourne and SEQld.  The survey period covered a typical week.  Most households surveyed spent, on average, about six hours – 360 minutes – awake in the house each day, including the weekends.

The results of this survey are as follows:

Rank House area Average time spent per day
1 Kitchen area 38% 137
2 Family/TV room 17% 61
3 Porch/Balcony 10% 36
4 Bedrooms 8% 29
5 Bathrooms 6% 22
6 Study/office 5% 18
7 Yard 5% 18
8 Shed/Garage 5% 18
9 Formal living room 4% 14
10 Formal dining room 2% 7
Total 100% 360

Some observations

Obviously, some areas of the typical family home are no longer needed.  The classic examples being the formal living and dining rooms.

Other areas, whilst having little waking time use over the typical week, are still important.  These include a study, yard, shed and garage.

It is interesting given the trend towards fast, pre-prepared meals – so the kitchen is increasingly acting as a food assembly area rather than a place where many actually ‘cook’ – that the kitchen still rules.

My opinion here is it is where everyone congregates which is important rather than the kitchen’s traditional functionality.

Other recent research by us – this time questioning potential buyers after they had visited a home display village – found that one of the first things a home buyer does when looking to a new home design is to check out where their family and friends can gather and if that space/s will work for their tribe.

This area, often by default in most houses, is the kitchen space, followed by the family room and/or balcony-porch.

For mine, a home that has these three spaces in a continuous, free following expanse more often than not comes up trumps.


I, with Paul Broad, have undertaken numerous qualitative research investigations over the past 20 years.  True, it isn’t something we do on a regular basis, but when we are engaged to do so, we make sure three things are set right:

  1. Who we are surveying/talking to?
  2. What we are asking them?
  3. Reporting back what is really being said?

Often what people say and actually do are two different things.  You need an experienced filter to sieve out the real McCoy.

Now if you would like two older heads to help you gain a better understanding of your target market, contact us at and we will get back to you with our suggestions and an obligation free quote.

Until next time,

Michael Matusik

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